New boss desires to bring NBA players back to Rucker Park
There’s a new sheriff in Harlem planning to rejuvenate the Entertainers Basketball Classic at famed Rucker Park – Cordell Marius.
Cordell is the nephew in the late Greg Marius, who ran Rucker for 35 years and died at age 59 in late April of colon cancer, sending a shock via the streetball neighborhood.
Cordell Marius, who’s 28, stated his uncle had groomed him the past five years for this move to CEO of the EBC as soon as he got diagnosed with cancer.
“He wanted to help keep it in the family,’’ Cordell told The Post.
The Rucker League – which will have eight men’s teams and eight high school teams – begins June 19 around the courts off 155th Street and 8th Avenue. On June 23, a ceremony will probably be held in Greg Marius’ honor and Mayor DeBlasio is anticipated to attend to present a “proclamation.’’
“We want the first week to become a celebration of Greg’s legacy,’’ Cordell stated.
Cordell’s immediate goal is always to get more young musical artists to personal teams and NBA players to drop in for cameos. Kevin Durant, who joined a team through the 2011 lockout when he bagged a record 66 points in front of more than 1,000 frenzied onlookers, mentioned playing Rucker was one of by far the most indelible moments in his basketball career.
Cordell stated he has reached out to Shaquille O’Neal to play and can invite Durant. Final summer time, precious few NBA guys came in as ringers as Greg Marius’ sickness deepened.
Rapper Fat Joe nevertheless owns a group and vowed to use his influence to attract far more of his colleagues and NBA players to participate, based on Cordell. Two summers ago, Brandon Jennings and Kemba Walker played a series of Rucker games.
Cordell said the EBC started to drop touch with all the NBA plus the new rap scene the previous few years.
“I feel the music changed and my uncle didn’t understand it,’’ Cordell stated. “We want to get back to getting far more NBA guys. We’d really like to have that NBA atmosphere once more.’’
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