Quai 54

Quai 54: the world’s most famous street-ball tournament

Table of contents

In 2024, Quai 54 will celebrate its nineteenth edition. This street-ball tournament is a global success. Teams come from all over the world to compete against the cream of street basketball. Every year, NBA players and other celebrities attend this unusual event in Paris. Here’s everything you need to know about Quai 54, the world’s most famous streetball tournament.

The founder of Quai 54

Hammadoun Sidibé is the founder of Quai 54. This man is passionate about basketball and music. He discovered the NBA and Michael Jordan in 1991 during a stay in New York with an uncle. On his return to France, he quickly took to the game. So much so, in fact, that he built up an impressive network, including a host of professional basketball personalities. In 2003, the first edition of Quai 54 took place at the playground of 54 quai Michelet in Levallois. Over 1,200 people took part, including the public, staff and players. In view of the event’s success, Nike became a partner. It provided sports equipment and an initial cheque for 25,000 euros to help finance and professionalize the tournament. Jordan Brand took over in 2009.

Over the years, Hammadoun Sidibé has become a major figure in French street-ball. But also worldwide! Quai 54 is now an international benchmark for all organizers of basketball tournaments… Don’t just bring NBA stars, actors, producers and American artists to your event! Every year, Quai 54 fills up with spectators well before the big day. Since the event was made free of charge, the ticket office has been packed.

The most successful teams at Quai 54

Since its inception, Quai 54 has seen teams win the tournament on several occasions. The most successful French teams are La Fusion and La Relève.
On the women’s side, the most successful team is “El Palo”. They were the winners of the first edition of Quai 54 to include women’s teams.

Emblematic Quai 54 players

Amara Sy is probably Quai 54’s most emblematic player. He has taken part in the tournament more than a dozen times. As well as numerous victories. Just retired from the parquets, Sy was crowned 1 vs 1 World Champion in 2004. In fact, the 2023 edition could be his last Quai 54 as a player.

Other emblematic Quai 54 players include Steed Tchicamboud, Sacha Giffa, Georgi Joseph and Raphaël Desroses. Professional basketball players such as Lahaou Konate, Nobel Boungou-Colo, Jordan Aboudou, Andrew Albicy and Bandja Sy have also made several appearances. The new generation includes Sylvain Francisco, Jayson Tchicamboud, Kezza Giffa, Matthias Lessort and others.

Every year, one or more NBA basketball players come to score at Quai 54. Their presence increases people’s interest in the event tenfold. It’s not every day that the average person gets to see an NBA player in action. However, the presence of an NBA player on a team does not guarantee ultimate victory. You can find the list of NBA basketball players who took part in Quai 54.

The dunk contest, a global benchmark

Every year, Quai 54 organizers call on the best dunkers in the world. The legendary Kadour Ziani is on hand to advise the dunkers. But also to take part in their selection. The show is guaranteed, with the crème de la crème competing. Frenchman Guy Dupuy is a regular at the Quai 54 dunk contest. For a long time, he was considered the world’s best dunkeer. In 2023, four American dunkers will be vying for the trophy. They are Tony Crosby II, Christopher Spell, Tyler Currie and Anthony Hamilton Jr.

Sponsors of Quai 54

As with any major sporting event, Quai 54 has a number of sponsors. Without them, this summer basketball tournament would not be what it is today.

Jordan Brand

Quai 54’s most prestigious partner is Jordan Brand. As mentioned earlier, this brand has been associated with the Paris street-ball tournament since 2009. Through this partnership, Quai 54 organizers benefit from a number of advantages. Starting with exclusive equipment dedicated to the tournament (shirts, shorts and shoes). Jordan also provides an impressive address book. The latter enables the arrival of NBA athletes sponsored by the brand every year. What’s more, this partnership facilitates the on-stage production of famous American musical artists.

Each year, Jordan and Quai 54 collaborate to create a clothing line dedicated to the event. Mythical Air Jordan shoes are reissued in a specific colorway. Shirts, shorts and t-shirts are also marketed to the general public.

City of Paris

The City of Paris is also a partner of Quai 54. It enables the tournament to be staged in some of the French capital’s legendary venues. The Champ de Mars, the Trocadéro, the Place de la Concorde and the Palais de Tokyo have all been used. On each occasion, the Eiffel Tower is visible from the stands set up around the parquet floor. In 2023, Quai 54 will be held on the weekend of July 1 and 2.

Gorillas

Gorillas, a company specializing in home shopping delivery, has been a partner of Quai 54 since 2021. Its logo appears on the event’s website. In addition, the German company is title partner of the Quai 54 three-point competition. All the more reason for the company to raise its profile among street-ballers!

NBA basketball players who took part in Quai 54

Quai 54 is recognized as the world’s most popular streetball tournament. The prestigious Jordan Brand is associated with the event. What’s more, foreign teams from all over the globe make the trip to Paris every year. Although amateurs are not excluded from the competition, the majority of the teams are made up of professional basketball players. Some of them are even NBA players. Here are the NBA basketball players who took part in Quai 54.

Evan Fournier

As a player, Evan Fournier took part in Quai 54 once during his career. That was in 2017. At the time, the New York Knicks’ French-Algerian international had swelled the ranks of Team Yard. At the time, he was still playing for the Orlando Magic in the NBA. The offensive leader of Les Bleus assumed his status on the streetball court. He and his teammates reached the final of the tournament. However, the final was not held due to unfavorable weather conditions. As Quai 54 takes place in the open air, rain sometimes interrupts matches and show-cases.

Bismack Biyombo

Headlining the 2018 edition of Quai 54, Congolese interior Bismack Biyombo made a strong impression in the year he took part. Remained on the bench on the first day of competition, the current Phœnix Suns player took to the floor the following day. He didn’t need to force his talent to dominate his opponents. His “Child of Africa” team easily won the final 62-41. Biyombo graced the crowd with some big dunks.

Leandro Barbosa

Leandro Barbosa is one of the NBA basketball players who took part in Quai 54. He boasts one of the biggest CVs of any player to have graced the floor of this flagship event. Barbosa was crowned NBA champion with the Warriors in 2015. And this after being voted the League’s best sixth man in 2007. As a bonus, the Brazilian international guard is a showman. The Sao Paulo native was one of the fastest NBA basketball players of the 2000s. In 2019, at the age of 36, he made his only appearance at Quai 54. Barbosa and his Brazilian compatriots lost with honors in the competition final. His Streetopia team lost out to France’s La Fusion.

Boris Diaw

Boris Diaw is a French basketball legend. Retired from the NBA since the previous year, the former Swiss army knife and captain of the French national team teamed up with Bismack Biyombo in 2018. The two men had previously been teammates in the NBA, with Charlotte. Their partnership at the Quai 54 finals took the world by storm. A surprise guest of the tournament on the second day of competition, Diaw was warmly welcomed by the public.

Kevin Seraphin

The former French international with seven NBA seasons has announced his retirement from the professional game in 2020. This is due to recurring knee problems. During his American career, Kevin Seraphin played for the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers. Despite this, “Mister K” hasn’t given up on basketball. In fact, he could see himself attempting a comeback if his physical ailments leave him alone. It was no doubt with this in mind that he took part in Quai 54 in 2021. Seraphin is no longer the player he was when he played in the United States. However, he remains physically strong and dominant in the paint.

What about American NBA basketball players?

In the history of Quai 54, no American NBA basketball player has taken part in the tournament as a player. Every year, Jordan Brand sends one or more of its NBA ambassadors. Superstars such as Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Ray Allen, Russell Westbrook, Jayson Tatum and Scottie Pippen have already made a “special guest” appearance. The Nike subsidiary’s aim is to promote its brand and the event, for which it is the official equipment supplier. However, to date, no American star has donned a jersey or shorts to take to the court. The risk of injury is certainly present. But everyone would love to see a multiple NBA All-Star feel the leather live! Hope springs eternal… On his last visit in 2019, Kemba Walker hinted that we might see him in action on his next trip.

About the author
Picture of Alan Le Bolloch

Alan Le Bolloch

Alan is the founder and photographer of 3PTSHOT! For over 10 years, he has been sharing his passion for basketball on this blog. He regularly travels to the USA to cover NBA games. Alan is also the author of the book "Create a successful website: make a living from your passion and realize your dreams".