“Keep an eye on big Hank DeZonie, Bob’s new find.”
— New York Amsterdam News, 1943

Hank DeZonie

Hank DeZonie.

Teams: Harlem Yankees, New York Renaissance, Dayton Rens, Tri-Cities Blackhawks
Home: New York, N.Y.
Born: 1922
Died: 2009

Henry “Hank” DeZonie was a star basketball player with several African American basketball teams during the 1940s, before signing with the National Basketball Association in 1950.

DeZonie played with the the Harlem Yankees, New York Renaissance, and Dayton Rens of the National Basketball League, and then the Tri-Cities Blackhawks of the N.B.A.

When he joined the N.B.A., DeZonie became one of the first four African Americans in that league, joining Chuck Cooper, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, and Earl Lloyd.

Previously, DeZonie had attended Clark University in Atlanta, Georgia, before signing with the semi-pro Harlem Yankees basketball team, which acted as a “farm club” for the fully professional New York Renaissance (“Rens”).

He joined the New York Rens for the 1943-44 season.

Playing at 6′-6″, DeZonie was known as a sharpshooter who could also rebound and finish underneath the basket.

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