‘Lin-sanity’ Could Come to Rucker Park Tournament

HARLEM — After leading the Knicks to seven straight victories, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and becoming an international media sensation, hoops star Jeremy Lin is being asked to bring “Lin-sanity” to Harlem’s iconic Rucker Park.

That’s the dream of Greg Marius, CEO and founder of the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic, which has run the Rucker Tournament at 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard since 1986.

This past summer, NBA all-star Kevin Durant became the latest player to add to the court’s legend by scoring an eye-popping 66 points during a game there.

The park has hosted so many National Basketball Association and streetball legends that Community Board 10 is considering requesting that the site be made a landmark.

“We definitely need him to come. He’s magic,” Marius said of Lin, who is the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA.

“There’s no color on the basketball court. If you can play on that court, you can play.”

After bouncing around the NBA and the developmental league, Lin landed at the end of the then-struggling Knicks’ bench before getting an opportunity to play earlier this month.

Since his emergence, the Knicks have won seven straight, including a victory over the Los

Jeremy Lin, the surprising new star point guard for the Knicks, may play at Rucker Park. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Angeles Lakers on Friday that saw the point guard score a career-high 38 points.

On Wednesday, he notched up 10 points and 13 assists to lead the Knicks to a 100-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

“If I were Nike, I might consider making a mold [of his foot] right now,” Marius said.

Knicks officials said it was too early to think about what Lin will be doing this summer because of the shortened NBA season and how in-demand the player has become. The newly minted star is not currently doing appearances.

“He’s hardly had time to sleep,” said Andrew Krusco of the Knicks’ community relations department.

Marius said he is in the very early stages of speaking with the Knicks about having the team help install a state-of-the art scoreboard at Rucker Park that will show videos and instant replay, as well providing basketball clinics.

This year’s Rucker Park basketball season will kick off June 2 with a celebrity game, and the full tournament season will begin on June 18 and run through Aug. 20.

Lin’s appearance at Rucker could also help solve the question of what his nickname should be, Marius said.

Community Board 10 is considering adding Rucker Park at 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem to a list of sites and areas it wants to landmark. (DNAinfo/Jeff Mays)

Up until now, there’s been a series of puns riffing on Lin’s last name, from the ubiquitous “Lin-sanity” to “Linderella.” Film director and longtime Knicks fan Spike Lee has even solicited nicknames for Lin using Twitter.

Rucker Park has been the place many a streetball legend and NBA superstar have earned their nicknames. The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant got “Lord of the Rings” after his Rucker appearance, and the Charlotte Bobcats’ Kemba Walker, a Bronx native, is known as “E-Z Pass.”

Durant’s 66-point performance was so talked-about that they are still trying to come up with a worthy nickname for the Oklahoma Thunder star.

Hannibal, the announcer at Rucker Park who thinks up the nicknames, already has a few in mind for Lin, Marius said.

“Rush Hour,” the “Lin Factor” and “Chinese Connection” are just a few, he noted.

“He already has 1,000 nicknames, but we might have to change it,’ he said.

“It has to be a name that fits him perfect,” Marius said.

“But we don’t make up nicknames until you prove it live at Rucker Park,” he added.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20120216/harlem/rucker-park-tournament-organizer-wants-lin-sanity-at-iconic-harlem-court#ixzz1mbQyDJ00


Rice High School, home to New York City boys basketball powerhouse, closing its doors for good

The rumors of Rice High School closing were not exaggerated this time around.

The tiny, private, Roman-Catholic school in Harlem that produced such basketball stars as Kemba Walker and Felipe Lopez and had a shoe from Nike named after it is shuttering its doors at the end of the school year, a casualty of low enrollment and rising operating costs, the school’s Board of Trustees announced Monday.

Rice has already started the process of enrolling existing students in other high schools and will hold its final graduation ceremony on Friday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The students were informed of the school’s closing Monday at a general assembly. The school’s final baseball game could be Wednesday.

“It’s sad for me because I was supposed to stay all four years,” said junior Kenneth Lopez. “But now that’s changing.”

The school’s private donors, usually a reliable source of revenue, were not as forthcoming this year, according to a statement released by the Congregation of the Christian Brothers, which founded the school in 1938. Student enrollment had plummeted 44% since 2003, with the current student population at 218.

“Economic realities have forced this painful, difficult and emotional decision,” the statement read. “Rice High School has been operating at a cumulative budget deficit of millions of dollars for over a decade. The school hung on as long as it could to continue fulfilling its core mission of educating young men.”

UConn basketball star Kemba Walker, a Rice graduate, said he “can’t believe” the news.

“For a lot of us, it kept us out of trouble, it helped us grow,” Walker said. “A lot of us are successful now because of Rice. It changed me.”