While most people his age go to Siam Square to shop, watch movies or get their hair done, 19-year-old Santasak Amornmaneekul (Saint) is there to play basketball. When he has time off his studies, the young streetballer turns the footpath under BTS Siam into his playground, flaunting his smooth moves to impress the crowds.  

Why do you play here?
I used to play with my high school friends at a court in front of Siam Discovery, but lately they haven’t set up the hoop. Also my friends have now scattered around to different universities, so it’s hard to get together for a game. I still want to practice my skills so I decided to play streetball here instead.  

How often do you play here?
Usually once a week. I am a freshman at Ramkhamhaeng University and I have to help with the family business. That’s a lot to manage at the same time. 

Do you get nervous?
Absolutely. Playing alone in front of lots of people can be nerve-racking, but I think I’ve gotten better now.

Are your parents OK with you playing streetball for money?
They are totally supportive. Actually, I started playing basketball because of my parents. They encouraged me to pick up the ball because they wanted me to be tall.

How do you improve your skills?
Streetball is different from basketball: with basketball, teamwork is the key. You need to work with your friends and score, so passing, catching and shooting are the most important basics. But for streetball, you need to learn new moves and tricks. That’s why I always look up clips from the internet and try them out. 

Your signature moves?
I am a good dribbler, so I guess my best move is the between-the-legs dribble.  

Do you want to be a professional basketball player?
Nah. I mean that would be great, but it’s not a realistic goal. Our country doesn’t support sports as much as it should. There are very few courts for us to play, and most of them charge a lot of money. Like the Red Bull X-Park on Sathorn, it used to be free, but now it charges like B200/hour. If we want a free spot to play, we have to go to a school and ask to share the court with the students there. So basketball is better off as a hobby. My future goal is to have a master degree and then open up my own business.


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