This weekend, the streets of Harlem will once again become the epicenter of basketball greatness with the start of a new league. With its corporate sponsor Def Jam Recordings, Rucker Park Prep will feature rising high school talent from the New York tri-state area.
Rucker Park Prep kicks off this coming Saturday, June 22, at the world famous Rucker Park, named after Holcombe Rucker, a playground director for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation that created the Rucker Park basketball association in 1947. As noted by history, Rucker stressed both athletics and education, with that tradition continuing today with Rucker Park Prep.
From Rucker Park Prep:
Rather than “Street Ball” Rucker Park Prep is instead a 14U (and up) High School youth division that will feature the best high school players from in and around the New York tri-state area. Leading the Games will be Rucker Park Prep’s Co-Founder and Commissioner Steve Barnett, the principal authority at the Rucker who has for decades not only provided College Scholarships for hundreds of young people but has coached countless elite Basketball Players in the country. Through his efforts and commitment to youth development many of his players have achieved the highest accolades in both university basketball of which many have gone on to play in the NBA.
“Rucker Park Prep is proud to be a part of the long-standing tradition and legacy of the Rucker Park – We are so excited to have Def Jam Recordings as a launch partner for Rucker Park Prep. The entertainment industry and Rucker Parks relationship is historic stated Haqq Islam, President and CEO of Rucker Park Prep.
“We are excited and honored to join Rucker Park Prep as a presenting sponsor this summer,” said Rich Isaacson, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Def Jam Recordings. “The Rucker and Def Jam are two New York institutions that strive to enrich the cultural fabric of this city and this community. We couldn’t imagine a better opportunity to unite, inspire and empower young people through sports, music and the one-of-a-kind vibrancy that is summer in New York City.”
Festivities for the community and family day celebrations will start on Saturday, June 22, at 3:00PM with the games starting at 4:30PN with teams The Patrick Schol vs. Upper Room in the debut game. The following Saturday (June 29), The Patrick School takes on Country Day School.
At 5:30, Rucker Park Prep will host a press conference with Councilwoman Inez Dickens, Harlem Assemblyman Al Taylor, State Senator Brian Benjamin, and Borough Manhattan President Gail Brewer, who are will gather to honor Def Jam Recordings, the Greg Marius family, the father of A$AP Ferg and fashion designer Darold “D-Ferg” Thomas, street basketball legend Adrian “A Butta” Walton and Rucker Park coach Bob McCullagh.
To learn more about Rucker Park Prep, click here.