Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nickname: “The Monticellos”
Colors: Brown, Yellow
Manager: Cumberland Posey
In 1911, Cumberland “Cum” Posey formed formed an all-black basketball team called the Monticello Athletic Association®
Posey was a local multi-sport star athlete who had led Homestead High School to the city basketball championship and who had earned respect on Pittsburgh’s tough, blue-collar sandlot playgrounds.
With no gym of their own, the Monticellos practiced and honed their game at the segregated Phipps Gymnasium on Pittsburgh’s North Side, where one of Posey’s players, Jim Dorsey, worked as a janitor and had a key to the building.
The Monticello lineup featured Walter Clark, Sell Hall, Israel Lee, Jim Dorsey, Cum’s brother Seward, and Cum Posey himself.
Cum Posey and Sell Hall also played baseball for the professional Homestead Grays, a Negro Leagues team that Posey eventually owned. (Posey was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2006.)
Monticello rooters created home court advantage.
When the Monticello’s quickly outgrew local white competition, Posey challenged the previous year’s black national champion, Howard University, to visit the Smoky City for “the first colored game ever played in Pittsburgh.”
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