Brooklyn born NBA player Taj Gibson returned to where he grew up in the Nw York City Housing Authority’s Ingersoll Houses this weekend for his annual “Back to School Basketball Bash.”
Gibson, a power forward, who recently signed with the New York Knicks sponsored the event, which had parents and kids gathered on the sidelines to watch a friendly game of basketball with residents from the Fort Greene housing projects.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams came by to share encouraging words for a successful new school year and to also present Gibson with a key to the borough of Brooklyn. Adams also proclaimed August 31, 2019 as “Taj Gibson Celebration Day” which came as a surprise to everyone.
Gibson was there to celebrate the honor with his family while taking in the game he loves from the sidelines.
“Today is an amazing feeling because as far as this community, I’m just trying to prepare the next generation to be great. Playing in front go my old building is a great feeling. I want to be that role model for kids coming up to understand that no matter where they’re from, if they work hard they can do what I did with hard work and dedication. It’s just a great feeling to be here and see the love,” Gibson told KCP when asked what the day meant to him.
Children of all ages and sizes were there to play basketball and enjoy the ice cream, music and overall fun. Sincere Folk was one of the teenage players who enjoyed the day and watched his father, Sharad Folk also play in the main game. He expressed how much the day made him feel excited for the new school year.
Adams expressed how important the day was for the community. “I was a lieutenant here a couple years back and good families did not have opportunities to come out. Taj coming back with his family is showing everyone that they can come out and safely enjoy their community.”
Adams said it’s important that children to put down the guns and put a ball in their hand, put a book in their hand, whatever it is that makes them happy and gives them an opportunity to be successful in life.
“People don’t go to crimes if they have opportunity. I am so proud of Taj and what he’s done. If others [in the NBA] could come home and do the same that would be great,” he added.