Hoopin’. For many, basketball is a lifestyle, a culture influencer, and a beloved American sport. It’s an avenue for business, a road of opportunity for players, and a way for fans throughout the world to be united in their team’s colors.
But for some Asian Americans, hoopin’ has required jumping through hoops.
There’s a stereotype that’s often been associated with Asian Americans in basketball — a stereotype that’s affected the players of the Bloomfield Dream League, an all-Asian league in the Metro Detroit area, their whole lives.
“I play pretty much every day and it’s weird because when a lot of people are playing, no one wants to pick up an Asian kid,” Gonzalo Antonio, a Filipino-American who works at a consulting firm and is captain of one of the teams in the league, told NBC News. “They’re thinking, well, ‘Hey, he doesn’t look the part, doesn’t fit the mold, he probably can’t play, can’t hoop or anything.’ You have to constantly prove yourself and it’s kind of irritating.”