About this submission
There’s a unique beauty to the simplicity of pickup basketball, between strangers who may only know each other by their trash talk or jump shot. For me, it has become a form of coping with day-to-day stress, a space of release and expression, yet also unlikely companionship. This sparked my interest in streetball as an unconventional form of self-therapy, specifically in the context of masculinity, where traditional self-help methods are often stigmatized. AYO, CHECK UP! finds two casual hoopers whose respective internal struggles manifest in an over-competitive, highly physical one-on-one, a toxic projection of the issues they’re unwilling to face.