LED basketball courts that draw virtual court lines, and track players movement was first launched as a concept by Nike House of Mamba in 2014, but Japanese professional basketball teams are leading introducing the interactive courts into real life tournaments.
The Nike House of Mamba LED basketball court showcased in China last year was mainly designed for practice and instructing players, but the new court used in Japan will actually serve professional basketball games.
Alvark Tokyo and Ryukyu Golden Kings played on the new LED panel lit basketball courts at B. League’s opening game Thursday, reported Japan Times.
“I’d been feeling the same as I did in the past years,” Alvark big man Joji Takeuchi said, when asked what kind of state of mind he would be in before he took the court for the opening contest. “But I saw the LED court and everything, and I’m nervous now. However, this is a historic opening game and we would like to show our Alvark basketball.”
The teams played two-game series at Yoyogi on the LED court, which draws virtual logos, lines, and keeps track of players scores in real time.
Japan’s basketball league told reporters this pilot basketball court is a first in the global professional basketball games.
Alvark’s newly acquired former NBA Diante Garrett shares some of his thoughts about playing his first game in Japan on the LED court.
“That was the first time I’ve seen the court like that in the States or in the NBA arenas,” Garrett, who played for the Utah Jazz in the 2013-14 season, said of the court. “Really, I haven’t seen anything like that besides the All-Star Game in Brooklyn (the All-Star Saturday Night was held at the Barclays Center in 2015). Their court kind of lit up but just like for the commercial times and stuff like that, not (during) the whole game. So this will be a new experience for me.”