The Real: Rucker Park Legends
More than five decades ago, a New York City Parks employee named Holcombe Rucker encouraged Harlem kids to stay in school with a basketball tournament and league that would develop into an international phenomenon. Upon his death, two of his pupils continued his work by drawing from the league’s Pro Division to start the famous “Each One Teach One” program, pairing up basketball’s greats with disadvantaged youth. The innovative idea attracted such legends as Wilt Chamberlin, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and streetball heroes such as Earl “The Goat” Manigault and Joe “The Destroyer” Hammond. Rucker Park’s reputation quickly grew, becoming a virtual training ground for the NBA, influencing the playing style of the game and transforming Hip-Hop culture. Told by the legends themselves, this is The Real: the incredible true story behind Rucker Park from its unpolished beginnings through its heyday in the ’60s and ’70s to its more commercial present-day. But most of all, it’s an amazing tale of how one man’s dream and his pupils’ gratitude explosively transformed an ordinary neighborhood basketball court into the world’s most famous streetball arena..
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