New York City–Artie Georges and Ray Moore, true New York City sports and educational legends, may not have gone on to NBA fame but during their high school and college days, and the endless hours that they volunteered on the courts at Rucker Park, the legendary home of urban basketball, they were fine ball handlers, capable shooters and extraordinary role models.
Long before the cross-over dribble and popularity of the slam dunk, Georges, affectionately known as “Odd Job” and Moore who was dubbed “Dr. No,” made their mark as community stalwarts, shepherding countless number of troubled and at risk young people on to successful college education, careers and productive lives.
“Both were role models for me,” said former NBA star Freddie Crawford. “Ray was a great basketball player at George Washington High School and even greater as the Regional Director of State Division for Youth. He had a way of talking to these young people and putting them back on the right track.”
Bob McCullough, Commissioner of the Rucker Pro-Legends, said he met Moore in the late fifties. “It was at Madison Square Garden in 1958 and he led his George Washington High School team, to third place city-wide,” McCullough recalled. “Boys High School, which then featured the great Connie Hawkins and Jackie Jackson, won the championship that year.”
McCullough said they called him “Dr. No” “because he knew everything. He was a very smart guy.” That intelligence served him well during his tenure at the state youth division, where he oversaw more than 40 programs.
Artie Georges, McCullough remembered, was equally prominent as a community leader, particularly during his years with the Each One, Teach One program where he was a board member and a referee at the various tournament games. A proclamation from Congressman Charles Rangel captures portions of Georges’ widely heralded influence.
“It is without question that Artie’s outstanding contributions to the Holcombe Rucker Basketball League, the National Association of Each One Teach One, Inc. and our famed HARLEM WEEK Golden Hoops High School Classics places him in a very special category in a long line of remarkable men who have given so much to our children and to the Greater Harlem community and beyond,” read the proclamation which is part of the congressional record.
“Artie’s passion for public service is well documented by his important and outstanding 30-year career work as a Methadone Maintenance Treatment Counselor–at a time when heroin crippled and took the lives of so many of our best and brightest young men and women.”
Georges served his nation proudly in the United States Army and was a loyal member of the Colonel Charles Young American Legion Post 398. He was an education advocate, and loved being a part of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Basketball Tournament Weekend; the Pelham Fritz Basketball League Scholarship Fund; and the John Hunter Memorial Camp Fund.
Dr. Leonard Dunston, former Commissioner, NYS Division for Youth, and President Emeritus, National Association of Black Social Workers, brought the two men together in his fond remembrance of them. “Ray Moore was my Manhattan and Bronx Local Services Representative, and one of my most trusted and competent staff members,” he said in an email. “His compassion, passion, advocacy, and commitment to children, youth and families, especially those from his beloved Harlem community, was exceptional.”
As for his memory of Artie Georges, he said “he seemed to personally know every basketball player of note, as well as, street ball legends that ever graced the basketball courts of Harlem, or more broadly–NYC. I always looked forward to hearing a new story, or meeting a NYC legend during his visits to the annual CIAA basketball tournament.”
Arthur “Artie” Georges, 74, passed away in January of this year, and his great friend, Ray Moore, 71, joined him a few weeks later. They encountered each other often under the rim and more often, at a host of community support meetings where their counseling and guidance were exemplary.
It is with their considerable contributions in mind that the Rucker Pro League, Each One Teach One, HARLEM WEEK, Inc., Harlem Arts Alliance, Our Children’s Foundation and the John Hunter Memorial Camp Fund joined with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce is saluting these two giants of Harlem on Sunday, June 9, from 2pm to 5 pm at Our Children’s Foundation, 527 W. 125th Street, between Amsterdam Ave. and Broadway.
You may RSVP by calling Ms. Sutton at 212-283-3315 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
We respectfully ask that all those who attend as well as those who are unable to join in the tribute to Artie and Ray on June 9th, to make a contribution of $25.00 (or more). The contributions will be used to establish an Artie & Ray Educational Scholarship Fund.
You can make your contribution at the door on June 9th or contribute via PayPal at www.harlemdiscover.com/artieandray.