Wednesday
Jun242009

Robert L. "Bob" Douglas

Enshrined 1972
Saint Kitts, British West Indies
November 4, 1882 - July 16, 1979

Biography

Known as "The Father of Black Professional Basketball," Bob Douglas owned and coached the New York Renaissance from 1922 until 1949. Though racial discrimination was severe, Douglas kept his team focused. The Rens barnstormed from Boston to Kansas City and played any team -- black or white -- that would schedule them. Traveling as far as 200 miles for a game, they often slept on the bus, ate cold meals, and were barred from many hotels and restaurants. Despite these obstacles, the Rens became a dominant team, winning over 2,500 games. Douglas' astute eye for basketball talent led him to such greats as Charles "Tarzan" Cooper and Wee Willie Smith. Through Douglas's leadership, the Rens were virtually unbeatable, winning 88 straight games in 1932-33.

Career Highlights

Owned and coached New York Renaissance, 1922-49
World Professional Championship with Rens, 1939
Coached Hall of Famers Charles "Tarzan" Cooper and William "Pop" Gates
Known as "The Father of Black Professional Basketball"