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Slam Dunk in the Cargo Hold

Basketball? You can (sometimes) even play it on board a container ship at Hapag-Lloyd…

Some of the world’s best basketball players learned to dribble and shoot on the streets or in small “cages”, like the legendary West 4th Street Courts in New York’s Greenwich Village.

The team on board the “Bremen Express” have now shown that a container ship can also serve as a basketball arena. To help pass the time while waiting for a place in the dry dock in Qingdao, China, the crew took advantage of the empty cargo holds to have a tournament – and no doubt to perform plenty of slam dunks (when a player slams the ball down through the hoop from above).

A cargo hold on the starboard side of the 8,749-TEU ship became a makeshift court and “one of the nine team members brought a basketball with them”, explains Jason James Toreno, deck officer on board the “Bremen Express”.

The four teams of three players then got down to business on the court, displaying both skill and commitment. Whether a lowly sailor or the captain, each player surely picked up a few cuts and bruises on the tough steel floor during the fast-paced game.

However: “Fun triumphs over pain,” says Toreno, describing the motto of the sporting encounter, which “created a great atmosphere and enabled the crew members to bond with each other.” The fact that Captain Lukasz Hajduk led his three-man team to victory in the tournament was no doubt just a coincidence...

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