John Strickland was a New York City basketball legend. He was also a father, brother, son and an incredible friend. He gave his all to everything he was involved in. His official bio read; John Strickland, a Brooklyn native, played at Hawaii Pacific University, where he averaged a double-double in each of his final two seasons. He also played six seasons in the USBL (1995-2000). He was voted to the 1997 All-USBL Second Team and the All-USBL First Team in 1998. He averaged 22 points and 7.7 rebounds in 95 games. He spent more than 10 years playing overseas. Strickland, who earned himself an invite to the Knicks training camp in 1996, played for the Rainmen of the PBL from 2008-2010. He was one of the most influential streetball players in New York city playing with hundreds of players and winning thousands of basketball games.
John was much more than his bio read, everything he did, he did with flair and class. He would talk to younger players and steer them in the right direction. The famous rapper Jay Z even put his name and his catch phrase in the song “Public Service Announcement”. This made the phrase “Finish Ya Breakfast” famous. To John Finish Ya Breakfast meant; after I spoon feed you (give you a nice pass) Finish Ya Breakfast or make the layup. The term would expand to working really hard to get an offensive rebound and miss the put back or making a great dribble move to fake out your defender but miss an easy layup.
John was also the elder statesman of the New York City Summer Tournament scene. He would play in as many tournaments as his body would allow. His favorites were The Dyckman Basketball Tournament, The Entertainers Basketball Classic, Hoops in The Sun, The Kingdome and the Tri State Classic. All of these tournament directors had his phone number on speed dial. His opinion really mattered so he was always consulted on many major decisions.