Next year, Daze Entertainment Basketball will celebrate a decade of giving back to the Madison community through basketball.
Since 2006, this team of streetball players has been sharing their talents at assembly, charity, and fundraiser games, mostly around Madison. Perhaps you’ve seen them perform at an elementary school or at a cancer benefit or at their signature “MS Gets On My Nerves” fundraiser at Pooley’s. Multiple sclerosis hits close to home for Daze Entertainment Basketball Owner Troy Dean who has had many people in his life affected by the disease. It bothered him to the point that he knew that he had to try and make a difference in the way he best knew how. “A lot of people I know and love have been affected by MS, and that’s why this event is so important to us. The game is not about winning or losing – it’s about putting a show on for people,” Dean tells Madison365. “The feedback we get from this event every year is so inspirational.”
The event features an entertaining match-up between the Daze basketball team and local celebrities in media, TV, and community leaders. There is also great food, a silent auction, and a chance for people to learn more about multiple sclerosis. “Plus, you get to support a great cause,” Dean says.
Daze is a creative Entertainment Basketball Team specializing in performing at events and fundraisers. They are also popular in the Madison schools. Back in the day, they were known as Daze Streetball Crew. “We went to an elementary school and the kids heard that a streetball crew was coming and their interpretation of streetball was kids pushing each other and playing a rough style of basketball on the courts,” Dean says. “That kinda opened my eyes and we changed up the name a little bit so people know exactly what we do.”
The players for Daze Entertainment Basketball are diverse as are their talents.
“We have a player on our team from Italy who is a doctor … an actual doctor,” Dean smiles. “That speaks a lot for the character of the players on Daze Basketball.
“We had a kid who was a star player at Madison East – D’Angelo Millon – who’s been wanting to play with us since he was in 6th grade,” Dean adds. “I kept telling him he couldn’t play until he was done with high school. I didn’t want him focusing on Daze until he was done with his East ball. He ended up having a tremendous season for East and his reward was that he got to play with Daze at the MS fundraiser this past spring.”
Daze Entertainment Basketball is very much like a mixture of the Harlem Globetrotters and the AND1 Mixtape teams.
“Once you’ve seen a Harlem Globetrotter game, you will see the same stuff over and over again,” Dean says. “We mix it up every time. We don’t ever want to bring the same show twice to a school we know. And [with the Globetrotters] it’s hard to get a conversation with those players or even an autograph. We’re a little bit different. We pride ourselves on being a hands-on and community-orientated type team. If we’re at an event, kids and parents are more than welcome to mix it up with us and ask questions.”
One of the more popular questions from the parents is: Do you guys play real basketball?
“All of us have played basketball at different levels. Some of us are basketball coaches,” Dean says. “Some of us have our own instructional basketball DVDs. We let kids know that we are fundamental basketball players first. We couldn’t do all the trick stuff without having solid fundamentals.”
While the rules of streetball are essentially the same as normal basketball, streetball places a higher emphasis on one-on-one match-ups between the offense and defender. Often the attacker will perform numerous flashy moves while attempting to drive to the basket, including crossovers, jab steps, and other fake-out tricks. Streetball often features spectacular dunks and alley oops and impressive ball handling. There usually is some trash talking, but it’s all in good fun.
DAZE was created with three major goals in mind – entertainment, creativity, and positive community relationships.
“Our messaging – especially when we are at schools – is very community orientated,” Dean says. “We tell kids to take time out to help their neighbor or community. We talk to them about teamwork, respect, hard work, etc.”
Building community and forging partnerships are two things Dean wants to focus on this next year as they approach their 10th anniversary. Daze Entertainment already has a cool partnership with Badger Max Sports Drinks who supply Daze with drinks for all of their games. “We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to partner and to use our time and talents to promote positive community relationships,” Dean says.
Daze takes pride in bringing communities closer together and helping them reach their goals through fundraising events, demonstrations, camps, and shows – all at affordable costs for everyone.
“In a perfect world, I would love to see Daze in different states and possibly different countries,” Dean says. “That takes a lot of work, though. I don’t think that people understand that [large outfits like] AND1 are a corporate business and have huge sponsors. Daze is like your mom and pop [group]. It’s all ran by me and I’m lucky enough to have great surrounding people to help me out.
“But we’re excited to keep doing what we’re doing at different schools and venues around Madison,” he adds. “and spread our positive message around education, hard work, anti-bulliying, and everything else we talk about.”
At the end of the day, Daze Entertainment Basketball is making a difference in the community and doing what they love — basketball. What could be better than that?
“Nothing, sir,” Dean says.