ActivateMKE Looks to Bring Outdoor Basketball to Milwaukee


Rucker Park has long endured as a focal point for many to gather. Located just off Harlem Avenue in Harlem, NY, the courts have provided pick-up basketball for many years. Through these years, aspiring basketball stars have found themselves training, competing, and playing with others who share that same dream. Those who took their play to the next level have, at times, returned back to the court to pay it forward. When they do, it is a beautiful sight.

At Rucker, there are no three words more bold or more fearless than “I’ve got next.” These words transcends their simple definitions. Once the words are yelled, the game takes its course.

Yes, playground basketball breeds competitiveness, but it also breeds comradery – something Milwaukee desperately needs.

Rucker is where Patrick Ewing first dominated New York basketball. It was not 25 minutes down the Hudson River at historic Madison Square Garden. It was at Rucker, where grit met grind and produced stars. Rucker was where Dr. Julius Erving earned his PHD in basketball. Not in college. Not in the NBA. His tenacity and his competitiveness were born on the Holy Grounds – an outdoor court. In a place where friends gather and enemies push you, kids from all over can gather together. 

Milwaukee needs that push right now. Milwaukee needs that grind right now.

Whether it be fear, ignorance, or simply disinterest, something is preventing us from addressing Milwaukee’s biggest issue today. The stagnant, highly segregated lands which stretch all through Milwaukee County, instill little unity. Physically and socially, the truth spills out in both the desolate streets of Milwaukee and in the untroubled suburbs. Is this the Milwaukee we want to live in? When asking why it needs to be this way, the primordial shrug of the shoulders may escape an immediate answer. But seriously, why aren’t we talking about this? Nike is currently running an EQUALITY campaign. At the campaign’s core? The idea that with sport, we should value people’s worth based off their actions, not their looks or beliefs.

So bring a Holy Ground to Milwaukee. Let’s Build a focal point in our city; one where people from all walks of life can gather. One where the next Dr. J or Patrick Ewing can discover his/her passion.

ActivateMKE, a collaborative mission comprised of dedicated Milwaukeeans trying to connect the community by activating people and unused space. Through the idea of basketball, their goal is to provide focal points where all can gather. ActivateMKE is helping lead the charge with other passionate Milwaukee visionaries to create a sustainable outdoor basketball venue for the world famous MECCA Floor that serves the community. 



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