The National Basketball Players Association announced partnering with NYC Parks to completely renovate the Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park in Harlem.
The renovation of the iconic court includes repairing the tarmac, replacing the bleachers, backboards, baskets, and scoreboards. It also includes the addition of team benches and repainting. The backboards and baskets will be custom-made and will be provided by basketball supplier Spalding.
“We are incredibly honored to be entrusted with the renovation of Rucker Park,” said Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the NBPA. “The Rucker is legendary in the basketball world. Many of our past and present members honed their skills and established their reputations on this court. Through this renovation, we aim to preserve the rich history of the park while ensuring that future generations of players – and the Harlem community as a whole – can further enhance its incredible legacy.”
Renovations will be completed by October, and the park plans to reopen with a community event hosted by the players’ union and other marketing partners. The reopening celebration will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, youth basketball clinics, skills competitions, guest appearances from current and former players, an NBPA youth basketball game, and an NBA 2K lounge.
Holcombe Rucker was a former Harlem school teacher and playground director in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. He created the first summer Rucker tournament in 1946 to prove leadership and give thousands of boys and girls the opportunity to achieve their college dreams.
“For decades, the Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park has drawn basketball legends, supported rising talent, and served as a source of pride for the Harlem community,” said NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Margaret Nelson. “We are thrilled to partner with the NBPA to reestablish this world-famous court as a state-of-the-art basketball venue, and we thank the NBPA Foundation for funding a new staff position to do programming for the community at both Rucker Park and Jackie Robinson Recreation Center.”
Following completion of the much-needed renovation of the park, the NBPA Foundation will fund a new recreation position to provide programming at the park and the nearby Jackie Robinson Recreation Center.