What to Know
- Beloved Harlem basketball coach Floyd “Skip” Branch was killed in a motorcycle crash Saturday on Harlem River Drive.
- A Harlem neighborhood was mourning Skip Monday, with hundreds coming to pay their respects and place candles
- Skip ran a basketball clinic through which he mentored many young men
A seemingly endless row of candles were lined up outside a Harlem apartment building Monday in tribute to beloved basketball coach Floyd “Skip” Branch who was killed in a motorcycle crash Saturday on Harlem River Drive.
Branch had just been visiting a friend at a hospice facility when he lost control of his bike and lost his life.
Family members say that's the kind of thing he would do -- he lived for other people, especially children like the ones he coached through his basketball league NYC Bombsquad Basketball Clinic.
"It started with 13 kids ... me and a bunch of friends from where we grew up at 135th St and Broadway and it transitioned into a program that has served thousands of youth in the Harlem community," Branch's son Floyd Branch III said.
He said Branch made a deal with the kids -- commit yourself to basketball and betterment, and he would commit himself to them. He received countless awards for his dedication to the kids.
"That’s what my brother was all about -- helping others," Branch's brother Dr. Kent Branch said.
On Monday, countless men were coming to pay their respects to Branch and his legacy to them. Former player Domingo Tavarez was one of them.
"[He] absolutely changed my life. I run my own company now and it’s giving back to my own community."