Nets share a hoops history lesson with local kids

Players join in on Black Fives presentation highlighting displays on Barclays Center concourse

Nets players Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell accompanied Claude Johnson, Executive Director of the Black Fives Foundation, on an educational tour of displays on the Barclays Center concourse highlighting the history of African American basketball pioneers.

“It’s a humbling experience seeing the history of where black and African American basketball started and trying to show the boys and girls here where it started,” said Allen. “It means a lot that they chose me to be here.”

The Black Fives era covers the first half of the 20th century, when independent teams competed prior to the NBA signing its first first African American players. One of the earliest pioneers was the Smart Set Athletic Club of Brooklyn, which fielded the first independent team, organized in 1907, participated in the first inter-city game against Crescent Athletic Club of Washington, D.C. and won the first two informal world championships.

“It’s important to know that we don’t just live here, somebody didn’t just give this to us, but also back in the day, some really great things happened that’s part of our community that we can be part of,” said Johnson.

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