The Rucker Brand is a staple in street basketball culture through its popular basketball tournament, which has seen the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Raking in just under $9 million in sales annually during its heyday, The Rucker is finding news ways to make itself relevant.
For its 75th anniversary, The Rucker Brand is honoring the legacy of founder Holcombe Rucker while reintroducing the world to its streetwear clothing line. After co-owners and co-CEOs Chris Rucker (grandson of Holcombe Rucker) and Dexter Gordon put integrity first and walked away from their lucrative partnership with Stall & Dean, the 100% Black-owned business is betting on themselves and relaunching the apparel line for the third time.
“The Rucker Brand is proud to relaunch their grassroots basketball-inspired lifestyle apparel line influenced by the memory of Holcombe Rucker and legendary players of Rucker Park in Harlem,” Chris Rucker, managing partner, co-owner, and co-CEO of The Rucker Brand, tells BLACK ENTERPRISE.
Their new Westsiders collection is available at select Foot Locker locations, online at footlocker.com, and is included in the 125th Street (Harlem) Foot Locker Black History Month in-store installation. The RUCKER X SOS collection is available on therucker.com, and its recent limited edition RUCKER X LEGENDS X NBPA collection to commemorate the recent renovation and reopening of Holcombe Rucker Park (the mecca of streetball) has sold out.
The Westsiders collection features six pieces, including a black hoodie, a zip-up hoodie with matching joggers, a black T-shirt, a white T-shirt, a basketball jersey, as well as slides and socks.
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“Rucker is a Black-owned basketball lifestyle legacy brand,” co-owner Dexter Gordon says. “Chris’s grandfather, Holcombe Rucker, stood for community, so it is important to us that the brand represent that sense of community as well. Being a global brand, community is also felt by the sense of pride and the feeling of belonging to something when people wear our clothing.
“When someone wears the Rucker name on their chest, we feel the responsibility of the legacy and tradition that The Rucker Brand represents.”
Highlighting the history created by his grandfather created at the same time as the NBA’s inception, Chris Rucker is making sure the Rucker Brand remains true to its history and what it represents within the Black community.
“Basketball was 55 years young when my grandfather, Holcombe Rucker, founded his
tournament,” Rucker says. “Ironically, the Basketball Association of America started at the same time and would later be known as the National Basketball Association, or NBA. (both the NBA and Rucker are celebrating their 75th anniversaries in 2022).”