There's a pretty good chance that at some point this week, the video below popped up in your Twitter feed. In it, a man dribbles a basketball across 23rd Street near Madison Square Park; a teen, seemingly at random, challenges him, and wipes out after he pulls a devastating crossover move. The whole thing seemed like such a perfect moment, I was 100% convinced it had been staged—the fact that there's a dude standing completely still in the middle of this chaos only bolstered my belief that this was a YouTube prank or something terrible like that.
My ankles were destroyed pic.twitter.com/ME7wbkhhlC
— Gil (@GilllianJordan) December 28, 2016
But I'm happy to report that I was partially wrong: it turns out that the dribbler in question, 31-year-old Jahmani Swanson, was out on the streets filming interactions with real New Yorkers for Whistle Sports, when 15-year-old Gillian Jordan was recruited to get in on the action. The 4-foot-5 Swanson, who has been dubbed "the Michael Jordan of dwarf basketball," posted the other angle of the video on his Instagram yesterday:
The video which Jordan posted was taken by her cousin Matthew Geissler. She told Teen Vogue that they had been eating at Eataly when they saw Swanson filming, and someone asked if they wanted to be in the video. "They told us to go on the other side of 23rd Street and go on the crosswalk. Jahmani came up to me and crossed me up. I was trying to defend him and I accidentally slipped onto the street," she said. "There were cars honking at us and looking at us like we were crazy because I had just fallen on the street. A lady next to me ran over with a kid in her arms and asked me if I was okay. The other people on the crosswalk and surrounding areas were laughing."
Despite her fall being viewed million of times over online, she was pretty upbeat: "I think this whole thing is really cool and I'd never expect it to happen to me," she added. "It's quite awesome, and I'm glad everyone finds it funny. My mom was on Facebook this morning and saw the video posted, and it had over 2 million views! But Jahmani, the guy who broke my ankles, was really nice about it."
[Note: in case you were wondering, it doesn't appear as though she literally broke her ankles, but rather broke them in the Urban Dictionary sense.]
— Whistle Sports (@WhistleSports) December 28, 2016