Since its inception back in 2003, Quai 54 in Paris has grown to be the biggest streetball tournament on the planet. But the annual "Streetball World Championship" is more than just a baller's paradise. It is a celebration of basketball diversity, of West African roots and its massive influence on Parisian and French culture.
This year we sent our own two KICKZ family members and "She Got Game" ambassadors Lia and Senta to Paris to take a closer look at Quai from a female perspective. After all, for the second time the high-level competition featured not only a men's but a women's tournament, too, with teams coming from all over Europe.
24-year-old Lia (IG @liaxke) hails from Göttingen, Germany, and currently plays center for Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She's also a 3x3 national player for Team Germany. Her "little sis" 16-year-old Senta (IG @1sentamichelle0) plays point guard for Rhein-Main Baskets and was a member of Germany's junior national team until she tore her ACL - but will be back soon. Both have been featured in our female ballers photo shoots in the past and are team KICKZ to the core. So we knew when we handed over control to our IG (@kickz93) and TikTok (@kickz1993) for the weekend our channels were in good hands. From ballers for ballers.
Located right at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, Quai welcomed more than 8.000 spectators, illustrious guests, prominent french musical guests, and NBA superstars like Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson and Rudy Gobert. Lia and Senta got right in the action and after Friday's short and sweet meet & greet with Luka, on Saturday they mingled with players and spectators alike, taking in the games under the hot Parisian summer sun and driving our content from courtside.
Their real time to shine, however, came on Sunday. Scheduled for an exclusive face-to-face sit-down with New Orlean's Pelicans star Zion Williamson, we took the girls to Nike's France HQ at the Champs-Éllysées. There, they got a quick office tour and soon after it was their turn to ask Zion some tough questions.
Watch the video for a complete run-down of how things went, but suffice to say Zion complimented their outfit, had some super interesting views on women's basketball and dropped a bomb when it was time to answer the mother of all internet-questions: "Does pineapple belong on pizza?".
Back at the tournament location, French team "La Fusion" won the men's trophy, preventing a back-to-back title for "Le Cartel". For the ladies the trophy went to "I can Play" who beat Diarra Academy in the women's final before the event got its official closing with an all-out mini-music festival featuring US-Rapstar DaBaby and several prominent French artists that brought the crowd to its feet way past sundown.
For Lia and Senta it was a glimpse of a future that could be. When asked if she would like to play in the Quai 54 someday, Lia just smiled, eyes beaming. "Yes, absolutely!"