In the roll of the streetball book of praise, John Strickland’s name will always remain. The 38-year-old passed away this week and the NYC streetball community’s rush of grief is openly displayed on facebook and other various websites, flooded with photos, video and praise for the player who revolutionized post play in the street, finishing with either hand at will on all comers.

Jay-Z immortalized Strick on his song PSA, an embodiment of Strickland’s personality as the well-loved “Crown Prince of the Finish” with the line “My homey Strick told me, ‘Dude finish your breakfast…”

I spoke with Darren Neal, the former Nike Pro-City statistician who grew up in Washington Heights with Strick. He remembered the early rise of a “fat chubby kid dribbling his ball on the sidewalk walking from the Bridge Apartment Projects on 178th and 179th and St. Nicholas to Highbridge Park to play ball. He always had his ball.” Strick grew into a legend playing at EBC, earning his nickname from Duke Tango and becoming a feared scorer demanding a double on each touch.

“Strick was fun to watch play,” Neal said, “and had fun playing the game. He made comments but always expected a laugh in return,” The one thing that comes to my mind is a game he played against Knick draft choice John Wallace from Syracuse at Nike Pro City. He was killing him and he came over to scorers table and said “I haven’t shown him everything yet, if I do that he’s going to think I’m cheatin.’”

Rest in peace John Strick. I’ve known you for a long time brother, watched and rooted when you did work in Knick camp and even before you knew me, I knew of your work and the association of brothers you ran with. Acts 24:15 partner, and may your family have peace and comfort from God, Jehovah himself, and his son Jesus Christ.

9 Responses to “The Franchise Passes Away :::: R.I.P. John Strickland”

  1. illest says:

    wow…..damn life sucks. he seemed like he always had fun playing the game.

  2. Sean Couch says:

    The viewing:

    Benta’s Funeral Home: 142nd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue between 12 pm and 8:00 pm. Tuesday October 12, 2010

    Funeral Service: Riverside Church viewing 10-11 am and Service at 12:15 pm. Weds October 13, 2010.

  3. Ali says:

    Rest In Peace Franchise. the games in the upper room are about to get alot more fun.

  4. DP says:

    These are the days that make you say why when it comes to life. We have truly lost one of the greates individuals I have ever meet and conversed with in all my life. He was a brother that can never be replaced, he brought joy and laughter to all who watched and communicated with. When he walked into a room or onto a court the many names followed john Strickland, fanchise, chise, baby panda, left hand right hand, the performer, the entertainer, I could go on and on.

    If it was not for this streetball legend names Strick I would not be where I am today I play or continue to enjoy streetball, bc of him I have one various chips all over the world that has made me the person I am today. He taught me alot and help mold me into a better individual. He always said to big fella finish your breakfast, I knew that meat hoops as well as life.

    Well John Strickland better know to me the greatest show on earth. I luv ya and will always miss ya. People we have lost a great hero and performer but most importand a lengend when it comes to being a person. Thanks for all the great yrs the Show Man!!


    I am sure the show never ends


  5. funkalot says:

    This is crazy. Just peeped him at TOC and he was chillin.
    Hopefully, his style of play will be embodied by others. Just having fun!

    The funk just got stronga above. He stank so good!

  6. 187 says:

    i still cant blieve this is even true. DP said it all, he was all of our big brothers. streetball definately will not be the same. we will all miss you big homie.

    i dont even kno what else to say.

  7. Lower East Scribe says:

    This summer I went to Pro City and brought along a friend who was from Cali. An avid hoops fan, my homegirl always told me about growing up watching the LA legends ballin’. While we were in the stands, Strick walked in and I bragged, “In his prime, that guy was good for like 30.”

    “Really?” she asked.

    “Yup, that dude gave NBA players buckets-light.”

    More importantly he gave us all spirit. The first time I covered a summer game for Bounce, I got a chance to watch Strick work out with Dominican Power at Dyckman. He did his thing, giving guys younger than him buckets in the crunch but sharing the wealth with the young players as he dished to cutters in the lane and shooters spotting up. The offense ran through him and the crowd got to hear about it, as he reminded everyone that he was an “old man,” after every time he scored or dished a dime.

    Everyone loved it and everyone loved Strick. He was an NYC hoop ambassador and in the interview after the game, he pulled me aside for the feedback and welcomed me to Bounce.

    And that’s who Strick was; a mentor/big borther to all of those in our community. I felt like he saw in me what he’d see in a younger player of today-a kid with talent and love for the game and just like those who did their thing on the court, he welcomed me to do mine on the sideline.

    Strick showed me love every time since then and welcomed me to the fraternity that is NYC streetball and I’m forever thankful. He was one of the greatest players in the greatest city to do what he did-and that makes him a legend.

    Legends never die.

    We’ll miss you Strick and you’ll forever be remembered for your presence as a player and a person.

    Peace, big homie.


  8. Strick Fan says:

    Wow! This hit like a ton of bricks!

    I never knew the dude personally but as an avid streetball fan I felt like I knew Strick through our love of the game.

    Stick just wasn’t another player, but I guy who played the game with energy, passion, and a flare for the crowd. I can remember a few summers back when Artest was giving it to Strick at Hunter college, but he made Artest earn every bucket and never backed down on one play. He played to the crowd, but he played for the LOVE, whether it was at the Cage, or Hunter college you could count on Strick playing hard and giving a good show …….Even this past summer as I saw him coaching at West 4th, he still exhibited the same passion and energy from the sideline as he did on the court.

    NYC basketball lost a legend ….You’ll be missed Strick! RIP

  9. Sean Couch says:

    John Strickland tributes:

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