(upbeat music) – It’s a culture in New York City. Basketball is in every
borough, in every community. Basketball hoops are a big part about the youth of New York City. You can go to a park by
yourself with a basketball. You don’t need nobody else. You can go with two people,
you can go with four people, and you know, it keeps
the kids off the street, keeps them maybe out
of trouble and it might give them something to look forward to. – [Voiceover] John and
his fellow blacksmiths of the New York City Parks
Department make and repair everything from lock
boxes to lifeguard chairs. But some of their most
icon work is hand-making the basketball hoops in many of the city’s parks and playgrounds. (metal clanging) This is the long start
that’s actually the rim. It’s 5/8 inches in diameter,
it’s 58 9/16 in length. Put initial bend in the first four inches then we put it in the roller and roll it. (upbeat music) Every one of these hoops are made like they’re individual hoops. You know, none of them
are exactly the same. I believe there’s a value in making them because the quality is much
better than what you can buy. We made one of these originally back in, I think back in 1994, ’95. Over the years I probably
made over, maybe 1000 rims. This is your final product, New York City Parks Department basketball rim. – [Voiceover] Over the course of a year, John and other blacksmiths
craft and replace up to 100 rims throughout
the city’s courts. They’re made by city workers and they’re being played by city kids. What’s more New York than that? I watch college basketball
and you always hear all these colleges around the country, this kid is from Brooklyn,
this kid is from the Bronx. So probably in their playing
days, someplace along the way, they all played
on New York City rims. And it probably was a help in the process of them making what they were.