Over the weekend, Harlem-bred rapper and A$AP Mob co-founder A$AP Ferg decided to spend his Saturday servicing his local community.
Teaming up with the NBA Players Association and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Ferg and Celtics guard Jaylen Brown helped to renovate the iconic Greg Marius Court Oct. 9 at Rucker Park in Harlem, New York.
The ceremonial ribbon-cutting was open to guests and turned up celebrities in NYC rapper Fat Joe, NBA legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving and NBPA executive director Michelle Roberts.
Ferg took the time to speak with those in attendance about the original design plans for the court and how he recruited Brown, a NBA All-Star, to jump in as his brainstorming partner.
“What really inspired this court design, because I had so many designs, I spoke to my friend Jaylen Brown, he plays for the Boston Celtics,” Ferg told attendees at Rucker Park, per HipHopDX. “We was on the phone for hours because I just really was diving for inspiration… He was telling me the history on basketball and he told me about the Mayans.”
Ferg went on to explain their conversations about the evolution of basketball and how the Mayan civilization had a court game that resembled modern hoops. He researched its validity and came across the word “Xibalba.” It was associated with the game, explaining to guests its meaning: “A place of fright.”
“The hunger and the tenacity of the children that came from the Harlem streets gave us a different type of DNA growing up. Xibalba was a mythological word that the Mayans came up with that meant when you step into this game, you either die or you turn into a God and that’s what this court represents.”
The newly-renovated court features a crisp black and gold colorway designed by A$AP Ferg and Brown. The new renovations to the park include brand new rims and backboards, as well as having new bleachers installed for more fans to gather and enjoy some basketball.
The ceremony — as well as the months of production leading up to the court’s grand reopening — was a huge success for everyone involved. Most importantly, the court is a very special addition to the beauty of Rucker Park, Harlem and its residents.