NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two communities came together to honor one of hip-hop’s biggest stars; Christopher Wallace, better known as Biggie Smalls.
As CBS2’s Elise Finch reported, the Brooklyn basketball court where the rapper spent a lot of his time now bears his name.
The Notorious BIG, Biggie Smalls, or simply Biggie was larger than life.
He’s considered one of the best rappers of all time, but before he had that title, he was just another Brooklyn boy hanging out at the basketball court.
“This park was Biggie’s park. This is where everybody, Big’s friends hang out,” DJ Fly Ty said.
As 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported, the Christopher Wallace Basketball Courts are located at Fulton Street and Classon Ave where he played with boyhood friends Nino Brown and Lil Cease.
Almost everything in the park now brand new; the gym equipment, the sprinklers, even the tables and benches.
The basketball courts boast new ground surfaces, backboards, hoops, and nets.
Altogether the park got a $2.5-million makeover. Biggie’s mentee and fellow rapper Lil Cease said it’s a good investment.
“Hopefully we can create the next basketball player, the next rapper, the next doctor,” he said.
Biggie was killed in a drive by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997, and shortly afterwards efforts to honor him in the neighborhood were met with resistance due to his lyrics, and the way he died.
That’s what made the renaming ceremony particularly meaningful.
“Young people need to have someone that they can look to to show that there’s a way out of whatever circumstance that they’re in, and Big did that for many of us,” New York City Councilman Robert Cornegy said.
“When Biggie came along, he put Brooklyn, New York and the whole east coast back on the map from a hip hop perspective,” DJ Mister Cee said.
Biggies daughter and a lot of his friends were the first to checkout the newly renamed courts.
The next big event there will be a tournament to raise money for young people in need. The Christopher Wallace Memorial Basketball Tournament takes place on the new courts this weekend.