“Mr. Hudson Oliver has amazed the public by his wonderful playing and is looked upon as the best player of the six colored teams.”
— The New York Age, 1909

Hudson Oliver

Hudson 'Huddy' Oliver.

Teams: Jersey City Athletic Club, Smart Set Athletic Club, Washington 12 Streeters, Howard University
Born: Jersey City, New Jersey
Died: Harlem, New York City

Hudson “Huddy” Oliver was a four-time winner of the Colored Basketball World Championship with three different teams — the Smart Set Athletic Club, the Washington 12 Streeters, and Howard University.

Oliver was universally considered the best African American basketball player prior to the early 1910s.

This, along with his championship titles, makes him one of the most deserving candidates from the early years of the Black Fives Era for inclusion in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Howard University, where he also attended medical school while playing varsity basketball, Oliver became a doctor.

Dr. Hudson J. Oliver interned at Freedman’s Hospital before beginning his career as a physician in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

He moved to Harlem in 1921, where he became a prominent physician and would practice medicine for 34 years, including a stint on the staff at Harlem Hospital.

Dr. Oliver remained active in basketball, mostly coaching some women’s teams in the mid-1920s.

He was a military veteran as well as an officer in the Knights of Columbus, and was also the exalted ruler of the Monarch Elks Lodge in Harlem. He died in Harlem in 1955.