Summer Spotlight: Dyckman Park
The summertime in New York City is unlike any other place in the world. For a basketball enthusiast it’s like heaven simply because of the different summer leagues around the city. Each League has its own identity and specifically speaking, the Dyckman League is a very special part of the basketball culture in New York City.
Established in 1990, this is the 27th anniversary of the league and each year it has gotten bigger and bigger with respect to professionalism and overall gameplay. With the 1 train in the background this court is something that epitomizes streetball. The people, the music and the food vendors are something that you just don’t see anywhere else. It gives the tournament an organic feel that makes Dyckman feel like home. I’ve been coming to Dyckman for over 10 years strong and it just never gets old. It truly is one of the most anticipated and notable summer basketball events within the New York City tristate area.
At the games you can see co-founder and director of the league Kenny Stevens hustling around the park to make sure everything is running smoothly. With up to 2500 spectators at any given time, it truly is a daunting task to keep things running like a well-oiled machine. Together with his partners Omar Booth and Michael Jenkins, Kenny Stevens has expanded from a word of mouth league to a league that host over 100 teams in six different age groups.
Sponsored by Nike, the Dyckman league is NCAA and NBA sanctioned so on any given day you can see an NBA player or two competing. The league has 6 divisions, which include (but not limited to) College/Pro division, High School boys and Girls divisions as well as a diaper league for children. The tournament has received tremendous support from corporate sponsors as well as NBA players like Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kemba Walker just to name a few. My fondest memory of the Dyckman Park tournament would be the time when Kevin Durant played against Michael Beasley. The park was jam packed and people were literally climbing over one another to get a glimpse of the game. I ended up scaling a tall gate and watched the game from about 30 feet in air hanging off the gate for dear life. That was a once in a lifetime game that I’m glad I attended. Click the photo below for the highlights of that game!
The league’s premier announcer is none other than Dave “Cha Ching” Teele, who has become a cult celebrity for his announcing flair and catch phrases. Cha Ching is one of the hardest working guys around. He takes his role very seriously and adds his own flair to announcing games. You may catch him wearing one of his many costumes to announce a big game. He’s not afraid to be original and that’s what sets him apart from his peers. He’s just different and people come to the park to see Cha Ching just as much as the games. If he is on the mic you are sure to be entertained, even if the teams aren’t the ones entertaining you.
The atmosphere at Dyckman is unmatched by any other summer basketball league that I have ever been to. Together with quality basketball there is few other summer leagues that I would rather be at. Stay tuned this summer as the league will certainly heat up! NBA players on the rosters and celebrities showing up to spectate give this league a larger than life feel. Dyckman Park is truly one of the best around!
Notable Alumni: Kevin Durant, Ron Artest (Metta World Peace), Baron Davis, Kemba Walker, Micheal Beasley, Kyrie Irving, Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, Demar Derozan, Tyreke Evans, Kyle Anderson, Francisco Garcia, Keydren Clark, Kareem Reid, JR Smith, Homicide Williams, Isaiah Whitehead, Kenny Satterfield, Felipe Lopez, Sebastian Telfair, Edgar Sosa, Future Malloy, Luis Flore, Adris Deleon, Isaiah Washington, Brandon Jennings, Gary Irving, Jeremy Hazell, Corey Brewer… and many more!!