Home Nike kobe Rahim Thompson wants to honor Philadelphia’s summer basketball scene

Rahim Thompson wants to honor Philadelphia’s summer basketball scene


Rahim Thompson has an encyclopedic knowledge of Philadelphia’s summer basketball history.

In an instant, it can tell countless stories of people and places that have made summer hoops a haven.

For example, when he helped bring LeBron James to Palestra for the “Battle for I-95” in 2011. Or when James Harden cut the Nike logo from his Danny Rumph Classic jersey days after changing his affiliation to Adidas. . Perhaps his favorite story was sitting in a barbershop with Kobe Bryant the night he was nearly traded to the Lakers.

“My life has been like story after story on this trail where we are today,” said Thompson, who founded The Chosen League and the Team Thompson Family Foundation. “There is so much going on in the basketball community in Philadelphia that needs to be highlighted.”

Thompson, 45, proposed to At-Large Board Member Isaiah Thomas to make August Philly Legendary Summer Hoops Month. He wanted to find a way to commemorate the past while celebrating its influence on the present.

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Thomas fell in love with the idea.

“From the Council’s perspective, every time people get together like this, dollars are spent. Then we also occupy people’s time in a safe space,” said Thomas, who also coaches the boys’ basketball team at Sankofa Academy Charter School. “We bring in people from out of town, which helps solve some of our perception and tourism issues. When you talk about our city’s DNA, Philadelphia is a basketball city.

Thomas will present a citation to Thompson in early August, making the month-long commemoration official. There will then be a festive reception on August 16 at Live! Casino in South Philadelphia.

The citation will not apply until August 2022. It will need to be reintroduced next year to recognize Philly’s summer hoops again. Thomas said he would continue to offer the citation every summer as long as he is a member of the city council.

Beyond introducing the citation, Thomas’ office can assist leagues and individual camps as a point of contact for fundraising and with the logistics of organizing community events.

“It’s not about playing the game during August,” Thompson said. “It’s about highlighting why games are being played and the story of how these leagues are going right now because it’s taken a long time to get here.”

The leagues have long been at the forefront of Philly’s summer hoops. The chosen league is in its 21st edition, which will begin on August 1. The 17th edition of the Rumph Classic will take place from August 4 to 8. There is also the 2 year old Brotherly Love Pro-Am (played in June-July).

Before that there was the famous Sonny Hill League at Temple’s McGonigle Hall. Then came the 16th and Philly League at 16th and Susquehanna streets, which ruled the 90s. Thompson gets an extra serotonin boost talking about the former Cory Erving League at Parkside Courts and the Paul King Untouchables League at 27th and Clearfield.

Camps are another major part of recognition Thompson hopes to cultivate in August.

The 10th Annual Isaiah Thomas and Chris Woods Basketball Camp runs for three weeks in August for kids ages 5-16. 76ers third-year guard Tyrese Maxey is hosting his first of three camps Aug. 6 in Philadelphia before heading to Dallas, Texas, and Lexington, Ky. Lewis Leonard, who has trained some of the region’s best players, will hold its camp in the second half of August.

Thompson wants to use the dedicated month as a time to draw the line between basketball generations.

“We have to show these guys coming in that we influenced them,” Thompson said. “You have [Chuck] Ellis doing all the summer training now. Which was started by John Hardnett. Which was originally started by Bob Johnson. It is this legacy that continues to grow.

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Thompson was born in the Bronx, NY, and was homeless for periods of his childhood. Basketball was an inspiring avenue for him. He and his mother moved to North Philadelphia when he was 14 before later landing in Olney.

From 1998 to 2001 he was a student at Drexel. Thompson never finished school because he started working for Philadelphia mayoral candidate John Street, where he learned how to fundraise and organize corporate sponsorships.

Experiences on the business side, coupled with his vast knowledge of local history, make Thompson the obvious candidate to lead “Philly Legendary Summer Hoops Month.”

“Basketball has always been about building lifelong friendships,” Thompson said. “The best way to say it’s basketball was a camaraderie that balanced everything for me, no matter what was going on in the world.”