Basketball and hip hop have that common, competitive nature that permeates within the passion of both. Sunday, the competiveness energy of street ball bouncing to the soundtrack of hip hop echoed through Brooklyn’s Barclay center thanks to the 30-year tradition of Harlem’s Rucker Park games and the EBC Celebrity Basketball Challenge. Hosted by New York’s Power 105.1, Brooklyn hosted the first EBC game at the Barclay Center.
Hip hop artists Wale, French Montana, Kendrick Lamar and Fabolous were on hand to serve as coaches to four different teams made up of a mix of street ball players and NBA professionals. In the end, Wale's team took home the championship after beating French Montana's squad.
One of the most famous street tournaments in the world, the Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC), founded by Greg Marius in 1982, has always drawn celebrities. Everyone from President Bill Clinton to Denzel Washington and LeBron James. This year’s celebrities in attendance included Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes, Maino, Troy Ave, and LL Cool J. "…It’s unbelievable. To get to see them play in an arena like this, it’s amazing, and I’m very happy for them,” said LL at a press conference during the game. “Growing up I was at the Rucker before it was the Rucker. I had a lot of fun times. Everything from seeing hustlers go 10,000 in the air on a game, unbelievable. I just lived it, just overall the experience has been amazing. As a basketball fan it’s good to see this kind of basketball. We can’t forget about the globetrotter of it all. It’s not only about contracts and rings, but it’s about passion and love and commitment and these guys showed it.”
With performances by Fabolous, Big Sean, Jadakiss and a host of others, Sunday’s EBC Challenge was not to be missed.