The Rucker Pro Legends Hall of Fame honored another outstanding class of inductees on Aug. 6, its 55th, in two categories, at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem.
This year’s inductees as Contributors were Holcombe Rucker, John “Snookie” Walker, Cecil K. Watkins, Lloyd Williams, John “Butch” Purcell and Henry “Hank” Carter.
In the Player category, Nancy Lieberman, Carl Green, Calvin “Cal” Ramsey, Floyd Lane, Tony Jackson, John “Junior” Martin, Walter Szczerbiak and Frank “Shake and Bake” Streety were inducted.
The Rucker Pro League, as well as Rucker Park, grew and first gained national and then international recognition in the 1960s when world class players began to frequent the courts that became sacred basketball grounds.
“Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Cazzie Russell, Fred Crawford, Howie Komives and Nate Bowman played there,” said Bob McCullough, the Rucker Pro League commissioner, the president of Each One Teach One and himself a Rucker and Harlem icon.
A New York City basketball historian, McCullough dropped names like he dropped points. “Wilt Chamberlain brought Archie Clark up here to play. Happy Hairston too,” he recalled. McCullough spoke of more all-time greats, including Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Connie Hawkins, Lenny Wilkins, Dave Cowens, Charlie Scott, Joe “The Destroyer” Hammond and Pee Wee Kirkland.
He would have continued, but he was interrupted as another topic came up. Although nothing else needed to be said. The greats’ legacy speaks loud and long