Holcombe Rucker Park: NYC's Basketball Court To Remember


The playground at Holcombe Rucker Park is the most famous outdoor basketball court in the world. The park is located in Harlem, New York City and got its name from Holcombe Rucker, the playground director for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

This playground is where many famous streetball players have stepped on the court. Lebron James, Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Julius Erving, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are a few of them.

The park is located on the corner of 76th Street and 8th Avenue, bordered on three sides by residential buildings and a school. The park was established in 1956 next to PS 156 the school closed in 1981. 

The land that the park is on was once the site of the 8th Avenue Railroad Company. Since 1974, the park has been named after Holcombe Rucker, a local teacher and a playground director for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Rucker started a basketball tournament in 1950 in order to help less-fortunate kids stay off the streets and aim for college careers.

The players in the Rucker Tournament featured slam dunks, crossover dribbles, and bravado that excited the crowd, a playing style then foreign to the National Basketball Association (NBA).

 In June 2017, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio dedicated the court to Greg Marius, founder of the Entertainer's Basketball Classic streetball tournament held at the park. The park underwent $520,000 in renovations between August and October 2021, funded in part by the National Basketball Players Association and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.