During the offseason, players get the opportunity to play in Pro Am tournaments in different settings such as the Elite 24 games on the Brooklyn Bridge to the college Carrier Classics that were played on an aircraft carrier.
What you may have never seen before is a basketball court in the snow constructed in the middle of a two-mile-high glacier that is 11,000 feet above sea level on the highest glacier in Switzerland!
Recently, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker and Swiss watchmaker Tissot hosted a 5-on-5 basketball game between Parker’s French team ASVEL and a group of Swiss league basketball players on top of the Aletsch glacier in the Bernese Alps.
Plenty of spectators gathered to watch the game and take in the sights,while sitting in the brisk, just above freezing level weather . The players also had to wear sunglasses to take part in the game, wearing a little bit more than your typical basketball gear.
I’m always up for new challenges, so when Tissot, my long-term partner suggested I play a game at the top of Europe, I thought it was a great opportunity to do something exceptional. We don’t often get to play often in such extreme conditions.
This was a big change from the last two months where Parker played for the French National team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he had all of the sun and warmth he could hope for.
The game wasn’t as competitive as your typical NBA matchup, but it was enough to entertain the attending fans. The Swiss don’t get much attention but do boasts a couple of native NBA players in Thabo Sefolosha and Clint Capela.
The scenery was almost surreal, seeing a basketball court sitting in the middle of the snow with only mountains surrounding it. It looks exactly like a photoshopped picture of a fantasy game.
Parker can scratch this off of his bucket list, and boast that he is the only NBA player to ever play a game in the snow on top of a large mountain, if that counts for anything.
He also recently celebrated the birth of his second child with his wife Axelle just prior to travelling to Rio, and completed his journey in international competition after being eliminated by Spain in the quarterfinals.
The NBA season is right around the corner, and Parker has returned to normal altitude to prepare for the upcoming season in training camp beginning September 27th.
The Spurs will play their first preseason game on October 3rd in Phoenix.