NYCHA Celebrates Conclusion of Junior Knicks Basketball League with Championship Games at Borough of Manhattan Community College

The basketball programming held at 26 NYCHA campuses provided a healthy outlet for athletic activity for youth between the ages of 4-15

New York, NY – On Saturday, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) held citywide championship games at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) for the Junior Knicks Basketball League. The slate of games for the 11 & under; 13 & under; and 15 & under divisions concluded the final edition of a co-educational basketball league and series of clinics that served more than 700 participants across New York City. During the daylong tournament that featured 72 young basketball players, a team representing O’Dwyer Gardens bested a team representing the Claremont Neighborhood Center (which included nearby Webster Houses) to claim the 11 & under division. The 13 & under Claremont Neighborhood Center team would emerge victorious in the 13 & under division, this time beating the O’Dwyer Gardens squad. Finally, a team representing Marble Hill Houses held off a team from Marcy Houses to claim the 15 & under division championship. Former Knicks basketball player Rod Strickland presented trophies to the winning teams and signed basketballs for the youth – which were presented to the champions of the 11 & under team.

“Programs like the Junior Knicks Basketball League help change lives and ensure that no young person is left behind,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Thank you to Rod Strickland and the Knicks for their partnership in making this tournament happen for our young people, and congratulations to the winning team and all the participants.”

“Congratulations to the winning teams of the Junior Knicks Basketball League Championship, and a huge thank you to Rod Strickland for supporting our young people,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “All young New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to enjoy sports and learn the valuable skills such as teamwork and hard work that comes from playing together. Perhaps there is a future Liberty, Knicks, or Nets player in this year’s tournament who will one day bring another championship to our city!”

“The Junior Knicks basketball league and Skills & Drills clinics have served as a vital outlet for healthy athletic activity for hundreds of young people across our campuses during the summer months,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “This initiative would not be possible without the tireless efforts of our hardworking NYCHA staff – and our integral partners at the City level and at the New York Knicks basketball organization.”

The basketball league was made possible through a $2 million grant provided in July 2021 by the City of New York to support the creation of the league and an anti-violence curriculum. Eight hundred thousand dollars was spent to support the operation of this year’s league and, without additional support, 2022 will be the final iteration of the league and accompanying Skills & Drills clinics – which were held at Hammel, Queensbridge, and Ravenswood Houses (NYCHA campuses in Queens).

This year, the structure of the Skills & Drills clinics was further refined to introduce young people to organized game play. In addition to learning the fundamentals of basketball play, students were also introduced to simulations of live game situations and how to interact with referee officials.

The 26 courts that participated in the Junior Knicks basketball league included:






· Bronx River

· Castle Hill

· Forest

· Claremont

· Marble Hill

· Mott Haven

· Throggs Neck

· Breukelen

· Marcy

· Sheepshead Bay

· Tompkins

· O’Dwyer Gardens

• Douglass

• Jefferson

• King Towers

• Rutgers

• Wagner

• Wald

• Wilson

• Woodside

• Hammel

• Ravenswood

• Queensbridge

• Pomonok

· Stapleton

· Richmond Terrace

NYCHA households applied to the league in June; a Kick-off Skills & Drills event was held on Friday, July 15 at Wald Houses in Manhattan, and the clinics continued at various sites throughout the summer. Game play began on August 16, with teams from all five boroughs playing in matches throughout the city.


About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. NYCHA is home to roughly 1 in 16 New Yorkers across over 177,000 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves over 339,000 residents through the conventional public housing program (Section 9), over 29,000 residents at developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD, and over 92,000 families through federal rent subsidies (the Section 8 Leased Housing Program). In addition, NYCHA connects residents to opportunities in financial empowerment, business development, career advancement, and educational programs. With a housing stock that spans all five boroughs, NYCHA is a city within a city.