Rapper A$AP Ferg has once again given back to his hometown and redesigned one of Harlem’s most infamous places, Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park.
The rapper teamed up with the NBA Players Association (NBPA) and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to redesign the park. A$AP Ferg also had help from Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown.
Ferg was called upon to redesign the court, and the rapper had many ideas in mind, but Jaylen is what inspired him to do the court based on the Mayans.
“We was on the phone for hours because I just really was diving for inspiration… He was telling me the history of basketball and he told me about the Mayans,” said Ferg at the grand opening. “They had this court game where they had a stone wall and the hoop was on the side and they played with a stone ball and they would like, play to death. Basketball was the evolution of that. Doing the research of the essence of this, I stumbled upon a word, Xibalba, which means a place of fright.”
Athletes and celebrities like Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Kyrie Irving, and Fat Joe have all played on the Rucker Park Basketball Court. Renovations for the court began on August 26, including new scoreboards and backboards, bleachers, upgraded pavement, asphalt, new paint on the court, and custom baskets donated by Spaulding.
Introducing the new @NYCParks Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park.
Funded by the NBPA, the renovation of Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park began in late August with the intention of preserving the rich history of the park. pic.twitter.com/5OKiw4bYTI
— NBPA (@TheNBPA) October 9, 2021
Special guests like rapper Fat Joe who grew up playing on this court, and NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving attended the ribbon cutting on October 9. This park is more than just a redesign, it’s a place that has started many careers of the athletes we know today.
“The basketball players, the kids that are aspiring to be in the N.B.A. or just love the game who may live in the vicinity of the park and may not fully appreciate its history, and if that’s the case, then we hope that this project will revive the history,” said Corey Williams commentator for the Australian National Basketball Leauge in a statement to the New York Times. “We’ll be telling the history.”