MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Wayne Carrington and his daughters Laini and Mia beamed with family pride Saturday when the Village of Mamaroneck re-dedicated a basketball court at Columbus Park to the memory of Wainright “Wain” Carrington, the patriarch of their family and a legend in the village. “I’m Wain’s grandson and these are his great granddaughters,” said Wayne Carrington, a New Rochelle resident whose grandfather passed away more than 35 years ago. “It’s so amazing to be here in my grandfather’s honor. You can see by our family and the generations of people here how much he meant to the village.”
Carrington family members from all points joined hundreds of villagers, friends and spectators braving the heat to be part of the dedication, a highlight of the village’s Second Annual Legends Basketball game.
“Take a look around and you will see that Mamaroneck is and always has been a diverse community – but we’re more than that, we’re a family,” Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum said before unveiling a bronze plaque honoring Carrington. “Wain Carrington is so deserving of this honor. He helped bring us all together and provided this place for children to learn to build that community.” Wain Carrington served on the Mamaroneck chapter of the NAACP as chairman. He is well known locally, as well as nationally because he represented the Village of Mamaroneck at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
Carrington facilitated the building of the basketball courts as a way of providing a positive atmosphere for young people when anger over King’s death inspired violence in other communities.
“We owe everything to Wain Carrington,” said Howard Jordan, who joined local activist Nancy Wasserman and others to promote the idea of posting a plaque. “The courts were dedicated to Wain back in the late 60s, long ago, but there was no public evidence. This plaque is now here for all to see.”
Nancy Wasserman, a close friend of Wainright Carrington and a co-founder of the Washingtonville Housing Alliance, appeared at a June 16 Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees meeting and described Carrington as, “A very close friend and mentor of mine—almost like a father.” She spoke in favor of the village’s decision to honor Carrington with a plaque as, “a long time coming and deserving.”
The Legends Day also included two basketball games and music from the 60s, 70s and 80s provided by Yayo Gonzalez and the Gringos. Jordan and Rosenblum also announced the establishment of a youth recreation fund derived from the Legends game that will help funds young sports activities in the village. Those interested in donating to the Legends Youth Fund may send contributions care of the Village of Mamaroneck, 123 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck, N.Y. 10543.
"We want to continue Wain's legacy in trying to help keep kids playing sports in the village," Jordan said. "The work continues."