In these past two years, the New York City Basketball community have lost some great individuals. We loved each one of them as if they was our own family. This past week we lost Brooklyn’s Sid Jones, founder of the playground and streeetball basketball program United Brooklyn. Everyone I have spoken with said the same thing, “I just seen Sid the other day. Nothing looked wrong him.” Sid was more than a Basketball coach. Sid was a Mentor to many of the Basketball players in New York City including “Mookie” Thomas. Mookie wrote this piece not only for Sid Jones but for every person who played a significant role in the New York City Basketball community. Read it and comment it!

“Heaven Is A Playground” by “Mookie Thomas”

Heaven has to be a playground living in my beautiful existence

With the emphasis of “playground” being all in the basketball sense…

I mean heaven couldn’t be but anything else

But a big basketball team,
At least that’s what I think it has to be

Or it’s just my dream…

Their starting Point Guard is from Brooklyn

Chris Sandy A.K.A. “The Sandman”
He had the purest jumper from 3pt range

He can shake you with any hand.
He would lock you up on the defensive end.

He’s picking you up 94 ft

You push up on him
Shot Fake

2 Points

You just got beat

Starting at the 2 Guard spot from St John’s University

He played for Louie Carnesecca

His name is…

Malik Sealy
Malik wasn’t only skilled

Dudes thought they can really guard him

But you couldn’t GUARD him…

You REALLY couldn’t guard him

When Malik played for the Minnesota Timberwolves

He was Kevin Garnett’s Big Bro
He showed “The Kid” how to become “The Big Ticket”


Starting at the 3

It would be no other then “The Franchise”,

John Strickland
He always wanted to be a guard (laughs)

He would always do that “Reverse Spin” Move just to draw and kick..

He can pass with the best of them

You couldn’t guard him with just one defender now
He would score on you

AND 1!!!!

Choose which hand: the right hand or the left hand..

Then “Strick” being “Strick”

He would crack jokes to the crowd about you

“Strick” talked wild trash,
Even making the man guarding him laugh

‘Cause he was really straight killin’ you

At the Power Forward

He puts the word “Power” in that position
His name is…

Troy “Escalade” Jackson

He’s truckin’ you with little resistance..

Troy’s game wasn’t only him using his power

He was silky smooth
The “Through the Legs Spin” Move

Then he would straight up throw it on youuuu!!!!

He not only dunks the rock

He passed the ball like a Point GOD…
He made everything look so easy

When you tried it

It was hard

Wasn’t it?

Starting at the 5 has to be the legendary “McNasty”Conrad McRae

He will DUNK it on you

He will FLUSH it on you

What more can I say…

He will BLOCK your shot,

He will SWAT your lay up

He will PUNCH your ish…
All you had to do is scream his name after the block

“Good block ‘Rad”

So you would never forget..

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He was a cool dude

There’s nothing like his on-court play
His name is Conrad McRae

There’s nothing more to say…

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Their bench is a tough one

They have to be team players

While also being good men

Greg “Pigeon” Andrews

He is a winner

He always played as hard as he can
He would only want to play tough “Man-to-Man” Defense


Troy Truesdale A.K.A. “TNT”

He would be considered a starter on any other team

They would need him to come off the bench

No one fouls harder than him


He’s the Jamaal Crawford and Jason Terry of their team

“TNT” gets the “Sixth Man of the Year” nod definitely


Next up will be “Ray-Ray”, Gregory Parker

“Ray-Ray” is a young Sharp-shooter which every team needs

Standing at 6’2 300 pounds

“Ray-Ray” is considered a “Power Shooting Guard”

Defensively they would have to drop back into a “2-3 Zone”

Trying to beat them…

Will be pretty hard


“Huddy 6” and “Scoody” will get limited minutes for this team

Back in the day “Huddy 6” used to be type nice when he played for Young Life

“Scoody” would come in the game shooting fade away jumpers screaming “Junie G.E.”


Then he would try to cross dudes up with the crossover he learned from Eugene Lawrence (laughs)


 Coaching this team will the be

The Chief Executive of Basketball Operations in the entire New York City in

Sid Jones


“Alfred” Jones better known as Sid Jones should be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.


Sid wasn’t only a Basketball Coach

Sid was a mentor

Sid led his team

Sid helped his team

To achieve

Their dream


Sid would also get dress for a game too

In those little shorts too (laughs)

I remember at the Elmcor Pro-Am that year when we came late

Sid thought in his mind, he was playing “great” (laughs)


Sid had everyone eating Peppermints during the game

Blue ones or Pink ones

I guess he was ashamed of players with bad breath in the huddle


Sid would coach in his Nike hat and cell phone ear piece

Sid answered the phone

Sid would talk on the phone making the right play call

In every game

All year


After the game

Sid would crack jokes talking about the game play

Next Sid would hop into that Black Navigator

Detailed before game

Without a doubt


Sir Rob would be taking pictures and conducting interviews

Sir Rob didn’t charge at all

Sir Rob did collages for the love of the game


Lastly, the “David Stern” of this Basketball team is

Joe “Pops” Cruz

“Pops” knew the right pieces to put on a team

We loved his stories

Everyone loved playing for him

We still carry his tradition on to this day with the “P.O.P.S. 5/H.I.T.S” movement

My thoughts of Heaven in my eyes can only be right

Maybe that’s the way I think because

Basketball is my life




Sid Jones, Troy Truesdale, “Scoody”, “Huddy 6”, “Ray-Ray”, “The Sandman”, “McNasty”, Malik Sealy, “Escalade”, “Pigeon”, Joe “Pops” Cruz and Sir Rob

Rest in Peace

You are all missed

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