"In one January 1941 home game, Robinson single-handedly defeated the University of San Francisco Dons. With seconds remaining in overtime and the game tied, Robinson stole the ball and got off a buzzer beater. “It was our Jackie,” wrote the Chicago Defender, “who pulled a hovie finish to cinch the game with a spectacular heave as the gun sounded, giving the U.C.L.A. boys a 55-53 verdict.” Robinson had sent the game into OT with a game-tying bucket with 10 seconds remaining."
Henderson formed the D.C.-based Basket Ball League, which started play in January 1908 with eight teams. It played games through early May on Saturday nights at True Reformers in a room that was also used as a concert hall.
The games were far from elegant. A balcony surrounded three-quarters of the court, which was set up inside a metal cage on a floor that featured four narrow pillars planted near the corners. Teams relied on prolonged periods of passing that could last several minutes. Jump balls took place after each score. And players’ skills were far from refined. Bob Kuska, author of the book “Hot Potato: How Washington and New York Gave Birth to Black Basketball and Changed America’s Game Forever,” writes that “defenders spared no pain in halting [a player’s] path to the basket.”
"I got this very special message last week from Bob McCullough, Sr., the legendary Harlem sports icon and community leader:
“We would like to honor you for the fine work you are doing with the Black Fives.”
Date: Saturday, August 24 Time: 3:00pm Place: Rucker Park, Harlem
Please stop by if you can make it!
“On this day we also will be honoring members of the Rucker Pro League who were also on NBA Championship teams such as Nate “Tiny” Archibald and Emmette Bryant of the Boston Celtics as well as Dean Meminger and Earl Monroe of the New York Knicks.”
I’m just so humbled. What an honor and a privilege to be recognized by a man who did so much for the game, and even be mentioned in the same sentence with such company. Praise.”
“Recently, I conducted such a program at the Barclays Center, along with Nets guard C.J. Watson, for some local elementary school students. It consisted of showing the kids a collection of vintage basketball equipment (including a laced ball, kneepads and kangaroo leather shoes), discussing the ways the game is different (and the same) today, and then letting them play pickup basketball, but with one mind-bending caveat — they had to play by the pre-1915 rules, namely, that a player who had already dribbled the ball could no longer shoot it, or else it would be a turnover.”
“Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King presented Johnson with the “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things Award” in honor of his tireless efforts in conducting research about the Black Fives and cultivating a network of the players’ descendants.”
"Winning the World’s title, the Washington team performed a feat that NO PREVIOUS WINNER HAS RECORDED. They finished the 1943 season with a perfect record having won every one of their 41 starts. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY THAT A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM HAS ENJOYED A SEASON WITHOUT A SINGLE DEFEAT."
“You have almost certainly never heard of Hudson Oliver, a fact that an indefatigable, self-styled historian named Claude Johnson aims to change, beginning next Sunday night, when the Brooklyn Nets host the San Antonio Spurs and a permanent photo exhibit will be unveiled in the main concourse of Barclays Center.
The exhibit will consist of six striking, six-foot-high photographs that will not only commemorate Black History Month, but honor the Nets’ Brooklyn forbearers — and the legacy of the basketball equivalent of baseball’s Negro Leagues. Johnson calls it the Black Fives Era, and seeing that he has done more research into it than any person on earth, why shouldn’t he get to name it?”