This Day in Black History: First African-American inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

New York Renaissance coach and first African-American inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame Bob Douglas

HOUSTON — The founder of the New York Renaissance basketball team, Robert L. Douglas, was born on Nov. 4, 1882 in Saint Kitts, British West Indies.

Douglas, known as the “Father of Black Professional Basketball,” coached the New York Rens from 1923-1949.  The New York Rens won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1939 and came in second place in the National Basketball League in 1948 against the Minneapolis Lakers, which was later renamed Los Angeles Lakers.

On Feb. 5, 1972, Douglas was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame for his dedicated coaching and contribution to the New York Rens.

In 1979, at the age of 96, Douglas died in New York.


Want more black history? See this fascinating feature on the story behind a 200-year-old oak tree in Missouri City.

Definitely a piece of history!