Rucker Park: Hoop Dreams Take Flight

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Sure, New York has Knicks and Nets, but to catch basketball at its most passionate, you need to check out Rucker Park. Grab a few friends and head up to Harlem to the most famous playground in the world. The seats may be bleachers, and the talent on the court may be amateur, but the experience is world-class. This is streetball, known for its razzle-dazzle, and you’ll thrill to no-look passes, dribbles through defenders’ legs, and seat-shaking dunks. Instead of staid commentators, the announcer is more like an MC, who calls out players with more color than you’ll ever hear on TNT. Come at tournament time and you’ll be amazed at the caliber of players that take the court here. You and your friends could be talking for years about the night you caught an unknown as he transformed into a superstar. Or maybe you’ll see an NBA ringer—in 2011, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder put on a clinic here, scoring 66 points. Even without star power, the competition on the court is inspiring, and it will leave a lasting impression on you and your crew. This is a knowing, lively crowd, and you’ll also appreciate the instant camaraderie that comes with being a part of it.

Related: Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Favorite Places in Harlem

Rucker Park

Frederick Douglass Blvd New York NY 10039

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