The Washington 12 Streeters were one of America’s earliest all-Black basketball teams, playing a critical role in the development of the sport among African Americans.

Location: Washington, D.C. Home Court: True Reformers Hall Nickname: “Twelfth Street Colored Y.M.C.A.” Colors: Team Red, Slate Gray, Ivory Manager: Edwin B. Henderson
Founded: 1909

After learning basketball in a 1904 summer class at Harvard University, Black gym teacher Edwin B. Henderson became the first to introduce the game to African Americans on a widespread basis when he taught the sport to students in Washington, DC’s segregated colored public school system.

The Washington, DC, Twelfth Street Colored YMCA Branch basketball team, known as the 12 Streeters, featured future Basketball Hall of Fame member Edwin Bancroft Henderson, seated center.