Photo courtesy of David Cordova
By David Cordova
In the present day, cliques are very synonymous with society, as people feel the need to be a part of something bigger than themselves. For example, in the rap culture, there are plenty of groups that have made plenty of noise, such as the Juice Crew in the 1980’s and the Dungeon Family in the 1990’s. Both crews were responsible for music that transcended the landscape in cities like New York and Atlanta, respectively.
Today, on the basketball scene, there are plenty of hoops cliques that really have made noise around the nation. The first great basketball fraternity to grab the public’s attention was none other than the “Jelly Fam,” which was based out of the New York and New Jersey tri-state area.
However, there’s a new basketball fraternity that is commanding attention throughout the New York basketball scene. Its name is the “Bucket Fam.” The Brooklyn-based movement has been very noticeable through this summer and has garnered the attention of many throughout the city.
“The mission of Bucket Fam is to create an atmosphere where kids, or people across the world can create family through basketball.” said Stephen Doyle, its founder.
Now, the question for those who want to know is simple: What is the Bucket Fam? “Bucket Fam is a family of greatness,” said Doyle, “You know, we say ‘Bucket Fam Global,’ because we’re from all around the world, guys that come together with the same goal, ‘Just be great in life.’ Everybody might not make it to the NBA, so you know, we, the Bucket Fam is a family of greatness.”
Added Doyle: “Bucket Fam has been around before me, you know. As long as basketball is around, you got to get a bucket. So, I mean, the family atmosphere is just any camaraderie through teammates. You know, I’m sure everybody [has] played on some kind of team and when you share something in common, you become family.”
When asked how the name came about, Doyle replied, “So myself and Anthony Marshall, you know, we came up with something in our community, our basketball community, to just have something that sticks. something that’s more than just basketball. So, the Bucket Fam, we figure a bucket is equivalent to anything great. Again, if you’re in the classroom, an A+ is a bucket. You see a nice girl, she’s a bucket. You got a nice car, yo, that’s a bucket. So we just wanted to make that equivalent to anything that, any greatness, we wanted have a name for it, so that’s a bucket.”
As far as the conglomerate or crew, the Bucket Family, here’s where Doyle expanded on the name. “Now, the Bucket Family, is the family of basketball players throughout the tri-state area, throughout the globe. You know, just looking out for each other, holding each other down, with the common goal and that’s to be great.”
What’s the initiation process to be involved with the Bucket Fam? “Oh, man, you’ve gotta have the three A’s, that’s academics, great attitude and attendance. One thing you’ll see at every Bucket Fam game or every player that’s in Bucket Fam, everybody is in attendance, we all come to support each other,” said Doyle. “Academics is key, because if you want to go to college, or you want to do anything, you gotta kinda pay attention and get those academics, and attitude, because every Bucket Fam member is a role model. You gotta have a good attitude, you got kids watching you, following you, we kids around the globe watching us, so we want to make sure we put on a good show at all times.”
Some of the finest players in the tri-state area that are involved with the Bucket Fam are Jaquan Carlos, Marcus “Coco” Burnett, Savion Thousand, Cliff Omoruyi, Posh Alexander and Justin and Julian Champagnie. “It’s so many of us at this point,” said Doyle.
Whenever you’re at a game in New York City, you’ll be like to see a crowd of people with the Bucket Fam banner, whether it’s at a high school game or a streetball game. “It’s family, so it’s always good when you have your family backing you. It doesn’t matter, we can have nothing, but if we’ve got our family, we’re strong, so that’s one of the things we want to teach our youth, our communities, our kids,” said Doyle.
One kid that’s been very synonymous with the Bucket Fam is none other than Anthony “Rome” Marshall, a 6-foot junior guard out of Brooklyn Democracy Academy in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, who is one of the hidden gems that the city has to offer.
When asked about Marshall, Doyle replied, “He’s going into his junior year, he’s an exciting young point guard who has dreams & aspirations to just be great, so you know, he’s working, he’s working hard, he’ll be playing in some prep leagues, PSAL [Alternative League], he also plays with the New York Lightning, you know, the kid has a lot of upside.”
Also, Doyle doubles as an educator and coach at Metro BDA (which is what Brooklyn Democracy Academy is commonly referred to), where you can see the Bucket Fam banners at in the school’s gym. The program competes in the PSAL Alternative League and is set to compete against post-graduate programs that traditional high schools in the city cannot compete against due to New York State Athletic Association rules.
In regards to the basketball program, Doyle replied, “Metro BDA, we are New York City’s prep school [program] these days, you know. We play against some tough competition, top-25 teams in the country, we’re looking to make noise, but the goal is to make sure my kids have every opportunity every other kid has.”
When asked where he sees the Bucket Fam going, he replied, “Global, we definitely want to be in every country, we definitely want to be in every continent. The goal is to make sure that every corner has a Bucket Fam member.”
As you see, the Bucket Fam is not just a conglomerate, crew, or family. It’s basically a lifestyle that promotes unity and togetherness through a game called basketball.