Outside of the Knicks, Nets, Siena Saints, UAlbany Great Danes and others, there is a whole new world of basketball happening in the parks of New York City.
Thanks to an experience put together by a user on Airbnb, you can get closer to the world of street basketball than you ever have before.
Check Out The “NYC Street Basketball Tour” on Airbnb
Airbnb user Jalisha has put together an exclusive New York City street basketball tour experience, bringing basketball fans to some of the most famous street ball courts in the city.
Jalisha’s profile on Airbnb claims she has interned and worked at some of the tournaments that the tour will take you to, and has worked for Nike and the NBA in similar capacities.
The tour itself boasts the following accommodations…
We attend some of NYC & the world most famous basketball courts in order to see the best NY and NBA professional basketball players show off their skills. Get an opportunity to meet some of the players and see the NYC Basketball first hand. We will enjoy performances, authentic & cultural foods of NY and celebrity sightings. – Airbnb
It also goes into some of the specific places where the tour takes you, and based on a bit of research, you’ll be seeing a great deal of history when you arrive at each one.
Visit Some of New York City’s Most Famous Courts
The first court listed is West 4th Street Courts, known as “The Cage” by many.
Here’s a different view of where you will find yourself.
West Fourth Street Courts have a legendary background, with its annual Streetball amateur tournament bringing in some of the best talent nationwide each summer. Officials estimate that each summer, the tournament brings roughly 100,000 spectators to The Cage to watch the tough, physical style of play that the smaller court brings.
Following The Cage, you’ll head to Rucker Park.
Located in Harlem, near the former Polo Grounds site according to sources, has held the “Rucker Tournament” every year since 1950. Rucker Park’s style of play was revolutionary at the time, bringing a flare to the game of basketball that the NBA did not, at the time, possess.
Rucker Park was the backdrop for Kyrie Irving’s “Uncle Drew” film, too. So, even if you’re more of a film buff than a basketball fan, there is something for you.
Finally, you’ll head to Dyckman Park in Manhattan.
Dyckman Park (also known as the Monsignor Kett Playground) carries such an incredible history with it. As chronicled by the Dyckman Basketball Tournament’s official webpage, the area in Manhattan where the park sits was a mess during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Three gentlemen, Kenneth Stevens, Omar Booth, and Michael Jenkins, cleaned up the park, painted the basketball court again, and started a tournament in hopes of bringing back the energy created by Rucker in the 1950s.
The tournament still goes strong today, and carries such corporate sponsors as Nike every year.
Street Basketball Has a Rich History in New York City
Though basketball itself was invented by James Naismith in the late 1800s, the street basketball craze in New York City was really started by the creator of Rucker Park, Holcombe Rucker, in the early 1950s.
Through the decades, and through the various cultural and social changes in the city, basketball remained a constant. Hoops began popping up in neighborhoods throughout the many boroughs, and entire neighborhoods were united by pick-up games.
The style of play was often more exciting than play in the NBA, and with no officials or set rules, the physical play was not for the faint or heart.
With that all being said, make sure you check out the Airbnb NYC Street Basketball Experience. Within this tour of the city, you can see the sights of an entire sport that has grown and evolved right there on the hardtops of New York City.
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