The 1700 block of W Hunting Park Street will mark Rashid Wallace Street after a 2 p.m. party on Friday, which will be part of a group party beginning at noon. The street is in front of Simon Gratz High School, Wallace University.
“It means a lot,” he told the Philadelphia Tribune. “It’s definitely love and I’m grateful for it. I’m lucky.”
In addition to his basketball prowess, Wallace will be honored for the charitable work he has done in his hometown and across the country since the early days of his career.
he is Charity started in 1997, which was just his second season as a professional. Pay for the rebuilding of the Gratz gym and organize free summer basketball camps at the school.
Cindy Bass, a member of the Philadelphia Council, said in a statement about the renaming, Wallace has also donated shoes and meals to thousands of needy children across the country.
Halfway through his 19-season career, Wallace played for the Detroit Pistons, whom he helped lead to the NBA Championship in 2004.
Wallace returned to Michigan to lend a hand amid the water crisis in Flint in 2016 and wrote a fiery op-ed for the Players Tribune.
“They supported me when I was playing with the Pistons,” he said of the townspeople. “Distribution of water is the least I can do.”
As a player, Wallace often brought this emotional sharpness to the court.
He often got into confrontations with referees and his opponents, which is why Wallace holds the all-time NBA record in takedowns.
Wallace was born and raised in Germantown. He was the youngest of three born to a single mother, Jackie Wallace, who worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Social Welfare.
His father, Sam Tap, was a successful high school basketball player in the city, but he was in and out of Wallace’s life. With that, Wallace inherited his father’s basketball skills.
This is why Gratz was considered the best team in the country during Wallace’s tenure. He was USA Today’s Player of the Year in 1992 when he led the first team to an undefeated season.
Wallace attended the University of Carolina, where he helped lead the Tar Heels to the Final Four appearance in 1995.
The student then entered the second year of the NBA draft in 1995 and was selected as the fourth pick overall by the Washington Bullets, who later became the Wizards. He will also play for the Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.
Wallace retired from the NBA in 2009, but returned to play for the Knicks in 2012. He retired after that season and began his coaching career.