New Yorkers have not been able to enjoy some live basketball since April 12th when the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets played their final game of the season. With the NBA season coming to a close soon there will not be much live basketball to watch on television either.
But with summer around the corner (June 21st), many legendary NYC basketball tournaments will come with it. So this may be your only chance to get truly excited about New York City Basketball this year.
Let’s start with the obvious New York Liberty, whose season has just begun and are already off to a 2-1 start. The Liberty has been the best pro basketball team in NYC the last two seasons under their head coach Bill Laimbeer. With very affordable tickets why not show up and watch these talented women try to make the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Next up is the annual Entertainer’s Basketball Classic (EBC) which takes place at the legendary Rucker Park (W 155th St & 8th Ave). The Rucker has seen greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Dr. J, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, and the street ball turned NBA player Rafer “Skip to My Lou” Alston. Who can forget when Kevin Durant (KD) dropped 66 points sending the crowd into a frenzy. With the unfortunate recent death of Greg Marius founder of the EBC at Rucker, there is no question many current and former players will stop by this summer to pay their respects.
Another staple in NYC summer basketball is the legendary Dyckman Basketball Tournament. Just like the Rucker, you can find some of your fave athletes making a surprise appearance at Dyckman. Whether it is New York Natives like Metta World Peace and Kemba Walker or basketball junkies like KD, DeMar Derozan, and J.R Smith, you never know who will show up. But make no mistake when the game tips off in Dyckman on June 11th it will be a great scene.
When you think of NYC summer basketball, Dyckman and Rucker Park are the obvious main attractions. Orchard Beach, however, has been a popular stop for basketball fans with their Hoops in the Sun Tournament. When summer comes around the beach is the number one hotspot so why not stop by and take in some local talent and maybe see a few current and former NBA players. So when June 3rd comes around make sure to take a trip to the beach and catch some hoops.
The Tri-State Classic sponsored by Jordan Brand has brought many exciting summer days and nights on the streets of Harlem (145th St & Lenox Ave). Giving young kids from all over the AAU circuit a chance to show off their talents. Last Summer Talek Williams from Allentown P.A came by in early August and put on his own in game dunk contest. Which young athlete will have their own coming out party this summer? Stop by the Tri- State Classic and find out.
Finally, we have a new league making its debut in New York this summer. The Big 3 which is co-founded by rapper/actor Ice Cube will make a quick stop in New York for week one of the league’s inaugural season. It is a 3 on 3 basketball league featuring retired NBA players such as Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Mike Bibby, and many other former players. The Big3 opens up week one on June 25th at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.
Some honorable mentions for NYC basketball this summer are; the annual Nike Pro City Summer League tournament at Baruch College which features some of the best current and former NBA, European and NCAA athletes. Also take a stop by the legendary West 4th Street Courts, where some of the best NBA players like Brandon Jennings who have gone out and experienced for themselves in the Avenues of Americas. Lastly feel free to get your own team together and enter into “The Basketball Tournament” where 64 teams are selected for an NCAA-style tournament and have a chance to win two million dollars. And if your team is good enough maybe you’ll find yourself in the Super Sixteen, which will come to New York City July 20-23.