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NEW YORK RENS

The New York Renaissance (Rens) were founded in 1911, a few years before the Harlem Globetrotters. It was owned and opereated by Robert L. Douglas. It was an all-black professional basketball team that was named after the Harlem Renaissance Casino which served as its home court. However, the team played most of their games on the road barstorming across the country. This was because they were unable to join any professional league due to racial discrimination.

The Rens were the most dominant basketball team of the 20s and 30s and compiled a record of 112-8 during the 1932-33 regular season, a season where theyhad won 88 consecutive games. This seven-man team became one of the first true basketball dynasties.

In 1939, the Rens compiled a record of 112-7 and beat the Oshkosh All-Stars, 34-25, in the World Basketball Tournament in Chicago to become the first all-black team to win a championship.

Six-foot-five "Wee" Willie Smith and six-foot-four Charles "Tarzan" Cooper were rebounding specialists. Clarence "Fat" Jenkins was their speedy guard and the all-around great "Pop" Gates ran their offense.

Despite facing discrimination in virtually every city and in every arena, the Rens compiled a 2588-539 record over their history. They were disbanded in 1949 and in 1963 were inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.