Friday, July 30, 2010

TSI at Work: Keeping the Spectators and Players Safe at Historic Rucker Park

Basketball fans around the country lament the end of the N.B.A. Finals each June: the crowning of a new champion represents the beginning of a long stretch without any hoops action. For New York City afficionados of the game, however, the end of the N.B.A. and college seasons means that the best in the world are free to come to the city and shine. Legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Dr. J, as well as current stars like Baron Davis and Brandon Jennings, have faced off against hungry players looking to make their mark.
No venue attracts star power and raw talent like Holcombe L. Rucker Park in Upper Manhattan. Named for the Harlem teacher who first organized the games in 1950 and now known simply as "The Rucker," the park plays host to a rotating cast of celebrities, athletes, locals and tourists throughout the summer. They come to participate in or serve as spectators for the annual Entertainer's Classic Basketball Tournament, for which famous athletes and entertainers, such as Fat Joe and Angie Martinez, field teams that "wow" all in attendance.
Times Square Ink is proud to be represented at the Rucker this summer by Marcellus Fairley III, a recent grad. Marcellus, a security professional, has been working since early June to maintain a safe environment at the park for fans and players alike, working with a team of security personnel to make sure that the energy and excitement of this world class action does not lead to unnecessary injury for any of those in attendance. While bumps, bruises and occasional serious ailments are par for the course when athletes spend this much time above the rim, Marcellus and his team ensure that folks are otherwise kept out of harm's way.
Marcellus, who attended Times Square Ink throughout April and May, commented on the program's positive effect on his work in security: "Now, I think of myself more as a professional than hired 'muscle' or something like that. Situations come up where maybe I would have rushed somebody out, but this summer at the Rucker, I've been talking through more stuff." If you find yourself near 155th and Frederick Douglas Boulevard or are willing to travel for some of the flashiest hoops action on the planet, make sure to say "hello" to our friend Marcellus!