Former Nittany Lion Cumberland Posey elected to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

April 04, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Cumberland “Cum” Posey Jr., recognized as the first African-American student-athlete in Penn State history, was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, announced Monday from Springfield, Massachusetts.

Posey enrolled at Penn State in 1909 and played forward on the freshman basketball team (1909-10) and the varsity basketball team (1910-11), while also playing on the freshman baseball team (1910). He also on to play three seasons at Duquesne (1916-18), leading the Dukes in scoring for three seasons under the alias Charles Cumbert.

Widely regarded as the best African-American basketball player of his time, Posey was one of 16 nominees presented to the special direct-elect Early African American Pioneers Committee.

He left Penn State after just two years and joined the Monticello Athletic Association, which later became the Loendi Big Five. By the following year, Posey was the star player and operator (which included managing, booking and promoting) of the club. Loendi won the Colored Basketball World Championship four years in a row from 1920 to 1923.

Posey went on to become one of the great entrepreneurs of professional sports. He played for and then owned the Pittsburgh-based Homestead Grays, one of the most successful franchises in Negro Baseball League history. He owned the Negro Baseball powerhouse until his death on March 28, 1946.

On Feb. 27, 2006, Posey was honored for his contributions to the game by being one of 17 Negro League greats selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. With the announcement Monday, he is the first person to be named to both the National Baseball and Naismith Basketball Halls of Fame.

Enshrinement festivities for the 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class will take place in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, Sept. 8-10. Tickets for the various Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Enshrinement events are on sale here.

Last Updated April 05, 2016