Dani Arróniz is in pursuit to change the world through basketball. Through his work as a director and cinematographer, as well as through his organization Hoops Outside, Dani works to amplify underrepresented voices and spread hope and optimism through his unique court restoration projects and various visual works
Many parts of the world do not have access to adequate courts and facilities. Through the founding of Hoops Outside, Dani has built and restored courts all over the world, including India, Spain, and Mexico.
“That's my goal. You know, sharing the culture and love for the game in Spain and across Europe and in other parts of the world.”
Dani not only achieves this goal through Hoops Outside, but also through his talents as a director and cinematographer.
Through his films such as 'Torreón' for NBA Mexico, "Somos Fuego" for Legado Innvictus, 'Got Next,' and many others, Dani highlights the tremendous impact basketball has on various parts of the country and the world as a whole.
You have made so many tremendous steps in your career. Where did your professional journey begin and how did you get to where you currently are?
I began by taking pictures of courts. I've played basketball since I was a kid, so I had a passion for capturing the beauty behind each court. Every location, I think, has something different. So, every time I travel, I used to take photos of basketball courts. From there, I studied journalism at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid. Journalism is connected to filming documentaries, so I figured I could mix both passions, you know, and share real stories from people while also capturing basketball. But that's how I started, by taking pictures of courts.
I moved to Los Angeles in September 2019 for work and to have a different life experience. I've always loved the NBA, so one of my goals was to be able to work with NBA players and other big organizations. It’s a dream. Working with these guys like LeBron James and other big names to me was a dream. So now that I'm here, I'm like, wow, who would have told me?
Through your organization, Hoops Outside, you are making an impact on so many communities. What was your inspiration for Hoops Outside, and what do you hope to accomplish through it?
The inspiration for Hoops Outside I borrowed from my friends here at Veniceball. These are people that I'm really close to, and I've been working with for years. They were the pioneers of building courts here in the States. I kind of took the idea that I’ve always supported, and I wanted to do something similar but with a different vibe in Spain. I wanted to focus more on highlighting the culture that we have in Spain.
From there, Hoops Outside has been able to put a spotlight on areas that are not as well-known internationally. We did a few courts in Spain, in India, and then in Mexico.
That's my goal. To really share the culture and love for the game in Spain, across Europe, and in other parts of the world as well.
One other unique aspect of Hoops Outside and your work surrounding basketball, in general, is that you focus a lot on Latin countries. Here in the United States, we see a lot of white and European representation in basketball, we see black representation, but Latino representation in basketball is very slim here. Can you speak to the impact basketball has on Latino cultures and how your work uplifts various communities?
Latino representation is really needed. People have amazing stories that are just waiting to be heard. It's important to have an understanding of how the culture is in Europe and in the States, as well as in Mexico and other countries. It's important to highlight what's special in different countries instead of trying to mimic different cultures. I think Latin countries have to share their beauty, you know, what makes them special. That's what we are trying to achieve, highlighting what makes each country and each style of basketball special.
In Mexico, basketball is in a moment where it's really growing. Because of that growth, Ricardo Torres, who I met through Veniceball, and I decided to do another court restoration project in Mexico. That's how Eleva was born. Eleva is an agency that is a partner with Hoops Outside that I've also been working with. Eleva is particularly focused on building courts in Mexico and Latin America and works to uplift various Latino communities whose culture includes basketball.
We worked with the NBA and did a court for the 75th anniversary. We’ve also collaborated with Adidas, Puma, and Fila. We’re going to do one court this year for New Balance. These are all incredible opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible without the work we did in Latin countries.
Going into your visual work, you have done a lot of really dope projects such as your “Got Next” documentary, “Si Se Puede” with Devin Booker, and so many more. How do you make the most out of each project and make your content special?
My style is unique. I wouldn't say improvised, but I like to go there on the field and see and feel what has to be shared.
It's always about highlighting what makes a story special. Every location and every court has something different to offer. I really like to listen to the members of each community. I think that's a really big part. From there, I get inspired by them and try to find the best way to represent the story and make the people involved feel represented.
You have photographed so many incredible faces, for example, Drake, Kanye, and so many professional athletes. You’ve also been a part of so many incredible projects. What has been your favorite moment in your career?
My favorite moment goes beyond all the stars and goes beyond the names. It's what I take from these projects and seeing the impact they make on the members of each community. To me, that is the special thing.
When you come here or when you start your career, you dream of meeting big names or famous people, but at the end of the day, it's all about giving back.