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Thursday, October 25, 2012

In Nets’ New Home Of Brooklyn, Playground Basketball Still Reigns

The Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards play an NBA preseason basketball game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last week. (AP/Kathy Willens)

Rapper Jay-Z, bottom right, who is part owner of the Nets, attends the team’s final NBA basketball home game as the “New Jersey Nets,” before the team packs up and move to Brooklyn. (AP/Julio Cortez)

Nearly 40 years ago, a young sportswriter went to Brooklyn and fell in love with the playground basketball scene.

The result was the book “Heaven Is A Playground.”

This summer the author, Rick Telander, went back to Brooklyn to celebrate the arrival of the Brooklyn Nets, the NBA franchise that is now making this basketball hotbed its home.

Telander tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that the kids are still playing ball on the asphalt at Foster Park.

Rapper Jay-Z is part owner of the Nets and has been influential in the team’s move to the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He also designed the Nets’ new logo and black-and-white color scheme.


  • Rick Telander, senior sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and author of “Heaven Is A Playground.” He tweets @ricktelander.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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