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Photo of New York Renaissance

New York Renaissance

One of basketball’s first true dynasties, the all-black New York Renaissance moved the ball around with such wizardry and deception that the opposition was often rendered helpless. From their founding by Hall of Famer Robert L. Douglas in 1922 to their disbanding in 1949, the fancy-passing Rens barnstormed throughout the country making easy work of lesser teams. The Rens were unsurpassed in passing ability and the fast break left opponents begging for mercy. While named for Harlem’s Renaissance Casino, the second-story ballroom which served as the home court, the Rens rarely played uptown. Home games were a rarity in those days even with such a wonderful facility. Since no existing pro league would accept a black team into its ranks, the Rens were forced to barnstorm. Despite facing discrimination in virtually every city and in every arena, the Rens won more than 2,000 games. Team members included Hall of Famers William “Pop” Gates and Charles “Tarzan” Cooper. In one remarkable 86-day stretch during the 1932-33 season, the Rens won 88 straight games. Won the World Professional Tournament Championship in 1939.



Team Stats

1923 team was established
by Founder and Owner
Robert. L. Douglas
1939 Captured World Professional Tournament
25 years dominating
their competition