The Notorious B.I.G already has his jersey hanging in the rafters of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Now the late rapper has been honored with his own basketball court down the block from where he grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant.
The newly minted Christopher “Biggie” Wallace courts were revealed on Wednesday afternoon as New York City councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr. led a ribbon cutting ceremony for the courts formerly known as the Crispus Attucks Park basketball courts. Family and friends of the late rapper including his daughter T’yanna Wallace and Lil Cease were in attendance.
“This community is under siege, as it relates to gentrification,” Cornegy said in a statement. “I don’t care who lives here, you come in this park, you’re gonna have to know who Biggie Smalls was.” The move was to preserve a promise Cornegy made to Violetta Wallace, Biggie’s mother following her son’s funeral in 1997.
Previous attempts to rename St. James Place, the project building where Biggie grew up were thwarted. The renaming of the court comes days after the annual Dream B.I.G. Youth Basketball tournament which takes place every summer and has done so for the past six years. The honorary plaque that bears the late rapper’s name also came with a $2.5 million renovation to the Crispus Attucks playground which includes new equipment, handball courts, wheelchair-accessible ramps and gardens.