So many street ballers have been immortalized there and even NBA players, most recently Kevin Durant. Many legends have played at Rucker Park Wilt Chamberlin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Irving. Rucker Park is named after Holcombe Rucker, a junior high school teacher who started a basketball tournament for black teens, but before being named after him it was known as the P.S. 156 playground. The playground was located at 155th street and 8th avenue. These tournaments allowed many black teens to gain acceptance into colleges for basketball. Not only has Rucker Park been one of the most prestigious and well known venues in street ball but it has given many black teens the opportunity needed in order to get a college education. Many of the players at Rucker Park went on to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, business owners and professional basketball players. Most recently players such as Lance Stephenson and Ron Artest played at Rucker Park in their youth.
Rucker Park is not the only famous sports venue to be in that area. Rucker park sits in the backyard of the where the Polo Grounds used to be. Even in a day and age when players have contract clauses that state that they can be penalized if they get injured playing a pick up game, they still come to Rucker park because there is nothing like it. There is no experience quite like playing at Rucker Park. Corey “Homicide” Williams, a legend at Rucker Park who played in the early 2000’s and then played overseas talks about Rucker Park saying "Rucker Park, to me, is pretty much like Madison Square Garden to NBA players, That is THE place. It means even more to me because that's where everything began for me." Rucker Park is more than just a place where gifted basketball players come back to play in front of hundreds of people, its a place to start your own basketball journey. Rucker Park is a must for all hoping to succeed in New York City basketball.