Edwin B. Henderson

Edwin Bancroft Henderson, 1912.

NBC4 in Washington, D.C. is airing this television segment celebrating the contributions of Black Fives Era basketball pioneer and contributor Edwin Bancroft Henderson.

Henderson was the man who, as a gym teacher in Washington, D.C. in 1904, became the first to introduce basketball to African Americans on a wide-scale organized basis.

We’re honored that this piece uses images from the Black Fives Photo Archive, with permission and citation.

Celebrating Black History: The Father of Black Basketball

Before Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to five championships, before Michael Jordan carried the Bulls to six rings, there was Edwin Bancroft Henderson and the YMCA 12th Streeters in NW Washington. He led his team undefeated to the 1910 World Colored Championship in the True Reformers building. But that’s not the only title he won; Henderson is credited as the Father of Black Basketball.

The station’s entire Black History Show airs this Saturday, Feb 19th at 7:30 on NBC Channel 4 in Washington, D.C.