Cumberland ‘Cum’ Posey
“The mystic wand of Posey ruled basketball with as much eclat as ‘Rasputin’ dominated the Queen of all the Russias.”
– The Interstate Tattler, 1929
Monticello Athletic Association, Monticello-Delany Rifles, Loendi Big Five,
Monarch Elks Five, Homestead Grays Five
Born: 1890, Pittsburgh
Died: 1946, Pittsburgh
Cumberland Willis Posey, Jr. was the best black basketball player of his time. Playing from the early 1900s through the mid-1920s, his peers considered Posey an “All-Time Immortal.”
He led Homestead High to the 1908 Pittsburgh City Basketball Championship, played basketball at Penn State for two years, did a basketball stint at Pitt, and then formed the famous Monticello Athletic Association team that won the Colored Basketball World’s Championship in 1912.
Posey later played for Duquesne University — using the alias “Charles Cumbert” — and led the Dukes in scoring for three seasons.
He then formed, operated, and played for the Loendi Big Five, the most dominant basketball team of the Black Fives Era through the mid-1920s, winning four straight black national titles.
Simultaneously, this black sports pioneer was a centerfielder and subsequent owner of the Homestead Grays …
Posey retired from basketball in the late 1920s to focus exclusively on the business of baseball.
He later became chief architect of the Negro National League.
For his contributions to baseball, Posey was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006.
Posey’s on-court basketball talents and his off-court contributions to the game are gaining attention.
Although consideration for his enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame is gaining momentum, more publicity about his basketball career is still needed.
Please see these additional articles for more on Cumberland ‘Cum’ Posey.