Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson Sports Naming Complex – Feb. 19, 2022 @ 11am
Herald the “Grandfather of Black Basketball”
Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson was born in southwest Washington DC in 1883. An honors graduate of M Street School and Miner Normal School No. 2, a legacy institution of the University of the District of Columbia, Dr. Henderson would further his education at Harvard University’s Dudley Sargent School of Physical Training. While at Harvard University, he learned basketball at the YMCA in Springfield, MA, the birthplace of basketball. Finding no courts or clubs for black ballplayers upon his return to Washington DC, Dr. Henderson would organize black basketball teams, leagues and referees. He later served as Director of Health, Physical Education and Safety for segregated D.C. Public Schools.
As a citizen of Falls Church, VA, Dr. Henderson helped form the Colored Citizens Protection League to fight an ordinance issued by the Town Council restricting where blacks could live. In 1915, the League filed a lawsuit that successfully prevented the legislation, forcing the Town Council to rescind the restriction after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional. In 1918, Dr. Henderson also helped form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Falls Church, VA, the nation’s first rural branch of the NAACP. He would serve as its first president. His advocacy knew no bounds, yet very few in the communities he served remember his vast contributions.
Please join the Board of Trustees and President Ronald Mason, Jr., JD, as we honor a true pioneer of physical health education, a basketball legend, a civil rights advocate and 2013 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee as we rename the University’s Sports Complex in honor of Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson.
A special fund has been established at the UDC Foundation in honor of legendary UDC alumnus Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson. The purpose of the fund is to receive donations to support the establishment of an EB Henderson scholarship endowment, renaming the University sports complex after Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson, and establishing a permanent memorial in his honor on campus.
We invite you to consider a gift to support the University’s efforts to honor Dr. Henderson and his legacy to the sports world, with a permanent memorial on the campus of UDC.