NBA players union, NYC Parks to renovate Rucker Park

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Rucker Park is getting a makeover.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced a partnership with NYC Parks to completely renovate the Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park in Harlem.

The renovations, with a completion timeline of October 2021, include: repair and leveling of the court’s pavement, the replacement of the bleachers, backboards and baskets—custom made and provided by Spalding—and scoreboard, the addition of team benches to both sides of the court, and the repainting of the basketball court.

“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.”

When Rucker Park’s renovations are complete, the NBPA Foundation plans to also fund the addition of a new recreation job opening to provide programming at Rucker Park and other NYC Parks near Harlem’s Jackie Robinson Recreation Center.

“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.”

Rucker Park will officially reopen with a grassroots basketball and community event in October. The NBPA and its business-development entity, Think450, will host the reopening with its sponsors: Spalding, NBA 2K, Rucker and Legends.

Current and former NBPA members are expected to make guest appearances during the reopening event. Nets star Kyrie Irving is one of six NBPA vice presidents. Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum is the NBPA president, and Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and LeBron James are former NBPA leaders.

“Spalding is proud to help the NBPA and New York Parks and Recreation renovate historic Rucker Park and preserve its significance to Harlem and celebrate the legend that is Holcombe Rucker,” said Matt Murphy, Vice President and General Manager of Spalding. “We created custom versions of our Arena Renegade hoops as our contribution to this important project and look forward to seeing the positive impact to the basketball community for decades to come.”

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