By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Retired basketball great Sam Perkins, who grew up in Brooklyn, came back to his old borough on Monday to announce his endorsement of Democrat Ede Fox for City Council.
The six-foot-nine-inch Perkins, who won a gold medal on Team USA in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, touted Fox’s efforts to preserve affordable housing in the council district as one of the reasons she would make a great councilwoman.
“Brooklyn is booming and needs smart people with the right ideas that allow this community to grow in the interests of those who live here and I believe Ede is one of those people,” Perkins said.
Fox is the only candidate in the race “that is listening to the residents and ignoring the over-aggressive real estate developers,” he said.
Fox, the former chief of staff to Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush), is running for the council seat in the 35th District, a district that includes the neighborhoods of Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. The district is currently represented by Democrat Letitia James, who is running for public advocate.
The field of Democratic candidates for the council seat includes Laurie Cumbo, a former graduate professor in the School of Art & Design at Pratt Institute, also helped establish Brooklyn’s first Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts; Democratic District Leader Jesse Hamilton; former district leader Ola Alabi and Jelani Mashariki, the founder of Black Veterans for Social Justice
Fox said she was delighted that the Brooklyn-born basketball great is on her team.
“Sam’s encouragement is a welcome addition to our campaign to preserve, defend and increase affordable housing in the district and I am honored to have his support.” Fox said. “We must stem the tide of Big Real Estate profiting at the expense of our community and our affordable housing,” she added.
Perkins, who was known by the nicknames "Sleepy Sam" and "Big Smooth," attended Samuel Tilden High School, then Shaker High School in upstate New York. He attended the University of North Carolina and played for the school's basketball team, the Tar Heels. He won a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship with the Tar Heels in 1982. The legendary Michael Jordan was the star of that team.
During his National Basketball Association (NBA) career, which lasted from 1984 to 2001, Perkins played for the Dallas Mavericks, the LA Lakers, the Seattle Supersonics, and the Indiana Pacers. He was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.