Never Done Writing Your Future
Like a flower in the desert, Tam Tam Basketball is more than a basketball community. It's a symbol of hope for immigrants who found belonging and togetherness in the unifying game of basketball.
Promise, Favor, Shadrach, Wisdon and Blessing. Five young athletes, five basketball journeys with a similar background and inspiration. Stories that resonate with Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers, from Nigeria to Europe, from an immigrant condition to a refuge found in sport. For these kids born and raised in Castel Volturno, south of Italy, the court functions as a haven—a place to express who they are without words, without titles, without judgement.
"Playing with people you love makes you comfortable, makes you happy, makes you enjoy the moment". Shadrach
TAM TAM HOUSE
Massimo Antonelli, Tam Tam founder, former pro player and many other things, coaches 1,500 kids every year. However, it was never easy for him to find a home for Tam Tam. After being hosted at the Pineta Mare school in Villaggio Coppola, the training sessions had to be moved to an abandoned outdoor playground. That's when Massimo feared he would lose some of the kids. However, something unexpected happened: more kids started to join the team. They wanted to play, even when it was raining. Institutions and sport federations started to pay attention to this ambitious non-profit association and years of work made possible the realisation of a dream: refurbishing an indoor gym entirely dedicated to this project. Renamed Tam Tam House, this place welcomes anyone who believes in the power of equal opportunities, solidarity and collaboration in sport.
"After I met Tam Tam, I learnt to not give up. To keep on trying, to do more, to learn more, to be better than before". Blessing
According to Italian law, children of migrants can't play organised sport at all as they don't have a right to citizenship from birth. Foreigners in their own country, they fought together as one Tam Tam team for a chance to compete, and like Giannis, they showed their worth and never settled to finally get recognised. The fight is not over but basketball remains the most powerful form of expression for Tam Tam to keep writing a new future for many more kids to come, in Castel Volturno, and in the rest of Italy.
"Tam Tam can grow bigger in the future. It gave the opportunity for children like us to play basketball and if that could happen around the world, I think that the world would be a better place". Wisdon
Film Director: Alkis Papastathopoulos
Photographer: Francesco Bonato