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Baylor Basketball

Big 12 Partnering With New York City's Rucker Park

March 23, 2023

IRVING, TX - In advance of the Kansas State Wildcats' Sweet 16 appearance tonight at Madison Square Garden, the Big 12 announced today a partnership with Rucker Park, home of the world-famous playground court considered the birthplace of streetball. The partnership will see the Big 12 operate youth clinics at Rucker Park for local youth in grades six and below. The clinics will be held across multiple days and will be led by head coaches from both men's and women's Big 12 basketball programs. Participating coaches will be named at a later date.

Additionally, the Big 12 Conference will host men's and women's summer exhibition games at Rucker Park, pending NCAA approval. The Big 12 is also planning a variety of entertainment enhancements and community engagements throughout the Conference's Rucker Park activations.

"Rucker Park is one of the great landmarks in basketball and is a cultural icon - we are excited to be able to bring Big 12 Basketball to its court," said Commissioner Brett Yormark. "We are committed to growing the Conference's footprint in a variety of ways, and we want kids across New York City to experience Big 12 Basketball first-hand."

"Big 12 coaching clinics at New York City's Rucker Park is an iconic collaboration," said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. "I'm thrilled that through this partnership, our young people will have the chance to learn from some of the best in the business, bringing Big 12 basketball right to their front door."

"Rucker Park is the home court for some of the nation's most accomplished student-athletes," said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. "We're grateful to the Big 12 for bringing their coaches to our turf to inspire the next generation of homegrown, New York talent!"

Four Kansas State men's basketball student-athletes call New York City home - Nae'Qwan Tomlin, Tykei Greene, Ismael Massoud, and Markquis Nowell. Additionally, Tomlin attended elementary school across the street from Rucker Park and grew up playing on the legendary playground court.

"Rucker Park is like a home away from home. Playing in that atmosphere is great. All the fans are watching you and you have to do your thing out there, so it's a special place for me," said Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell. "I think this partnership between the Big 12 and Rucker Park will be beneficial to the culture - just all the little kids growing up and wanting to play there. Now, you bring all these great players from the Big 12 who are going to be pros and they get to show out in front of the fans. It'll be special."

"As a child living in Harlem, Rucker Park is where you hoop during the summertime. My favorite childhood memories of Rucker Park was going there right after school to shoot and play games," said Kansas State forward Nae'Qwan Tomlin. "It's really cool the Big 12 is going there - there would be a lot of fans there wanting to watch, it would be a different environment. The Big 12 is a physical league and the best league in college basketball and is kind of like Rucker Park because of the physicality and how tough it is."

Discussion from...

Big 12 Partnering With New York City's Rucker Park

2,005 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by BearFan33
Media Bear
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This is AWESOME! Our conference's new commissioner continues to hit it out of the park (or into the park in this case) when it comes to original, creative and smart ways to increase exposure for the Big XII conference.

Once again … a move that is sharklike …
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It won't hit the numbers at first but at minimum good to get the schools out there to season the recruiting trail in new areas. Outside of KU and us (recent title) most of the kids out there don't know much about any other big 12 schools. Drew getting in early on some Nyc kids would be great.
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Do Connie Hawkins or Earl the Goat Manigault have any eligibility left?
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This is a way smart move for the Big 12. Awesome and can't wait to see some of these exhibition games there too.
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Incredible brand building opportunity
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