Basketball players

Famous Rucker Park gets a makeover, thanks to the National Basketball Players Association and the New York Department of Parks – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – A Harlem basketball court, famous for training young athletes and even some stars, receives major help. It has just undergone a major renovation.

CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke to aspiring gamers in the community on Thursday.

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“There is a lot of legacy in this court here and it is a blessing to be right next door,” said Marcus Grimes, a resident of the area.

“I’m glad they improved it and made it new,” added Shakeem Davenport.

For decades, the Greg Marius basketball court at Holcombe Rucker Park has been raising street ball icons, even NBA players. But over the years, the tribunal has worn itself out.

“The court has gone through difficult times. Parks Canada does not always have the money to do everything we want to do. It had probably been 20 years since there had been a capital renovation, ”said Christine Dabrow, director of marketing and development for NYC Parks.

So the National Basketball Players Association stepped in, donating over $ 500,000 by partnering with the Parks Department to restore it. The field known as “The Rucker” at West 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard now has an all-new scoreboard, pitch, bleachers and two all-new hoops – the same ones used in the NBA.

“To make Rucker Park the only park in the world with arena style hoops,” said Chris Jean, senior manager of Grassroots Basketball.

Local rapper and artist ASAP Ferg helped design a mural on the court, inspired by the origins of basketball.

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“His inspiration came from an old game that looked like basketball, played by the Aztecs a long, long time ago,” Jean said.

Jean said the court has always been a place of inspiration.

“A lot of talent would come from playing for the pros. Kevin Durant, Nate Robinson, Vince Carter, the list goes on and on, famous players, players who are legends of the neighborhood, ”said Jean.

Last weekend some of these basketball legends like Julius Erving showed up. “Dr. J” helped unveil the new ground, promising to continue supporting emerging talent.

“I can tell that Dr. J, he came from this court, and he brought him to the NBA,” Grimes said.

“I have a feeling, who knows, that we might see some legendary new basketball players on this ground,” added Davenport.

The players say, for the kids coming in, it’s not just a pitch; it is a place of pride and community development.

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“Le Rucker” is open every day from 7 am to 10 pm