Don't ever stop dreaming BIG.
Today (August 2) in Brooklyn, just a minutes-long drive from the home The Notorious B.I.G. grew up in on Fulton St. and St. James Place, a basketball court was dedicated in the name of the late legend.
Big's daughter T'Yanna Wallace, her mother Jan Jackson, Lil Cease, Video Music Box creator Ralph McDaniels, DJ Mister Cee, and famed celebrity attorney and owner of The Source L. Londell McMillan were joined by local community members and officials such as City Council Member Robert Cornegy and Assemblyman Walter Mosely to rename the basketball courts at Crispus Attucks Playground, a park where Biggie and the Junior M.A.F.I.A used to shoot hoops, to Christopher 'Biggie' Wallace Courts.
"For the past five years, me and my mom have been doing a basketball tournament here," T'Yanna described. "I'm just excited they finally named the courts... I feel like it has been supposed to happen that they were going to name the courts after my dad. I feel like he deserves it. This is his neighborhood, he's christened it, and I'm proud he gets to be recognized."
Two-and-a-half million dollars in renovations spearheaded by Cornegy were made to the basketball courts that included a cosmetic makeover, plus brand new hoops with netting and fiber glass backboards. A garden and landscaping were also added along with play equipment for the kids and a safety surface.
"We made it happen," Cornegy said triumphantly while addressing the crowd at the park. He gave an account of going in front of city officials to get funding for Biggie's park project. And despite getting some resistance, Cornegy said he was overwhelmed with support of people who said that they and their families love Biggie and his music.
"I was choked up and amazed at the respect and love that was garnished that day," Cornegy testified. "We started with a divided community and watched the community swiftly galvanize."
Assemblyman Walter Mosely, who lived upstairs from Lil Kim in the same Brooklyn apartment building over two decades ago, shared his thoughts on the late, great MC, as well: "This legacy of his name, of what he was able to build in the entertainment industry [impacts] so many of the lives of the people that are here today."
Cornegy later asked the DJ to play "Juicy." "Big wouldn't appreciate this," he said about how unanimated and serious the crowd was. "This ain't no funeral."
Lil Cease had a few words soon after. "I'm thankful and grateful and to be apart of this," Cease said. "All these years we tried to rep' Big's name in a positive light. We here supporting and reppin' for the family. This is where Big grew up at. He changed my life, influenced my life. We gonna keep his legacy going in a positive light."
"This is a great day, man," Mister Cee added later. "If Big was still here and if somebody would tell him a basketball court would be named after him, he'd be like, 'Who me? Who me?'"
Cee, who painted a picture of Big as a loving, jovial guy, said that the next accolade he and Big's family are pushing for is "Christopher Wallace Way at St. James Place." They want the street he grew up on to be named after him.