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The Basketball Tournament is coming to Rucker Park.
TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar announced one of the event’s eight regionals will be held at the historic New York City park from July 16-20.
“Rucker Park has always been a dream of ours,” Mugar said, per Jeff Borzello of ESPN. “TBT is an open tournament format, and we want it to be a celebration of all things basketball. People assemble from the pros, from college, from the YMCA. And Rucker Park, to me, has always been the pinnacle of a melting pot for basketball. Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson playing there against guys you’ve never heard of before. That openness epitomizes TBT.”
This will mark the first time TBT games have been played outdoors. The $1 million winner-take-all tournament was founded in 2014 and typically consists of 64 teams playing across eight regionals. Perhaps the TBT’s biggest claim to fame has been its use of the Elam ending, which has been adopted for the NBA All-Star Game and several other areas of basketball.
The partnership with Rucker Park also includes a working relationship with the National Basketball Players Association, which recently worked to renovate Greg Marius Court at Rucker Park.
“We are very excited for this partnership and to support The Basketball Tournament coming to the newly renovated Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park,” NBPA president and New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum said in a statement. “This tournament promotes and celebrates the game of basketball in a truly unique fashion, and this is a natural collaboration for the NBPA and our players.”
Rucker Park is located in Harlem and is one of the most historic streetball courts in the United States. The park helped hone the game of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving and Earl Monroe, along with countless streetball legends over its decades of existence.
The TBT said it is hopeful that Jay-Z and Fat Joe are among the owners of teams in the Rucker Region. The rappers famously set out to put together a game at Rucker Park in 2003, but a blackout caused the game to be wiped out.