“If they had a representative professional team of color in New Jersey, it is dollars to doughnuts the game would receive a boost in the mosquito towns.”
— New York Amsterdam News, 1923

Nelson Frye

Nelson Frye.

Team: Independent Pleasure Club of New Jersey
Home: Orange, New Jersey

Nelson Frye played guard for the all-black Independent Pleasure Club basketball team during the 1910s.

He also served as the vice president and treasurer for this leading athletic and social club.

Frye’s defensive quickness on the court made up for any lack of size, while his enthusiasm and team spirit were essential ingredients to the club’s success.

By leading the Independents to victories over the favored Alpha Physical Culture Club of Harlem and the Smart Set of Brooklyn while those teams were among the best in the country, Frye helped earn respect in New York City for all of New Jersey’s African American basketball teams.

The Independents claimed the New Jersey Colored Championship for 1912-13 with a 14-2 record including a crucial victory over the reigning New Jersey champion Owl Field Club of Newark.