NIKE LED basketball court designboom
NIKE ‘house of mamba’ LED basketball court by AKQA
all images courtesy of NIKE



japan GOOD DESIGN award: AKQA teamed up with NIKE to develop a full-sized LED basketball court for the NIKE RISE basketball tour that is currently taking place across china. the court utilizes motion-tracking and reactive LED visualization to train and challenge the players through authentic drills based on kobe bryant’s own training.


bryant recently trained with 30 players from across china on the court in shanghai during the mentor phase of the RISE tour – which offered young chinese basketball players the chance to compete at the NIKE world basketball festival in barcelona next month.


NIKE ‘house of mamba’ LED basketball court




AKQA worked closely with NIKE, rhizomatiks from japan and wispark from china to to produce the LED court. the planning and designing process of the house of mamba and the court it was crucial to design a space inspired by kobe (AKA the black mamba), given his eye for product design and architecture, and his unparalleled competitiveness on the basketball court. the entire design was directed by his persona and performance, and with the NIKE product line in mind.

NIKE LED basketball court designboom
bryant mentoring a young player at the house of mamba in shanghai




the court took roughly a month to produce from initial design and technical build through to the fabrication of the space and testing. it is made of LED screens and equipped with motion-tracking technology that allow the rise players to follow floor commands lit up on the surface. computers can plug directly into the court to control the screens, bringing instructional graphics, video content, live feed and player-tracking to life. through the reactive sensors and software it was possible to track the players’ movements, their speed and velocity, change of direction, time and completed drills during the training and events.

NIKE LED basketball court designboom




the NIKE ‘house of mamba’ LED basketball court consists of the following layers:
• base layer – a wooden platform to give the court a natural bounce
• led layer – over a thousand interlaced LED screens, approx. 60cm x 60cm
• glass layer – a layer of thick glass sits on top of the LED screens
• adhesive surface – a real basketball playing surface covers the glass layer


the court has the ability to quickly and seamlessly transform into various training scenarios. with its program and reactive capacities the drills can be switched instantly and there are no limitations in terms of content displayed on this smart playing surface.


for the house of mamba event the court ran five bespoke drills inspired by kobe’s training and playing style, enabling the rise players to develop and measure their skills with counsel from NIKE and kobe along the way. each drill used reactive sensors, instructional graphics and artificial intelligence to intuitively react to a player, making each drill individual.

NIKE ‘house of mamba’ LED basketball court

the court set up ready for a training drill

bryant with some of the young hopefuls

three players from the 30 will head to barcelona next month





the interactive LED basketball court by NIKE is a winner of the 2015 GOOD DESIGN gold award, presented during tokyo designers week.


the GOOD DESIGN award was founded in 1957 by the japanese ministry of international trade and industry and is hosted by the japan institute for design promotion. the ‘g-mark’ emblem reflects comprehensive design values and principles that aim to enrich lives, industries and society. 






see our in-depth article on the KOBE 9 elite basketball shoe »


designboom interview with eric avar, designer of NIKE’s KOBE basketball shoes »