Before the Ballup crew put on a great show at St John’s University this past Sunday, Ballup members The Professor and Bone Collector stopped by Rucker Park to check out all the beautiful EBC upgrades including a new NBA style wood floor. Not only does the floor look great but it’s a tribute to some of the fallen greats of streetball who played at Rucker including John “Big Strick” Strickland, Troy “Escalade” Jackson, Tyrone “Alimoe” Evans and Malik Sealy.
Alimoe aka The Black Widow was one of the original And1 Mixtape greats that was also well respected by many NBA players. Kobe Bryant sent autographed sneakers to his funeral and Shaq gave him a shout-out on Inside the NBA.
You might remember the lyrics on Jay-Z’s PSA “My homie Strick told me, dude finish your breakfast, and that’s what I’ma do.” Well, that homie Jay was talking about was John “Big Strick” Strickland. A former globetrotter and streetball legend that also made some noise for the Knicks during one preseason (he put up 32 points and 12 rebounds in a preseason game against the Nets in 98).
Weighing between 375-500 pounds, Escalade was the “little” brother of Mark Jackson and one of the biggest talents and personalities of the original And1 and Ballup tours.
— Mark Jackson (@MarkJackson13) June 17, 2014
When Kevin Garnett joined the Brooklyn Nets, he switched his number to #2 in honor of his past friend and teammate Malik Sealy who died in a car crash after he left a birthday party for KG back in 2000. Malik was a star at St John’s University, a first round draft pick of the Pacers and played 8 years in the NBA before his tragic death.
All 4 are missed and thanks to tours like Ballup and the EBC’s new TV show on ESPN, all 3 will continue to be honored and remembered.