“I got next-next-next-next!” Jean-Patrick Ehouman yells over his shoulder, aiming his claim at a crowd of laughing, sweat-covered 20-somethings.

The 39-year-old Ehouman, who moved to Japan from Cote d'Ivoire six months ago, returns to his gym bag, puts on his sneakers and stretches. In 45 minutes, he’ll finally get his turn to play at the basketball court in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park.

It’s a Thursday afternoon, the sun is out, and highly spirited games are unfolding in rapid succession, with upward of 40 players waiting in the wings for their chance to compete. Between games, players sit on the ground and rib each other about a previous matchup or react loudly to the lopsided plays happening in front of them.