Holcombe Rucker Community League 505 West 152 Street New York, New York 10031 Tel: (212) 926-6792
Ms Sherri Clarke
(March 2, 1926 – 1965) was a playground director in Harlem for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation from 1948 to 1964. He founded the New York City pro-am basketball tournament, that still bears his name and is the namesake of a world-famous basketball court in Harlem.
Rucker, who grew up in Manhattan, started the tournament in 1947 at a playground on 7th Avenue between 128th and 129th streets. He insisted that education be a fundamental part of the Rucker League, in keeping with its motto — "Each one, teach one." Through his efforts, over 700 individuals were able to obtain basketball scholarships to help finance their education.
The tournament grew into the stuff of legend in the 1960s, when many NBA stars such as Wilt Chamberlain participated.
Rucker attended City College of New York and graduated in 1962 with a degree in Education.He went on to teach English at J.H.S. 139 before he died of cancer in 1965 at age 38.
In 1974 the city renamed P.S. 156 Playground, located at 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, as Holcombe Rucker Playground in dedication to his community efforts. Rucker's basketball tournament had moved there in 1965, and Holcombe Rucker Basketball Court — now arguably the most famous street court in the world — remains a proving ground for the region's most talented players.
A former Bank Officer with 25 years of experience in Corporate Treasury Services, presently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Holcombe Rucker Community League Inc., (HRCL) a non for profit community organization. Formerly a counselor for young men with the Lincoln Halls Boys’ Haven, Mr. Whites is a constant role model for young men within the community he serves.
Alan White appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Holcombe Rucker Community League Inc. a non for profit entity, in August of 2012. Prior to becoming the CEO of HRCL, Mr. White functioned in the role of Treasurer on the board of directors with the organization for 9 years.
In his current role as CEO of the HRCL, Mr. White assumes responsibility for the organization and the implementation of structured sports and academic programs for boys and girls ranging in ages from 8 to 21. These services afford students the opportunity to strengthen their academic abilities through instruction, discipline and mentoring thus fostering their physical, social, and emotional well-being.
Mr. White, the visionary behind the newly established Rucker Ambassadors Sports and Education Program, an additional program under the HRCL, mission is to incorporate programs like Reading Plus, an innovative reading support program in conjunction with team building and leadership through sports.
Mr. White’s future goals with HRCL are to develop after school support programs designed to address the students’ holistic needs within the community, as well as develop a state of the art 25 station computer center for the Rucker Ambassador and community members.
Mr. White, a certified basketball official for (PSAL) Public School Athletic League in New York City officiates high school boys and girls games, has aspired to become a college official as well. Mr. White trained at Mickey Crowley Referee Camp in Pennsylvania, Hoop Mountain Referee Camp for women basketball in Rhode Island, and Look See Camp Referee for Women’s Basketball in Pennsylvania.
Mr. White is currently affiliated with the following organizations: (SUBOA), The Sports United Benevolent Officials Association since 2008, (IAABO) International Association of Authorized Basketball Officials holding dual board membership in New York (Board 42) and New Jersey (Board 33) for 8 years, (NASO) National Association of Sports Official for 5 years and (NYCGHSB) New York City Girls High School Board.
Mr. White began his association with the Holcombe Rucker Community League Inc. as a High School Standout Basketball Player, named to the All Star of the Bronx Team by the city of New York. Mr. White played for William H. Taft High School in the Bronx under the leadership of Legendary Coach, Donald A. Adams. Under the leadership of Mr Adams, Mr. White was mentored through his high school years and afforded a four year basketball scholarship to college, graduating with a BS in Business Management and a Minor in Marketing from Keuka College. Mr. Adams was also the former Chief Executive Officer with the HRCL.
Mr. White future goals are to pursue a Master’s degree in Physical Education to enhance his skills in the Sports Management Field.
Trainer and social work consultant holds 24 years of service and experience in the human services field with the ability to direct complex projects from conception to full operational status.
Ms. Clarke is currently the Chief Program Development & Informations Officer with the Holcombe Rucker Community League, Inc. (HRCL), a non-for profit organization servicing youth ages 8 to 21, providing structured sports opportunities to strengthen their academic, physical, mental and emotional goals. Ms. Clarke oversees program design, development and technical assistance to partnering organizations working with the HRCL organization. Ms. Clarke also the SBC Coordinator/Coach, with SCO Family of Services (part time), partnering with several contract agencies implementing Solution-Based Casework (SBC), a family-centered, evidence-based case work practice model that is used to partner with parents to support them caring for their children safely and reducing risk. Ms. Clarke provides training and coaching support to foster care and preventive staff working with families in foster care.
Ms. Clarke, formerly the Assistant Director with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Office of Youth Development Employment Initiatives Program, has provided youth, staff and families in foster care with essential basic life skills trainings, referral resources, technical assistance, counseling, program development and employment services for over 10 years with ACS.
One well established program developed and implemented by Ms. Clarke was the Annual Identification Expo which provides youth, families and staff in foster care with exposure to obtain essential identification, employment, advocacy, vocational training and educational resource services available in the communities throughout New York City Ms. Clarke also sat on several committees creating initiatives for youth aging out of foster care which included the (ACS) handbook for adolescents in foster care which provides information on the rights of foster children and the support services available to them. Ms. Clarke was also one of the creators of the ACS Office of Youth Development Employment Initiatives Program, serving youth in foster from the ages of 14 to 21 with referrals and resources to obtain proper identification, job readiness and vocational training to support foster youth with pursuing employment. This initiative along with several others supported the creation of the ACS Preparing Youth for Adulthood (PYA) used by contract foster care agencies throughout New York City.
Ms. Clarke currently sits of the Board of Directors for the Holcombe Rucker Community League, Inc. pursuing new initiatives and programs for the organization. Ms. Clarke previously held memberships with several organizations and advisory boards over the years which included, the ACS Bedford Stuyvesant Community Partnership Initiative (Coalition Member), the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)
Biographical Statement Sherri Clarke, MSW
Youth Board/ Youth Council committee, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Big Brothers Big Sister of NYC Borough Mentoring Networks , the Community Service Society Reentry Initiatives Round Table, and the School to Career Steering Committee with Annie E. Casey School to Career Program.
Ms. Clarke holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and Post Graduate Diploma specializing in Social Work Supervision, Group Supervision, Case Studies in Supervision, Training and Consultation. Ms. Clarke has also completed course in Personnel Management and Grantmanship and Proposal Writing. Both certificates, received from the prestigious Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City.