Empire State Of Grind | NYC / by Hussein Abdullahi

   New York City, there's no place like home. It's been a summer ritual for me visiting NYC, I’ve adopted NYC as a second home. The diverse culture and bright lights give me that nostalgic feeling. A city that embodies hard work, creativity, passion, and swagger. I've always questioned why most successful athletes, entertainers, and businessmen are found within New York City; Over the years I’ve began to explore to find a deeper understanding to that statement.

    New York City has been publicly acknowledged for their great history with sports. If you're a New Yorker you're automatically a Yankee's or a Knicks fan. There's no way to escape it, you pretty much inherit the NYC culture. Every New Yorker has been to Yankee Stadium, or Madison Square Garden at least once in their lifetime.  In the early 80's, the evolution of basketball transcended its popularity in North America. Historical figures such as: Kenny Graham, Holcombe Rucker, Kenny Stephen, and Pewee Kirkland are just a few legends that paved the way for New York City's rich basketball culture.

     With the emergence of New York City's basketball culture it still remains the “Mecca of Basketball”. In the midst of summer over 10 summer leagues take place, where the top hoopers and pros come to showcase their talents. Some of the greatest names in basketball have graced the NYC blacktops, and they're legacies will forever be engraved here.

Growing up I’ve envisioned myself playing basketball in NYC

   Growing up I've envisioned myself playing basketball in New York City.  A couple years down to road,  having a great opportunity to compete in the Nike Dyckman League was a blessing in disguise. Being one of the top summer leagues in North America, 25 years later The Dyckman League has become the most highly anticipated summer league in the New York tri-state area. The rise of the diversified league has been influential to the basketball culture in NYC. Over 60 teams and 6 different age groups added now.

   Basketball has grown to become one of the main sports for Americans, and with the evolution in our sport culture we can hope to see a great influence of athletes picking up basketball as their 1st sport.  Toronto will always be home for me, but I'll always have great admiration for New York City.