Basketball and Seattle have been synonymous for decades. The loss of the Seattle Supersonics took more than a team, it took a community that had been built over generations. For the last few years Jamal Crawford’s Crawsover Pro-Am has been the closest thing to restoring that feeling of professional basketball. But there is another basketball hotspot that has quietly gained the respect and love from the basketball community. The Run at Franklin High.
Seattle’s relationship with basketball has been well documented. From the first and only championship for the Supersonic in 1979 to current day, there has been a long list of professional basketball players that have been born and bred from Seattle, Washington. The list of some of the past pros reads like a who’s who of NBA standouts from the early 2000’s. This new crop of current Seattle pros featuring the likes of Dejaunte Murray, MarJon Beauchamp, Tari Eason, Kevin Porter Jr, and now Paulo Banchero continue to prove Seattle’s strong love and passion for the game of hoops.
Every Sunday at Franklin High School Seattle Parks Department with community members and organizations continue to grow that passion for Seattle basketball. What originally started as a drop-in sports program for men over 30 years old, quickly became a space for all genders and generations. Spanning across three courts of games, it’s not uncommon to find a player walking into the gym with his bag, basketball, and pushing a stroller. That type of entourage is not only welcomed but encouraged by pseudo Commissioner and consultant Joseph Jessie of Love 2 Hoop.
“I’ve always believed that basketball was a tool to teach life lessons. Every Sunday we’re essentially creating a space for people to learn community lessons through basketball games,” says Jessie. “It’s not uncommon to have a 40 year old, 30 year old, and 20 year old all on the same team learning how to communicate with each other. Respect has been the biggest lesson we’ve been teaching as of late. More women are showing up too, which I love to see.”
As the Sundays continue, the attendance at The Run continues to grow. It’s not uncommon to show up around 2 o’clock and find fifty of the area’s better accomplished players all playing. While in the stands are their girlfriends, husbands, children and friends. Basketball has always been a way to bring the community together in Seattle and The Run continues to keep that tradition alive.