In his series Basketball Courts of the Philippines, UK photographer Richard James Daniels documents the South East Asian country's obsession with the popular American sport. He has spent the last 25 years based in the region, and decided to start taking pictures of various courts to understand why basketball is more popular than football.
He explained: "After a bit of research It came as quite a shock to discover that basketball was introduced to the Philippines in 1900 – only 10 years after it was invented in America. A decade later and the Philippines had won its first gold medal at the Far Eastern Games."
"My photo essay started off as a way to find out more about the Filipino's love of basketball through literally shooting hoops, specifically the grassroots courts of the mostly impoverished villages in the southern Philippines – the Visayan region where the new President Duterte and his main supporters come from."
Richard also discovered some fascinating back stories to add to his series, including something called Hoop Politics: "The local and regional politicians sponsor and advertise on backboards and also use dilapidated hoops as bargaining chips when elections come around, for instance – vote for me and I'll buy you a new basketball hoop. That's why there are quite a few hoop-less shots in my series and also backboards with politicians names painted on."
The project is still ongoing with over 200 courts and hoops documented so far, together with sub sets of the series including a focus on backboards. If you want to see more of Richard's work, visit www.richardjamesdaniels.com.
Via direct submission | All images courtesy of Richard James Daniels