High hopes for hoops in Point Breeze

Urban Roots plans to transform this corner in Point Breeze.
Urban Roots plans to transform this corner in Point Breeze.

Jeffrey Tubbs has a dream for Point Breeze, and it comes in the shape of basketball court. Tubbs is the founder and president of Urban Roots, one of two nonprofits involved in revitalizing the neighborhood by creating — the name is a mouthful — Rucker Philly at Ralph Brooks Park. It’s a sister spot to the famed basketball court at Rucker Park in Harlem, which has been dribbled on by everyone from Wilt Chamberlain to Kobe Bryant (and plenty of other b-ballers who didn’t get their starts in Philly).

Joining Urban Roots is I.am.SP, another local nonprofit founded by youth basketball coach Jahmall Crandall. Together they aim to turn a forgotten basketball court into the core of a stronger community.

Of course, it isn’t going to be easy. According to Tubbs, the project has raised roughly $240,000 so far. “We’ve been partnering with the Rucker Foundation from New York, and that gives us some real street credibility,” explains Tubbs. The hope is that the renovated corner will strengthen the community and provide a place for kids to play, interact and become a part of their neighborhood.

“I think from a city planning point, we’re basically trying to use the court as a hub to address different issues. Some local businesses are not doing great and we’re hoping to generate business there. And we are working with leaders in the community to expose young people to the idea of building a successful neighborhood,” says Tubbs.

Urban Roots and I.am.SP have plans that expand further than the court. “That’s the anchor of this project, but we’ve been approved to acquire several lots around the court,” Tubbs says. “We hope to have some accessories there, like an urban farm and a commercial kiosk for fresh produce. Maybe a pop-up business and some workshops.”

The entire project has an estimated price tag of $1 million. If all goes according to plan, expect to see Rucker Philly at Ralph Brooks Park buzzing with activity by spring of next year.

Lucky Ant

To help reach their monetary goal, the nonprofits set out to raise cash through Lucky Ant, a local crowdfunding organization. “We really liked Lucky Ant because they’re not Kickstarter. This gives both of us an opportunity to show what we’re about,” Tubbs says. While the overall financial goal might sound daunting, this first fundraising effort is for a mere $275,000, to bankroll the first phase of the project.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Class action against Facebook attracts 60,000 users

A law student said his class action suit against Facebook for alleged privacy violations has the support of 60,000 users and passed its first legal review.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Local

Mugger uses chokeholds in Central Park attacks: NYPD

Cops are searching for a Manhattan mugging suspect tied to at least two attacks near Central Park this week.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

Television

TV watch list, Thursday, Aug. 21: 'Simpsons,' 'Simpsons'…

It's time to change the channel to FXX, and then never change it again, as you watch all the "Simpsons" episodes you can handle.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…