Collection: SAVOY BIG FIVE

Midway through the 1926-27 basketball season, on February 12, 1927, the dancehall development company Associated Ballrooms, Inc., builders and owners of mega-sized facilities including the Savoy (Harlem) and Roseland (midtown Manhattan) Ballrooms in New York City made a big announcement.

Location:Chicago, Illinois Home Court:Eighth Regiment Armory, Savoy Ballroom (Chicago) Nickname:“Savoys” Colors:Black, White Manager:Dick Hudson, Al Monroe
Established:1927 The company’s owner, I. Jay Faggen, claimed that the Chicago Savoy would be bigger than any other ballroom in the country. Its façade would be built in a Moorish architectural style, while its interior space, to be decorated in Louis XIV period style, would measure 500 by 300 feet and would be able to accommodate up to 7,500 dancers. The Savoy Big Five basketball team, circa 1927. Left to right, assistant coach Robert “Bobby” Anderson, Randolph Ramsey, Inman Jackson, William Watson, Tommy Brookins, Joe Lillard, William Grant, Walter “Toots” Wright, Lester Johnson, and manager/coach Dick Hudson.