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Regina neighbourhood friend group using basketball to bring people together

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WATCH: A group of Regina friends have started a non-profit organization dedicated to bring people together through the game of basketball – Sep 12, 2021

What started as a fun side project for a group of friends, with the simple objective to play basketball on as many courts around the world as possible, has now blossomed into a non-profit Regina organization.

Buckets and Borders was established by twin brothers Justin and Brendan Lee in 2015 as a project to document basketball culture worldwide.

“The inspiration behind the concept is to bring people together through basketball,” said Justin.

That original focus manifested into improving one of the local basketball courts in Regina, which had its grand opening on Sept. 12.

“The objective of the organization now is to improve communities. The first community we’re doing that in, is the one that we grew up in and love very much – the courts that we grew up playing on which we call “The Cage,” he said.

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“The Cage” is located in the Lakeview neighbourhood of Regina behind Sheldon Williams Collegiate High School.

The location required a lot of work and has come a long way thanks to a full team effort including that of Ben Simaluk, who owns a small construction company in Regina.

“We were able to do everything on the construction side of things from top to bottom, starting with the brand new LED lighting down to the new chain link fencing. And then it was our team and community members that installed 300 gallons of exterior paint,” said Simaluk.

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In the years following its inception, the Buckets and Borders team has been all over the world to play the game of basketball, including stops in Albania, Nepal, Peru and Argentina.

“We shared experiences with people who speak different languages or have different backgrounds but basketball is always the common language. There’s a really iconic and amazing streetball scene in Paris, we’ve really had some cool experiences in Eastern Europe and also Nepal,” said Justin.

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The Paris court is also a personal favourite of Simaluk’s.

“Without a doubt, the most iconic court is the one in front of the Eiffel Tower,” said Simaluk.

According to the group, basketball is a universal language and brings people together.

“Regardless of age, race, religion — come on out and play hoops and hang out as a community because when we do, great things like this project can happen, and that was our vision,” said Simaluk.

Buckets and Borders says they have lots of future plans in the works, so stay tuned for more.

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