On a nice day, the tennis courts are fully occupied, games of soccer are happening, frisbees are being thrown, the playground is full and of course the centrepiece of the Carlton Gardens, the basketball court, which has pick up games happening on each end of the court!
The basketball court is like one you'd picture to be in Central Park, New York - with chain nets, unique backboards, an unforgiving concrete surface and stunning park surroundings.
After the game, speaking with one of the guys, he showed me their facebook group, I was keen to join to share some images taken from the day and also maybe get another game in some time.
What I noticed, this is more than a group, they've built a community that is all about meeting up and talking ball and playing ball at the Carlton Gardens, (or Rathdowne Street when raining).
From joining the group this is where I noticed something really cool was in the works, not just the community they've built, but an upcoming event that's completely inclusive to everyone, a tournament called 'King of the Court' consisting of pick up games in the Carlton Gardens, completely curated and organised.
I wanted to find out more and get to know who's behind the curation and idea...
Mitch Lang, is 21 years old, moved to Carlton about three years ago and lives and breathes basketball.
Give us a low down on your basketball life:
So you've definitely been playing for a minute at a high standard - do you prefer playing in a pick game style or a formalised game?
Ha yeah that’s the beauty of team sports, getting the W together. Are you still playing club ball?
I only just came across the basketball community in Carlton and love how inclusive it is. Is it just a turn up and game on mentality?
It’s a great thing to be able to drop a line and in 15 mins be playing a 4 on 4, with people you might not know so well, but are like-minded. So we know you’ve put together a tournament called ‘King of the Court’ when did the idea come about?
And you run this solo?
Huge effort, and it doesn't surprise me the community you’re in are willing to help to progress it. What have been the challenges along the way?
Well if I’m being honest right now it’s just the weather hahaha.
As they are outdoor courts a successful day is really reliant on the weather and being a Melbournian I’m sure you know how easily it can change haha. Honestly, when it comes to basketball it really represents itself by the players and the talent.
Promoting the event is probably the most difficult, but I know this will get easier as the community around it helps the event expand.
It’s just a beautiful thing to watch on the day, individuals who might not have even met, getting together for the love of basketball and showing great sportsmanship all day.
It looks like it’s got some big hype and interest so promotion doesn’t seem to be an issue! How does the tournament work fixture wise how many players per team?
With the top 8 teams after this going through to finals.
The Grand Final being first to 24 in honour of the Black Mamba!
It would only be right, nice tribute! Do you plan on holding ‘King of the Court’ regularly throughout the year?
The frequency is not yet known but I'm thinking at least about 3, if the hype and interest continues the way it’s going!
We look forward to seeing the progress! So what time will tip off be Saturday in Carlton Gardens?