It's a given that Filipinos love basketball, it's basically our national sport. But how did it all start? Just like anything else, it only had to start with one person as the catalyst to bring forward a tradition and bond that will span across generations. NBA's Toronto Raptors highlighted Filipino heritage in their latest City Edition Jersey video that centered around Filipinos' love for the game, but also what the game means to a family.

The piece was shines a light on the love Filipinos have with basketball. Toronto along with many other basketball cities have a huge Filipino following that brings us together even if we're apart. The video mentions so many relatable memories we all have with our town family like when a living room becomes an arena with all the cheers, high fives, and food going around. The love for basketball all started with one who cared enough to pass it down and now everyone takes part either as a spectator, player, coach, or even referee, it's more than a game.

Poet/Writer Jillian Maniquis wrote and narrated the video and said how honored she was to do this project because she saw her own family through the featured Taino Family:

“Just like the Taino’s, I grew up with a big extended family and my childhood was filled with weekends spent together with them. Trae shared her concept with me, centered around Mama Taino, and how so many generations after her love basketball the same way she does. I loved that visual: one person being the catalyst for so many things - a love of togetherness, family, basketball. I wrote it as an ode to Filipino families who have a similar shared experience of watching basketball games together, and even just celebrating together. I was lucky to get inspiration from the Taino family as well, sharing their favourite memories of their Mama and how she brings them all together in this way."

Maniquis grew up knowing how prominent basketball is to Filipino culture and how it brought people together. "Whether through charity games across the city, Filipino Heritage Nights at Raptors games, even when visiting the Philippines and getting to see all the courts always busy no matter where you are. I think that’s what the video says to people, that basketball as a whole is not just a sport or a game, it’s a feeling of togetherness and connectedness.”

Do you have a favorite memory at a game or gone to a Filipino Heritage Night? It's one of the coolest experiences you'll have at a sporting event!

Stay posted on upcoming Filipino Heritage Nights at: www.myx.global/filipinoheritagenight

Check out the incredible team who worked on the video!

DP: @theodemeke_
Producer Director: @n.trae
Co-producer: @m.taino
Cam Assist: @steeeeni@anthony.nusca
Grip: @dexters_z34
Gaffer: @shpuntsz
Swing: @satrioprahasto
Editor: @hwindd
Score + Audio: @beatsbyjstn@prodbykxng@prince_of_summer
Words: beingjillian

Cover Photo Credit: Toronto Raptors Twitter

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