Credit: Kyrie Irving-Rod Strickland Summer Basketball League photo

The Kyrie Irving-Rod Strickland Summer Basketball League will conclude its 24th season this weekend with the semifinals taking place this Saturday and the finals tipping-off on Sunday at 9 a.m. The games will be played at St. Mary’s Park, located at 148th Street and St. Ann’s Avenue in the Bronx. The playground, refurbished by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, features new fiberglass backboards.

Saturday will see Fly High facing the KS All Stars BK in one 12u semifinals match up. In the other 12u game the Rising Stars will take on the KS All Stars Red. The 14u showcase has the Rising Stars opposing LES.

The chips already set for Sunday are Riverside vs. the KS All Stars in the 8u meeting, the NY Lions versus Team 914 in the 9u division, and Black Ops against the KS All Stars in the 10u pairing.

Named after its benefactors, Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, and his godfather, Bronx native Rod Strickland, who ranks 13th on the NBA’s all-time assists leaders list with 
7, 987, putting him 573 ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies’ Rajon Rondo, who stands at No. 14, the league has been a mainstay of summer youth basketball in New York City for nearly a quarter of a century.

It is the brainchild of founder and director LaMarre Dyson, a longtime notable figure of the city’s vast basketball community. Dyson is also the founder of Young Athletes Inc., a Bronx-based non-profit organization operated out of I.S. 584 dedicated to serving disadvantaged youth. YAI offers school year, Saturday and summer programs. The school year classes include digital photography, journalism, magazine publishing, robotics, chess and art.