Shortly after signing his first NBA contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer, Queens-native Hamidou Diallo put the finishing touches on a plan that had been in the works for years. With the help of longtime mentor Rob Diaz and support from some local vendors, Diallo’s vision became a reality and Hami Day was born.
The inaugural event was held on the courts across from the LeFrak City housing complex where Diallo grew up but moved to Hoffman Park this year to accommodate a larger crowd.
Queens responded accordingly, coming out strong and showing even more love for the 2019 event. Hoffman’s high grounds, sidelines and portable stands -supplied by Diallo- were packed to the brim with young fans who injected enough energy to keep the park buzzing throughout the day.
Local products Hassan Diarra, who also hails from Queens, and Terrence Clarke brought the fans to their feet during the HS game and also got a chance to run with the College/NBA products in the event’s final showdown.
Diallo, the 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Champion, spent the day playing host to a handful of delegates from Mali and his parents’ home nation of Guinea when he wasn’t passing out pizza, t-shirts, sneakers, hats and other gifts to his young fans.
Saturday’s turnout almost guarantees that Hami Day organizers will be looking for a new home yet again next summer, especially since Diallo’s role with OKC is expected to expand in a similar style during the ‘19-‘20 season.
And nobody in Queens will be upset about that!
Diallo played host to a group of delegates from Mali and his parents home country of Guinea