Updated 07/31/2012 11:29 PM
Rucker Park Tournament Returns Following Last Week's Shooting
Organizers continued a basketball tournament in Rucker Park Tuesday, nearly a week after a multiple shooting at the Harlem park put the tournament on hold. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
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Athletes jumped, well, for joy, allowed to compete again in the Entertainers Basketball Classic.
"I'm excited," said one player. "I'm not afraid. I'm from the hood, so it happens sometimes. I'm just here to play basketball."
"I've been coming here for 15 years," said another player. "It's always been good. That was just one isolated incident."
"First time in 30 years," said a third. "We correct it. Police out here, everybody having a good time."
Police put the games on hold Monday night, presumably concerned about safety. Until then, organizers had shut the tournament down temporarily after a shooting on July 25.
A fight broke out at 11 p.m. last Wednesday near the famed Holcombe Rucker court. Investigators said 24-year-old Ricardo Laing shot and wounded five people. He's charged with five counts of attempted murder.
Scores of police officers helped set up security Tuesday night, with 12 paid private guards searching people as they entered the court. No one seemed to mind.
"I'm glad," said one attendee. "Something for the kids to do, get them out of the projects, the streets. It's controlled over here."
The crowd was a little thin. Regulars said people might be hesitant to come after the shooting and false start Monday night.
But now there's a theme and a purpose, with banners bashing violence here or anywhere.
"We going EBC against gangs and violence and guns and everything," said one attendee.
"We're going to have a great playoff and championship and we'll be back again next year," said Gregory Marius, the tournament organizer.