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…”Read More »
Red Cafe & Pete Rock
“THE HEART & SOUL OF NEW YORK CITY”
A K1X film by Kevin Couliau
Yes, it’s about that time. Rain, sleet and snow have made way for the sun, long evenings and fresh sneakers. Early may, when Europe’s hardwood champions have been crowned and the NBA playoffs shift into full gear, marks the inofficial start of the real basketball season: the streetball season! That’s when reputations are made, nicknames are born and every ballplayer naturally gravitates towards that “thump”, “thump” sound of his or her home court. Playground basketball is where it all started. Playground basketball is where talent is honed and friendships are made. It’s where neighborhoods gather and where skills and sweat are a currency. That’s especially true for the mecca of basketball, New York City. Nowhere else do streetball tournaments, players and games attract a quasi-religious following. Dollars, pride and bragging rights are on the line. Believe the hype!
I got an e-mail last week from Jack “Black Jack” Ryan about a young shooter who has emerged with official playground credentials: The nickname, the asphalt tour, and the pro look. The player, Brian “Smokin’ Aces” Kortovich, has already received first quarter light from SLAM ON-LINE, but with the official endorsement from Jack, a game over nickname from EBC’s Hannibal and burn at Pro-City, West 4th Street, Tri-State and Dyckman, it was time for Bounce to give prime time mention to the the former Manhattan College player.
While Donnie “D-Cash” McGrath is the top white player in the city in my opinion, Kortovich’s climb up the pro ladder deserves mention. Brian e-mailed me with some highlights about his pro experiences that illustrate every playground player’s official desire – making the NBA. Read More »