Victor Solomon Stained Glass Backboards Are “Literally Balling”

Victor Solomon is 33, and he spent last summer with a bunch of 80-year-olds in a workshop outside San Francisco.

Why? He had the idea of doing a stained-glass backboard, one of those unexpectedly neat ideas that we all have a couple of times a year, but almost never act on.

He searched the Internet, determined that someone must have done it already. But they hadn’t. And he couldn’t let the idea go. So he tracked down a stained glass studio, mostly full of old guys practicing a disappearing art, who were delighted to see somebody younger take an interest in their art form.

The result are these semi-holy looking artifacts that pay tribute to the opulence of the basketball world, including bejeweled nets made from dismantled chandeliers. It’s a wry comment on basketball player paychecks and lifestyles; it’s why Solomon called the project “Literally Balling.”

It also inspired him to start experimenting with re-skinning basketballs in a variety of luxury materials, like snakeskin.

“I feel like the basketball backboard is going to be the new skate deck,” he told us, pointing to a number of brands who have started to use basketball aesthetics as a jump-off point, but without the focus on performance and athleticism.

“It started off as a joke,” he told me. “But it’s been really fun to learn a craft, that’s tactile. Everyone’s spending all their time on a computer. “

Solomon already has three even more detailed backboards in the works, and no doubt will soon get a couple for private players’ homes. The ones who are balling, obviously.

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