The Converse Open Gym program continues to create a buzz, events in Atlanta, Chicago, Philly and Boston have drawn up to 500 kids on the regular to play pickup ball. But this past weekend in Miami, an all-time Open Gym record was set when 1,031 ballplayers took over the courts at Miami Dade College. Between that and the Atlanta Open Gym on the same day drawing close to 500 participants, it was Converse’s most successful Open Gym weekend so far.
Hawks forward Mo Evans dropped by the Open Gym in Atlanta on his day off between games against the Jazz and Timberwolves. Along with taking questions from the kids and overseeing some of the all-day pickup games, Evans also gave away pairs of the Converse Star Player EVO sneakers to participating kids at BEST Academy, and was presented with a custom Open Gym/Hawks-inspired kicks designed by Sole Plus. Mo then got on the court and played “P-I-G” with four kids and suffered a brief scare before winning. One kid knocked down a pair of deep threes that had Mo on the ropes, but the eighth-year pro pulled out the W.
It’s not hard to figure out why basketball is growing in popularity in Miami, and that growth was on display Saturday when over 1,000 kids showed up for Open Gym. Free haircuts and Star Player EVOs were given away, and the Miami kids packed the gym to play ball all day.
UPCOMING CONVERSE OPEN GYM EVENTS
Nov. 20 — Atlanta (Morehouse College) and Chicago (ATTACK Athletics)
Dec. 4 — Atlanta (Georgia Tech University)
Dec. 18 — Philadelphia (Girard College) and Atlanta (BEST Academy)