Parker looks to spice up local playground

Published 8:51 am Monday, July 7, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Omar Parker is a man with a vision. When he drives down Harvey Street and looks over at the basketball court, he doesn’t see Washington, North Carolina; he sees a small slice of Harlem.
Parker, a former star basketball player and the father of the WDN Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Mychal Parker, is a basketball visionary with a dream of creating a Rucker Park-like atmosphere for the area youth.
Harlem’s Rucker Park got its fame in the 70s, when some of NYC’s best basketball players clashed head-to-head, and was home to NBA players who were looking for a mid-summer challenge.
The legend of the Rucker continued to grow and is now one of the world’s most famous playgrounds. Parker, who used to live in New York, hopes his patch of pavement at 402 Harvey Street can experience the same type of development.
Parker said he wants to create the same competitive atmosphere as the Rucker, and wants Parker Park to be a place where the area’s best talent can be put on display, and everyone can have some fun.
Parker has started an outdoor basketball league that will start on July 14, and will feature divisions for children 13 -and-under, 15-and-under, 18-and-under, and 19-and-over.
The registration fee for a team is $350 for the season. After the season, MVP’s will be named, and during the season the players stats will be posted on Anyone interested in signing up a team or lending a hand can contact Parker at (252) 402-0843.
Aside from the season being played outdoors, Parker said what will make this league so different is the atmosphere. Parker said he plans on having a D.J. set up to entertain the fans, along with an on-the-court commentator such as the one on the And One Street Tour.
Parker said the feedback from the community has been good so far.