Lions players discuss the launch and their work to use basketball as a way to strengthen communities in London.
The Fresh Prince announced the partnership with the London Lions over the weekend and Monday’s lunch at Selfridges say the players modelling the Bel Air athletics label, as well as discussing the philosophy of the Lions and basketball itself.
The partnership with Bel Air Athletics represents another major milestone in the London Lions’ quest to bring basketball into mainstream British culture. The launch comes just one week after the Lions participated in the launch party for AJ Tracey‘s long awaited second album, ‘Flu Game’, in which they took to the court with some of UK Grime’s biggest names and artists including Headie One, Stefflon Don and Wes Nelson.
Now the Lions are making major steps to raise the profile of basketball in London and across Britain, and their recent collaborations with Will Smith and AJ Tracey would suggest that they are well on their way to achieving their goal.
London Lions Point Guard Jordan Spencer on the Lions’ philosophy and the power of basketball:
“Our philosophy is togetherness, I think. After practice, everyone has to dap each other up. I think we’re just really tight-knit. I’ve played for this team since I was 11 years old for the juniors and it’s like a family. I played elsewhere and it didn’t feel the same.
“There are amazing opportunities in basketball. You can play throughout education, earn scholarships in America, and also just get the opportunity to play professionally. Even if you want to play at a community level, there are so many opportunities to progress in it.”
Will Smith said of the partnership:
“Bel-Air Athletics was created out of love for the idea of the come-up, for anybody and everybody that could relate to stepping into new environments, new challenges, new spaces and making them your own. The most important thing for us as a brand has always been putting your own individual spin on style and what it means to put your own flavour into fashion. We also wanted to make sure that the brand reflects our ethos of supporting communities and helping to inspire on an individual level. Then, Bel-Air Athletics was born.
“The entire Bel-Air team is thrilled to grow our global imprint and continue to tell our story worldwide, and there’s no better place to do that than within Selfridges stores. We are very excited to share this bold new collection with fans and Selfridges customers.”