Scholastic A.A. photo collage

A collage of images relating to the Scholastic Athletic Association of Pittsburgh of the 1910s.

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nickname:
“The Scholastics”
Colors:
Burgundy, Ivory
Manager: Hunter Johnson

The Scholastic Athletic Association, an African American athletic club that included a basketball team, was formed in 1915 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Scholastics logo

The official logo of the Scholastic Athletic Association.

It was organized by Hunter Johnson, a popular sports figure who formerly trained the Carnegie Tech and University of Pittsburgh football and track teams. He based the club in Pittsburgh’s predominantly black Hill District.

Johnson was an expert at conditioning and physical fitness. He later trained long jumper and Pittsburgh native DeHart Hubbard to become the first black individual gold medalist, at the 1924 Olympics.

Scholastic Game Jersey

Scholastic A.A. Game Jersey.

Johnson’s organization, which competed in track and basketball, was comprised of black athletes who were current or former students at local schools and colleges. Because of this the club soon became known as the “Scholastics.”
Their basketball team featured top young stars Frank “Frankie” Johnson, Chris Dorsey, Ray Anderson, and Gerald Allen. Johnson was not afraid to recruit straight from high school if the talent was there.

A local white newspaper reported that the Scholastics were “greatly strengthened by the signing of Forest Meshaw of North Braddock High School, where he has been starring for the past two years.”

The Scholastics were one of Pittsburgh’s best black fives until they were absorbed into the more famous Loendi Big Five squad, helping shape that team into a black basketball dynasty after World War I.