9-MAN uncovers an isolated and unique streetball tournament played by Chinese-Americans in the heart of Chinatowns across the USA and Canada. Largely undiscovered by the mainstream, the game is a gritty, athletic, chaotic urban treasure traditionally played in parking lots and back alleys. 9-Man grew in the 1930’s, at a time when anti-Chinese sentiment and laws forced restaurant workers and laundrymen to socialize exclusively amongst themselves. Today it’s a lasting connection to Chinatown for a dynamic community of men who know a different, more integrated world, but still fight to maintain autonomy and tradition.
An extended interview with historian John Kuo Wei Tchen (aka Jack), founding director of the Asian Pacific American Studies Program and Institute at New York University and co-founder of New York's Museum of Chinese in America.