Arts & Entertainment

E.B. Henderson Featured In ESPN Documentary

Those who stay tuned following the NCAA Tournament Selection Special will be able to see Falls Church resident Ed Henderson in the commercial-free presentation of “Black Magic,” a documentary film by Dan Klores.

The film tells the story of the civil rights movement viewed through the prism of the experiences of black basketball players, and the fight to desegregate professional and interscholastic basketball.

Ed Henderson is the grandson of the legendary Edwin Bancroft Henderson. Known to his friends as E.B., the Washington, D.C. native born in 1883, has been called, “the father of black basketball.” That moniker is no hyperbole. In addition to his accomplishments as a basketball player, E.B. Henderson was critical in the formation of institutions that would allow interscholastic black basketball to exist.

In 1965, E.B. moved down to Tuskegee, Ala. to live with his son and his son’s family, which of course included the then 10-year-old Ed Henderson.

“He was always full of stories,” Ed Henderson recalls. “The stories about him he used to tell were never braggadocios or bravado, but something relating to teaching me a life lesson.”

Ed was aware of his grandfather’s work, but E.B.’s legendary status was driven home for Ed when he was throwing the discus during the Georgia State Olympics.

“Jessie Owens was the keynote speaker,” recalls Ed. “After it was over … he came up, shook my hand, and asked me how Grandpa was.” Jessie Owens was the not only legendary athlete who was an admirer or E.B. “Lenny Moore … he came by the house to spend time with Grandpa, these are the types of people that looked up to him.”