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Little Known Black History Fact: E.B. Henderson

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Edwin Bancroft Henderson, also known as the “Father of Black Sports” introduced African Americans to the game of basketball in 1904. He was the first black basketball player at Harvard University and the first physical education teacher in the nation. Henderson was later appointed honorary president of the North American Society for Sport History. E.B. Henderson co-wrote the Spalding Official Handbook.

E.B. Henderson was born in 1883. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Howard University before attending Harvard University in 1904 to study physical recreation.

The game of basketball had only been in existence for about 10 years when Henderson became familiar with the game. He began teaching physical education at his own alma mater, M Street School, to black students. He included basketball in the curriculum.

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