Today is Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday- the bicentennial anniversary of his birth.
A kid that tall growing up in Kentucky and Indiana- wonder whether he would have hooped if the game had been around. What does Lincoln have to do with DC Basketball? Everything is related to DC Basketball. Lincoln became a politician in Springfield, Ill. (where President Obama launched his own campaign a few years back). Springfield was the birthplace of Julius Rosenwald, who helped fund the first Black YMCA’s where basketball grew in cities such as D.C. Washington’s Twelfth Street “Y” was one where Rosenwald was involved.
The NAACP was founded 100 years ago today (largely in response to a race riot- in Springfield, Illinois- told you everything in life is connected). Whatever one thinks of Lincoln the man, writer, politician, or legend, his thoughts and deeds are inexorably woven into the fabric of our current nation. Here in D.C., and the world over, his life and legacy are being re-examined by scholars such as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Lerone Bennett, and Henry Louis Gates. So is basketball history, and the important role Washington has played in it.