Youth teams battle for Rucker championships in Harlem

VINCENT DAVIS | 8/8/2019, 12:59 p.m.
The Rucker championships were held on Sunday, morning through the afternoon, concluding their 10 week summer league basketball program.

The Rucker championships were held on Sunday, morning through the afternoon, concluding their 10 week summer league basketball program. The league, celebrating their 69th year, features teams comprised of some of the most talented ballplayers and noted coaches from the metropolitan area.

Parents, family, friends and basketball enthusiasts filled Colonel Young park on Lenox Avenue between 144th and 145th Streets to support and view the six championship games in the league’s six divisions.

New Heights took the first two trophies of the day, defeating the Raptors 34-to-27 for the 5th and 6th Grade Girls championship (Coach: Marquee Poole), and 46-32 for the 7th and 8th Grade Girls championship (Coach: Rosey Lyonelle Rosemone). Janaya Meyer was voted MVP of Game 1 and Kaila Richards in Game 2.

The Gauchos, coached by Dwayne Mitchell, took the 12 and under Boys championship defeating Jadakiss Elite 53-37. MVP: Brandon Stores.

The 14 and under Boys division was won by Milbank, coached by Preston Sharp. MVP: Alfred Bernard. A narrow, 38-36 victory over the Riverside Hawks who fought it out to the end. It was the closest, most exciting ending out of the six championship games of the day.

Milbank also took the 16 and under Boys division. Coached by Roosevelt Byers, they defeated the New York City Wizards 41-28. MVP: Dior Davis.

The Milbank dominance fell short in the 18 and under Boys division, 71-62, as the Minute Men put an end to Milbank’s afternoon win streak. Coached by Tracy Young, the Minute Men was led on the court by the play of MVP, Charlie Casillas.