For the better part of the last decade, Clyde Frazier Sr. (below center) has spent his retirement keeping the Slam Jam girls basketball league that his son, Clyde Jr., founded in 1994 alive.
Slam Jam started at the Riverbank State Parkand is considered one of the top girls basketball tournaments in the tri-state area. Future WNBA stars Tina Charles, Epiphanny Prince and Kia Vaughn all played in the high school division.Now the tournament is slowly being revived at the Colonel Charles Young playground at 143rd St. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. Slam Jam’s lone event this year, a 13-and-under tournament that began last month, will conclude on August 24. “All we really need is a generous sponsor to bring this thing back,” says Frazier. In 2003, the corner near Renaissance Playground was named to honor Clyde Jr., who was killed at age 41 in the World Trade Center attacks.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was Clyde Jr.’s first day back to work after a two-week trip to Paris. As an investigator for the state Department of Taxation and Finance, he worked in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center but his life’s passion was the Slam Jam. Since Clyde Jr.’s death, his father and others have struggled to find the means to continue what he started.
“Clyde Jr. is still the commissioner today,” says Frazier. “I like to say that al Qaeda or whoever they were stopped my son in 9/11, but they would not stop him from running the Slam Jam. This is keeping my son alive. It’s keeping his dream alive.”
Clyde Jr. played basketball at Clinton HS in the Bronx and later, some college hoops at SUNY Albany. He founded the Friends of Frederick E. Samuel Foundation in Harlem in 1984. By 1991, the Foundation operated as a non-profit organization, offering tutoring, family counseling, job assistance and programs for seniors.
Here’s the Summer Classic Schedule 2012:
S1 Tina Charles Gazelles J1 Brooklyn Saints
S2 New Heights (Blue – Chez) J2 Brooklyn Comets
S3 Exodus J3 Riverside Hawks
S4 Westchester Hoopers J4 New Heights (White – Holly)
|J2 vs J3||7/8/12||10:30|
|J1 vs J3||7/14/12||10:30|
|S2 vs S4||7/14/12||12:00|
|S1 vs S4||7/14/12||01:30|
|J3 vs J4||7/15/12||10:30|
|S1 vs S2||7/15/12||12:00|
|J1 vs J4||7/21/12||10:30|
|J2 vs J4||7/21/12||12:00|
|S1 vs S3||7/21/12||01:30|
|S2 vs S3||7/21/12||03:00|
|J1 vs J2||7/28/12||06:00 @Nazareth HS|
|S3 vs S4||8/4/12||01:00|
Playoffs 8/4, 8/5, 8/11
In case of rain contact tournament director for instructions.
To learn more about the Slam Jam, please click here.