Get Together

Aria McManus of Downtown Girls Basketball: Bringing together a team of women "who are specifically bad at basketball"

Episode Summary

In this episode we talk to Aria McManus, an artist and creative director who started Downtown Girls Basketball in 2013. The team for women and people who don't identify as male "who are specifically bad at basketball,” started as a wild idea when Aria got 30 of her artist and designer friends out to play together. They had so much fun, Aria hosted another game the following week. In the six years since, that core group has ballooned to a rotating crew of 400+ of women. Every week they come together to get exercise, relive their love for basketball, and, most importantly, goof off with other creative, fun-loving women.

Episode Notes

"The most surprising thing for me was how many people showed up on day one. And that continues to be the most surprising thing - that people are still showing up on day 300. Every time a stranger comes, I'm just like, where did you come from? It is amazing, and it's a huge motivator to keep me going." - Aria McManus

Aria McManus, an artist and creative director, started Downtown Girls Basketball in 2013. From the beginning, it was a team for women and people who don't identify as male "who are specifically bad at basketball."

At the first practice, 30 of Aria's artist and designer friends rolled out to play together. They had so much fun, Aria hosted another game the following week.

In the six years since, that core group has ballooned to a rotating crew of 400+ of women (including Bailey, this show’s host). Every week they come together to get exercise, revive their love for basketball, and, most importantly, goof off with other creative, playful women.

How did Aria build something so special? What makes her approach to women's basketball different from other leagues and pick up games? What keeps her going six years down the road? We sat down with Aria in the Lower East Side to learn more.

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Get Together is a podcast about the nuts and bolts of community building. Hosts Bailey Richardson and Kevin Huynh of People & Company ask organizers who have built exceptional communities about just how they did it. How did they get the first people to show up? How did they grow to thousands more members?