A statue of Bugs Bunny in Leicester Square has been brought to life with a shiny silver basketball and a backboard sporting the vibrant colours of the Tune Squad ahead of the much-anticipated release of Warner Bros. Pictures new live-action/animated adventure Space Jam: A New Legacy, which stars basketball champion LeBron James and the iconic Looney Tunes.
To mark the film’s release in cinemas on 16th July and celebrate a new Tune Squad legacy, the updated bronze statue was unveiled by young basketball players from Park View Community School in Tottenham who took part in performances and challenges alongside Sky Sports NBA presenter and former Blue Peter star Radzi Chinyanganya.
The young players, aged 9-12, represented Who’s Got Game Basketball, a charitable organisation specialising in basketball participation as a tool for social change and development. Who’s Got Game has worked with over 70,000 young people in 15 countries around the world and is currently in 247 schools. They treated morning commuters to a spectacular display of dribbling and shooting around the dynamic statue, which is part of the Scenes in the Square movie trail.
Those targeting their phones at the hoop can access a QR code that unlocks exclusive interactive Space Jam: A New Legacy lenses via Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
Presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, a Sky Sports NBA host, said: “It’s fantastic to be out here this morning celebrating basketball and this exciting new film Space Jam: A New Legacy. I hope LeBron James and the new look Tune Squad will inspire children to get out to their local courts and play basketball, just as Michael Jordan and the Squad did with me when I was a kid. It’s fantastic to see talented young children out here today showing off their slam dunks and I hope they continue to inspire a New Legacy of players here in the UK.”
Dayo Okewale, Founder and Managing Director of ‘Who’s Got Game’ and former pro basketball player, said: “This is a great moment for basketball in the UK. Basketball currently is the 2nd most participated sport in the country and a fresh new take on one of the most iconic basketball films ever made is sure to give a boost of vibrancy and energy to the sport. Space Jam is so iconic and legendary to many, and with the addition of superstar LeBron James and many current basketball players this is sure to be a great moment in history for the sport and in the lives of all the young people who watch the film.”
Mark Williams, Director of Destination Marketing at Heart of London Business Alliance, who are behind the Scenes in the Square sculpture trail, said: “We are excited and honoured to be a part of the Space Jam: A New Legacy launch and to be able to give the hugely popular Bugs Bunny statue a sporting make-over to celebrate the film release. Scenes in the Square now features ten timeless and much-loved characters from film, television and theatre gracing Leicester Square, the UK’s Home of Entertainment, and it’s so great to see the Bugs Bunny statue brought to life like this combining the nation’s love of film and sport, in a summer that is thankfully blessed with both!”
Taliyah Smith, 12, from Park View School in Tottenham, said: “The Bugs Bunny statue is so cool and it’s been brilliant to be part of the celebrations this morning. I love playing basketball and LeBron James is my hero, so I can’t wait to see him and the Tune Squad in Space Jam: A New Legacy!”