A pioneer in the sport of basketball, and an early star on the American Tennis Association circuit, Ora Washington remains to this day one of the greatest female athletes in history. Washington called Philadelphia, PA home for most of her life and it was there that she got her start in basketball with the Germantown Hornets, a local team formed at the first Young Women’s Christian Association for African-Americans. The Hornets wasted no time with Washington winning the 1931 national title for colored women. Soon after, Washington joined the newly formed Philadelphia Tribunes. The Tribunes promptly won 11 straight world championships. She was fast, and dribbled the ball well enough to beat opponents from one end of the floor to the other with ease. The Tribunes regularly upended white teams, black teams, college teams, and teams from the South during the era of Jim Crow. Washington was always the focal point of the offense, the greatest player on the greatest team of the Black Fives Era.
BornJanuary 23, 1898 Caroline County, VA
DiedMay 28, 1971
American Tennis Association