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May 05, 2000|ALEX KIMBALL

What: "On Hallowed Ground: Streetball Champions of Rucker Park"

When: Saturday, 10 p.m., TNT.

Captain Nappy. The Main Event. McNasty. The Future. Half Man, Half Amazing. Whole Lotta Game.

They're the stars of the Entertainers Basketball Classic, the summer streetball tournament at Rucker Park on 155th Street in Harlem. They're the best basketball players you've never heard of, never seen. Until now.

The highlight of this 90-minute special, narrated by Andre Braugher, is the footage of the 1999 version of the legendary New York tournament--the dunking, the dribbling, the shooting, the blocking, the dancing, the trash-talking.

Unfortunately, the story of the tournament is interspersed with music-video style footage of the players; interviews with some of the legends who played at Rucker--among them Julius Erving and Mark Jackson; and overwrought reflections on the importance of the tournament and streetball in society.

The production comes off as too slick. Something with more of a documentary feel focusing on the tournament would have worked better.

What they ended up with was about half an hour too long.

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