Many consider it to be the Mecca of streetball and the greatest NBA legends have played there. In the heart of Harlem, Rucker Park is a place of pilgrimage for all basketball fans.
“Each one teaches one”: the motto of Rucker Park is anchored in the memory of all the basketball players, famous or not, who have trodden its pavement. Founded after the war by a sports teacher (Holcombe Rucker) to prevent young people from falling into delinquency, this playground continues to write its history.
From Dr J. to Allen Iverson
In the 1950s, basketball was a gymnasium sport, played mostly by white people. In this context, the Rucker Park project was something of an anomaly. However, it contributed to the development of streetball, a new, tougher, street-school style of basketball.
His first salesman was a teacher, or rather a doctor. In the mid-1970s, Julius Erving drew crowds of onlookers who came to watch the arabesques of the man who asked to be called “Dr. J.”. He taught students named Wilt Chamberlain and Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). And the list of stars, female or male, is long: from Nancy Lieberman to Allen Iverson.
66 points for Kevin Durant
Every summer, the Rucker Tournament allows youngsters to make a name for themselves by rubbing shoulders with those who burn up the NBA floor. A certain Kevin Durant arrived unexpectedly one night in August 2011 and scored no less than 66 points in front of an army of overheated fans.