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By : Samuel Neilson

7 min read

Hoop Hop is celebrating their tenth anniversary on August 19th at the Roxbury YMCA. The annual basketball tournament was conceived to create a space for local artists, community activists and grassroots entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and positively impact the Greater Boston community, primarily the youth. Teams are composed of Massachusetts artists such as Ant Thomas, Garrett Merk, Saint Lyor, Mr. PSA, & Tim Hall. In addition to the games, music will be provided by Jeff 2Timez & Deejay Dex, plus there will be a live cypher hosted by LFOD Life. Hoop Hop is a free, all ages event where all are welcome. This year will also feature a brand-new mural created in collaboration with the teens of the Roxbury YMCA.

Founder Bakari JB, reflecting on this year’s milestone: “Ten years of Hoop Hop represents cultural impact that is self-generated by Boston and New England based creatives that have found value in connecting with one another outside of the traditional realm of performance-based events. It has given us a blueprint of what is possible when we view ourselves as a community and not just individuals. I'm most looking forward to meeting new individuals that I've never met as well as seeing who lives up to the trash talk that has been circulating for the better part of a full year since Ant Thomas has declared himself unstoppable.”

By combining the twin energies of art and sport, the Hoop Hop movement is firmly anchored in the belief that true community empowerment must be both active and creative. Furthermore, by raising funds to provide opportunities for inner city youth, Hoop Hop aims to foster an environment that promotes growth and encourages those with musical talent to follow that path. With a fun day of activities including a three-point contest, community resources, local vendors and live entertainment, Bakari J.B. and the Hoop Hop team have crafted one of Boston’s premier events.

—Samuel Neilson, LFOD

Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #160 August 2023


Check out all the art and columns of August's Boston Compass at



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