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For many African-American men, basketball is more than a game — it’s a way of life. A new book claims that basketball is even a religious experience for many Black men.

The spiritual relationship between Black men and basketball — specifically streetball — is detailed in the new book, Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball.

Onaje X. O. Woodbine recently sat down with NewsOne Now host Roland Martin to discuss the interesting connection between hoops and African-American inner-city culture.

Woodbine explained that James Naismith (the creator of basketball) was a Presbyterian minister, and created the sport as a way to “bring White men into the church.” According to Woodbine, the Black church later picked it up as a“stylized form of resistance to White supremacy.”

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Author Explains The Spiritual Connection Between Black Men & Basketball  was originally published on

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