Photo: streetballin.net Homicide vs Ron Artest.
ESPN writer Ronnie Flores came out with a Top 24 Rucker Park list to match its Elite 24 at Venice Beach that I gotta give an “A” for effort but a “C” for a few glaring omissions. Article at ESPN RISE.
When measuring a legend in Harlem there are some factors that are obvious: overall game, crowd impact and NBA/College pedigree which Flores captured, but the one thing he missed was the players that impacted Rucker in ways that made them the most feared playground performers in NYC history and predecessors to the new style that everyone now thinks is the pinnacle of the street. And check it, the three players (really four – you know how we add peeps at the last minute during big playground games) nicknames alone matched their games, in an era when you had to earn one the hard way. Read More »
As I type I’m catching severe cramps in my toes as if I was 14 years old all over again and just coming home from playing for five hours at the Goat. Instead, I’ve just finished two intense games, the first at the Pelham Fritz 38 and Over League and the second at the Sunday Basketball League.
At PFBL, I was delighted to be greeted during a ball out of bounds retrieve by none other than the original “Dream” a.k.a. Dean “The Dream” Meminger. “What’s up Bobbito? Looking good!” Here’s a former NY Knick NBA Champion, Rich HS and Marquette U. All-American, telling me I’m playing well?
I have moments like these that I have to shake myself out of a dream only to realize it’s reality. I came out the gate hitting my first four shots, all from deep three, and finished the game with 22 points and 12 assists. This was against players on the other squad like “Master Rob” Hockett, the only EBC @ Rucker Park alum to ever have won a chip as a player and a coach. “The Great One,” as he’s also called my PFBL announcer AG, was also a JUCO All-American, D1 player at U of New Orleans, and a Harlem Globetrotter … Steve Burtt Sr. was also on the opposing squad, yes THAT Steve a.k.a. “All Day,” the all-time leading scorer at Iona College, the Rucker and King Towers legend, the former NBA and overseas check collector for going to the bajaa with abandon . . .
Me, on the other hand, had no props coming up. Read More »
My Fritz League Jersey
This is my rookie year in the Pelham Fritz Basketball League. The tournament hosted by Lawrence House, Sr. is the premier 38-and-over run in New York City. Former NBA players Charles Smith, Gus Williams, Mike Bantom, and Steve Burtt play with the likes of former overseas and pro veteran streetballers Molloy “Future” Naismith, James “Speedy” Williams, “Master” Rob Hockett, Wes Correa, Troy Bowers, Leroy Shaw, Chad Woodley, Omar Booth, Daren Rowe, Jack Ryan, Jose Alvarez, Tony Greer, Curt Middleton, Ed Duncan, Gerald “Doogie” Thomas, Bobbito Garcia, Tony Hargraves, Drederick Irving, and Dexter “Twin” Gardener.
Our record is 10-2, one game back from the Bulls who feature the legendary “Future” whose legs are still young. One of the highlights of the league is the announcer, AZ – the voice of Harlem. AZ speaks straight James Brown griot-chant, dispensing the nicknames and keeping everybody’s feet semi-light. My fellow Sun’s teammates – “Twin” and Correa are respectively called “The Eradicator” and “Wild Wild Wes,” but my nickname is “Coach Couch.” I’ve decided to gun for the game over, grimy, I’m straight destruction nickname. I’m not sure, however, if my hamstrings are going to allow me to do it though… Read More »