The Black Widow

When people ask who my favorite player was growing up they usually expect to hear something along the lines of Jordan, Magic or even Kobe.  Those are pretty safe answers but my favorite is player none other than the late Tyron “Alimoe” Evans.  Alimoe was a special person and an even more special player.  I first saw him play at the Kingdome basketball tournament at The King Towers in the mid 90’s.  What caught my eye about this guy was his ability to handle the basketball.  Most players his height would be subjected to a life of rebounds and block shots but Alimoe was different.  He was literally a magician with the ball.  As soon as he entered the park the news of him potentially playing buzzed around the park and spread like wildfire.  There was no social media then so news traveled by way of word of mouth.  People came from far and wide just to get a glimpse of this guy.  On the court he would torment his opponent by talking trash after every bucket or flashy dribble move.  He was nearly impossible to guard.  At 6’8 he moved as graceful as guards a foot shorter than him.  He was unselfish with the ball and was vocal on the court.  A natural team leader.  I had the pleasure of meeting him through a mutual associate and he was cool.  Off the court he was one of the funniest guys that you would ever meet.  He always cracked jokes and lit up a room whenever he stepped inside it.

Alimoe passed away in 2013 and although I didn’t know him that well personally it felt like I lost a family member.  I looked up to this guy from afar.  I patterned my game after his and even emulated some of the moves I would see him do.  Growing up in Harlem prepares you for the world a little bit differently than anywhere else in the world.  Everything he did personified Harlem.  The flair, the braggadocios attitude, all gave Alimoe a larger than life persona.  I can remember hearing the announcer over the loud speaker “The Black Widow is in the Building!!!” and feeling a sense of excitement.  There was no better feeling than that as a basketball fan.  He is greatly missed and there will never be another Alimoe.

Basketball is my Job… If I could just make $60,000… Thats my job!

Alimoe didn’t make the NBA but he didn’t need that.  He lived his life doing what he loved to do.  Of course every kid who picks up a ball and plays basketball dreams of one day making it to the professional ranks but I’m sure that Alimoe was content putting a smile on kids faces across the country.  It was a different time then.  Alimoe and others found a way to make something out of nothing.  They took the game they loved and went on tour displaying their talent for the people.  I’m glad to have been one of the people who got a chance to witness.

Every summer the Tristate Classic @ 145th and Lennox Avenue in Harlem honors Alimoe with a one day treat.  All the best ballers come out and show love.  Last summer there was pandemonium in the park as NYC’s best High School ballers took to the court.  Isaiah Washington, Cole Anthony, Marquis Nowell, and Hamidou Diallo to name a few.  Diallo, the University of Kentucky Freshman stole the show with a series of highlight dunks.  Alimoe would have loved every minute.  RIP to the one and only Black Widow!  His legacy lives on.

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  1. Joe Almeida

    Excellent! R.I.P. “Alimoe”…we can throw out the “playground” tag for The Black Widow, dude was a SERIOUS balla!!!…Gave an all-time HONEST interview on Espn2’s show when he said, in effect, “… I thought I DID MAKE it… I was a ‘star” in Harlem”… seemed like a real cool person… much game. S.I.P. Thanx for story?…. yup- I go to 145th for Alimoe Day from Boston….

  2. Sincere Hardnett

    Prior to seeing Kyrie Irving emerge as a elite basketball player…it was Alimoe who had the illest spin-move off-the-dribble in my opinion…I enjoyed this tribute to him, RIP Tyron Evans a/k/a Alimoe

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