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The Godfather of Basketball

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The Godfather of Basketball

"Cause the streets is a short stop

Either you slangin' crack rock

Or you got a wicked jump shot."

Jay-Z "sports, Drugs, Entertainment."

Harlem. The fatherland of drugs, violence and a common battlefield for the Bloods and Crips. However in 1946, one block created a way to cease the firing and provided a tunnel of hope for the residents in the area. A single park on 155th and 8th with a simple game contributed to countless adolescents picking up a basketball instead of a Glock. A single name, a thousand unseen contributions. Rucker. In the article "Time to Enshrine Mr. Rucker," author Scoop Jackson believes that for his countless endowments to the basketball culture, Holcombe Rucker should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Jackson makes several great points and I believe that Mr. Rucker should be in the Hall of Fame and it's a shame he's excluded.

"A person is eligible for enshrinement as a contributor at any time for significant contributions to the game of basketball. What constitutes a significant contribution shall be determined by the Basketball Hall of Fame" (qtd in Jackson). Let us take a glance at the 50 people that have bronze busts in Springfield under the contributor category. Mr. Chuck Taylor, enshrined in 1969, received the ultimate gratification for his shoe company Converse. Another contributor, Chuck Hearn, is now enshrined because he was the Lakers' announcer for 41 years. Yes, a great accomplishment, but worthy enough to be in the Hall? If one gets in for broadcasting or shoes, surely Mr. Rucker can get in for creating the most influential park in basketball history. As Jackson explains," Making this situation really no different than Adolph Rupp's or Dean Smith'sÐ'... but maybe his impact on the players that played for him and those that played on his court is equal to the impact of Rupp and Smith on those that played for them and on their courts after they were no longer there" (Jackson).

Wilt, Alcindor, The Pearl, Dr. J, and Connie "The Hawk" Hawkins were deities up there. Some felt the competition at Rucker was stiffer than the NBA. Numerous players were given the opportunity to show off their game and,



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