Badda Nation – Basketball Freestyler
Badda Nation – Basketball Freestyler
Badda Nation won the first Snake Basketball Freestyle Online Competition held on my Snake – Freestyle Basketball Facebook Group and earned a featured spot right here on the website. Badda tells about who he is, where he’s from, and how basketball freestyle has impacted his life in many ways. I think he really captures what it is to be a basketball freestyler in the memories and feelings he shares here. I have to say I’m glad he found basketball freestyle (or freeestyle basketball found him), because I consider him to be one of the most creative, skilled and entertaining basketball freestylers in the world. But enough of what I think, I’ll allow Badda to tell you his freestyle story instead.
Who is Badda Nation – Basketball Freestyler?
My name is Flavio Baddarìa, also known as Badda Nation, since I performed in almost every city of my country during my first DA MOVE summer tour. At the beginning my nickname was Beat Badda, because I started freestyling just because of my passion for this wonderful discipline.
I am 20 years old and I live on a small hill called Montevecchia, not so far from Milan, Italy. It’s a very nice, quiet and relaxing place, which is perfect for someone who has a full life like me: I work as a freestyle show performer with the Da Move Crew and I am studying to become interpreter at the university in Milan, which is a nice city full of events, where you never get bored. Some years ago, I wanted to go abroad for my studies, but I decided to stay in Italy because of the Da Move guys, who started performing when I was only 8 years old. I’ve always been a fan of them, especially because they have always been working a lot and growing up as one of the biggest European freestyle realities.
How Did Badda Begin Basketball Freestyle?
I started training as a freestyler in 2006, when I was 14 years old. I used to play basketball all day and all night long. It’s my favorite sport and I’ve always loved to play it…one day my best friend Riccardo bought me a present: it was a ticket to watch the Harlem Globetrotters in Milan. So I went there to check out what those guys were doing…their show was very nice and extremely funny and I really enjoyed it. During the half time break I decided not to go anywhere, because something incredible was happening in the middle of that basketball court: there were some guys who were making tricks with some silver shining balls. It was six years ago and the freestyle level wasn’t as high as it is now, but I was amazed and shocked from those rolls, spins and handles. Those guys were part of a crew called DA MOVE, so I googled it when I went back home and I downloaded some videos from their website. One of them was showing the real Harlem Globetrotters filming the Italian freestylers with their own cameras, saying that they were good, so they really had to be good because as you know, the Globetrotters are legends in this environment.
So this is how I started getting crazy for basketball freestyle and I immediately started to practice everywhere I could: at the playground, at the gym before and after the basketball practice, at home, in the streets and so on. The best thing of it was the reaction of the people who were looking at me while practicing. It took just a few for me to understand that being a freestyler means more than “making tricks”. Being a freestyler means being able to communicate with the crowd in front of you, showing everything about you, your personality and your current feelings. Don’t ask me why, I just know that I love it. I started understanding what my aims were and the principal one was to start performing. Yes, I used to train a lot, but I’ve also been lucky…one day, I was playing normal basketball at the “Under 16’s All Star Game” (in Italy, if you play in Under 16 category, it means that you play that sport with people who are maximum 16 years old), and the Da Moves performed before the finals…after their show, their speaker announced that we were about to watch a freestyle contest…I don’t remember what happened…I just know that I didn’t want just to watch it and that day, I won my first freestyle contest! Here is the video in a very bad quality…you will see me after 50 seconds:
Those claps…those shouts…those people who were heroes for me, talking to me, telling me that I did a good job…it was the best day of my life…the day when I started to dream because I understood that everything was possible with will and practice.
Before starting my career, I used to upload videos on YouTube. It was a funny way how to practice and to involve my friends in what I was doing, but the main reason why I was doing it was that I wanted to show that I was training, training and training again. YouTube gave me some more motivations and nice advice to improve my skills: it was a lot different than now…not everybody is going to understand it, but it was more hip hop than it is now…not only for music, but as a community.
Who Are Badda’s Basketball Freestyle Influences?
Besides the Italian scene which was pretty big at that time, I used to watch videos of the Koreans Drop and Grip from Out of Bounce, Bavo, the talented young guy from Belgium, Snake, probably the most creative that I’ve ever seen, the WOTS crew from the Netherlands, Streetflavour from Spain, Tommy Baker, who was so technical but smooth as hell and others.
Everything I see, hear, touch and feel inspire me and has influence on my freestyle…freestyle is awesome because everyone does it in a different and personal way, showing a lot of himself…I love to read, to discover new cultures, to watch other freestylers, either basketball and not basketball freestylers, to travel, to communicate and a lot of other things.
You know what? I am so jealous about the japanese situation because they have a lot of freestylers and a great organization that allows them to take part into some different national contests every year. Much respect for them…I definitely have to go there somewhen, it has to be crazy!
Badda Nation On How He Comes Up With So Many Creative Moves
Thank you [Snake] for your compliment about my creativity…it comes from two things in my opinion: to create new tricks, you need to train a lot and to keep your mind open…the freestyle discipline, especially the kind of freestyle that I do, is more practiced with your brain, rather than your body. [These] words [are] coming from a technical kind of freestyler, so it means that for other freestylers it can be different.
How Does Badda Practice His Basketball Freestyle?
You know what? I am so jealous about the japanese situation because they have a lot of freestylers and a great organization that allows them to take part into some different national contests every year. Much respect for them…I definitely have to go there sometime, it has to be crazy!
I practice every time I can. I try to train at least one hour every day while I’m both working and studying, but my method of training is: you train until the moment when your body and your brain start shouting “PLEASE, STOP IT, WE ARE EXHAUSTED!”
What Makes Badda Nation Continue With Basketball Freestyle
Freestyle is a big and important part of my life. I practice and perform as a passion. Of course I’m earning from it, because otherwise it would be impossible to work with it, but if it was only for money, this wouldn’t be the perfect job for me. I love freestyling and I still don’t know why, but I keep doing it. It gave me the chance to meet a lot of crazy people and visit a lot of wonderful places…it saved my life when I was about to give up in it and it kept me away from bad things like drugs and so on. I owe a lot to it. Really. I also go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week because you need to be in shape while you are in front of the crowd because the kids will consider you as a model or a hero and they want to become like you…of course it’s good to be in shape and that’s it, but that’s the main reason why I do it.
What Basketball Freestyle Gear Does Badda Nation Like?
As I always say, freestyling means communication. This is why I love to freestyle not in basketball outfits, but in jeans and sneakers. I remember when I flew to Poland for my first international contest…it was in the middle of a 3on3 basketball tournament and during it, everybody was shaved, nice, clean and wearing basketball shoes and shorts…I was the only one in jeans, dirty sneakers, long hair and beard, and I was jumping and shouting because I was so excited. My favorite basketball gears to wear are the ones who represent your current situation as a human being at best at the moment. Here is one of the videos of that day:
Badda Nation’s Favorite Basketball Freestyle Videos
To be honest, I’m not a fan of videos because I think that meeting in person with a freestyler is a lot better…especially now, when a lot of people make videos in their bedroom and want people to comment that they are the best…(it was just an example, i don’t hate nobody!)
Badda Nation’s Biggest Freestyle Goals
At the moment, my biggest dream and goal is to become a professional basketball freestyler. With the word “professional” I mean that I want to let it become my full job and live with it, so I will be able to live 24 hours a day with it.
An other thing that I would love to do is to perform in a lot of other countries where I’ve never been. Me and my crew travel around Italy every week. It’s a wonderful country, but I would like to try something new other than all of the countries where I’ve already been! I’ve recently been in Budapest (Hungary), where I performed two times with the Jamnastyx crew. It was crazy! Someone is editing a video, but at the moment I only have some pictures…here are some of them:
And this is a picture that I like because it shows that being part of a crew doesn’t only mean that you perform with some guys, but that you share your life and passion with them, and work a lot to reach a common goal:
As you can tell, Badda Nation has an enormous passion and great work ethic for basketball freestyle. These two things are important for any basketball freestyler. Based on these factors and the success he’s already had I think it is good bet to say he’ll achieve his goal of becoming a full-time freestyler. Thanks for sharing your story Badda Nation and good luck with your future in freestyle, not that you’ll need it 😉