Bed Stuy has new hoops thanks to comedian Tracy Morgan, who returned to his childhood neighborhood yesterday to unveil new basketball courts at Marcy Playground.
The $215,000 park renovation was funded by TBS in conjunction with The Last O.G., in which Morgan’s character returns to the once hardscrabble streets of Brooklyn after 15 years in prison, only to find moms “alkalizing” their tots with seaweed and hipsters expounding on Michelin starred vs. Michelin rated.
While some parts of Brooklyn have witnessed that kind of hyper-gentrification, the basketball courts at Marcy Playground hadn’t seen a major renovation in more than 10 years, according to Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. Now they boast fresh asphalt, four new polycarbonate backboards, and a hot-pink mural designed by New Zealand “post graffiti” artist ASKEW ONE.
“This is for Brooklyn,” Morgan is quoted as saying, in a press release. He recalled playing on the court in his youth: “I actually cut my finger once on a glass bottle here and the blood I spilled on the court was for these kids.”
Borough President Eric Adams said “Brooklyn is proud to welcome back one of its most famous sons, and we’re even prouder that he’s giving back in a real way to the community that raised him.”
The Last O.G. was filmed partly in Bed-Stuy, which hit home for Morgan, and Carroll Gardens, which hit home for Jorma Taccone, director of the pilot episode. “It’s happening in where we live in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn,” Taccone said told Vogue. “There are $4 million brownstones across the street from housing projects. I really do hope that what comes out of the show [is] communities like that can start to try to give back to the other part of their community that is often ignored.”