Cumberland Posey Elected To The Naismith Hall Of Fame
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2016 inductees on Monday. Many big names were listed including Shaquille O’Neill, Allen Iverson, Tom Izzo, Yao Ming, and Sheryl Swoopes.
Buried in the class among these big names is Cumberland “Cum” Posey, one of the first African American student-athletes at Penn State. He played basketball and baseball — the latter of which he is also a Hall of Fame member — for the Nittany Lions from 1909 to 1911 before transferring to the University of Pittsburgh, and later Duquesne.
Posey has been elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame through the Early African American Pioneers Committee. The Hall of Fame is recognizing him as an “exceptional multisport athlete” and “the greatest African American basketball player of his time.” He’s the first person to be named to both the Basketball and the Baseball Hall of Fames.
Aside from his athleticism, many recognize Posey’s business and managing qualities that made him such an important part of sports in his time.
Posey played for and operated the Loendi Big Five, who went on to win four straight Colored Basketball World Championships from 1920-1923. He also played for and later owned a top Negro League baseball team, the Homestead Grays. He was with the organization until his death in 1946.