Rucker Park

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Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park
Rucker Park (WTM wikiWhat 023).jpg
Rucker Park in 2008, with Frederick Douglass Boulevard at left
LocationManhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°49′46″N 73°56′11″W / 40.829564°N 73.936465°W / 40.829564; -73.936465Coordinates: 40°49′46″N 73°56′11″W / 40.829564°N 73.936465°W / 40.829564; -73.936465
Area3.05 acres (1.23 ha)
Owned byNYC Parks

Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park is a basketball court in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, at 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, just east of the former Polo Grounds site. It is geographically at the base of a large cliff named Coogan's Bluff.[1] Many who played at the park in the Rucker Tournament achieved a level of fame for their abilities, and several have gone on to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Rucker Park was featured in the TNT television film On Hallowed Ground: Streetball Champions of Rucker Park, which aired in 2000 and won a Sports Emmy Award. It was also featured in the 2018 film Uncle Drew.


The park is named after Holcombe Rucker, a local teacher and a playground director for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Rucker started a basketball tournament in 1950 in order to help less-fortunate kids stay off the streets and aim for college careers.[1][2] The players in the Rucker Tournament featured slam dunks, crossover dribbles, and bravado that excited the crowd, a playing style then foreign to the National Basketball Association (NBA).[3]

In June 2017 New York City mayor Bill de Blasio dedicated the court to Greg Marius, founder of the Entertainer's Basketball Classic streetball tournament held at the park.[4] The park underwent $520,000 in renovations between August and October 2021, funded in part by the National Basketball Players Association and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.[5]

Notable players[edit]

Although many professional basketball players have played at the court after gaining prominence, many others developed their basketball skills at Rucker prior to becoming notable in the sport, including:


  1. ^ a b c d History in the Making at Rucker's Park Archived June 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Nunyo, DeMasio (August 21, 1995). "Carrying On an Asphalt Legacy". The New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2007.
  3. ^ Pomerantz, Gary M. (2005). Wilt, 1962: The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era. New York: Crown. pp. 123–4. ISBN 1-4000-5160-6.
  4. ^ "Holcombe Rucker Playground Highlights - Greg Marius Court : NYC Parks". Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  5. ^ Abrams, Jonathan; Geathers, Anthony (October 10, 2021). "A Street Basketball Mecca Gets a Face-Lift". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  6. ^ Steve, Popper (January 18, 2003). "Nets Win, but Challenging Trip Awaits". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2007. With the Rucker Park legend Rafer Alston now the biggest attraction for Toronto, the Nets' only moments of suspense came when they attempted to compile their own mix of highlights.
  7. ^ a b Zengerie, Jason (April 15, 2009). "Empty Garden: Why did New York stop growing basketball stars?". The New Republic. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Mallozzi, Vincent M. (2003). Asphalt Gods: An Oral History of the Rucker Tournament. New York: Knopf Doubleday. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  9. ^ "Connie Hawkins: Thoughts on Wilt". Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c Mallozzi, Vincent M. (June 24, 2007). "His Eyes Have Seen the Glory of Rucker Park". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  11. ^ a b No Name. "Playground Legends: 10 Best NBA Players at Rucker Park". Bleacher Report.
  12. ^ "Rucker Park". June 24, 2007. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
  13. ^ "As Kevin Durant's Legendary Night at Rucker Park Turns 10, Brooklyn Nets Could Use 66 Points in Game 5".
  14. ^ "Kevin Durant's 66 Point-Performance at Rucker Park is Still Legendary". August 2, 2021.
  15. ^ via YouTube. "NBA Players At Rucker Park".
  16. ^ Jamaal Tinsley Interview, Inside Hoops, January 7, 2005. Accessed October 7, 2007. " In your high school years, out of the gym, which parks were you playing at? Jamaal Tinsley: Everywhere. West 4th. 68th, the Pro-Am tournament. Rucker. Soul in the Hole. That's it, mainly, in New York City."

External links[edit]