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Basketball in Brooklyn

By Sady Sullivan

Posted on March 10, 2010

Bats, Balls, Nets and Hoops: Stories of Sports in Brooklyn is the latest in a series of educational curriculum kits from the Brooklyn Historical Society (forthcoming Spring 2010).

Organized around four case studies, the kit is packed with more than 50 primary source documents from the BHS archives, including newspaper articles, photographs and oral histories of Brooklyn athletes born between the 1920s and 1950s.   Each case study comes in a separate folder with critical thinking questions and document-analysis activities to help students observe, question, analyze and interpret the material.

Here’s a basketball-themed sample of stories from the kit (also available on iTunes):

Introduction by Deborah Schwartz, Brooklyn Historical Society President [audio: http://brooklynhistory.org/podcast/01_Introduction_DeborahSchwartz.mp3]


Albert King was born in Fort Greene, Brooklyn in 1959. He attended Fort Hamilton High School and the University of Maryland on an athletic scholarship before being drafted to play professional basketball.  Photo courtesy of Albert King. [audio: http://brooklynhistory.org/podcast/02_AlbertKing.mp3]


From 1981 to 1989, Albert King played professional basketball for the New Jersey Nets.  Photo courtesy of Albert King. [audio: http://brooklynhistory.org/podcast/03_AlbertKing_Nets.mp3]


Alan Fishman was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn in 1946 and attended Erasmus Hall High School. He has worked in the banking industry for over 30 years and he is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Brooklyn Community Foundation. Image courtesy of cybernetiks2, Flickr. [audio: http://brooklynhistory.org/podcast/04_AlanFishman.mp3]



Albert Vann was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 1934. From 1975 to 2001, he served as a member of the New York State Assembly representing the 56th District. He is currently a New York City Council member representing the 36th District, Brooklyn. Photo by Andrew Schwartz. [audio: http://brooklynhistory.org/podcast/05_AlbertVann.mp3]



Mary DeSaussure Sobers was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 1931. In 1945, she won a Gold medal for the 40-yard dash at a Borough-wide track meet in Madison Square Garden. She went on to found the Trail Blazers, New York City’s first track-and-field club for African American girls.  Photo courtesy of Mary DeSaussure Sobers. [audio: http://brooklynhistory.org/podcast/06_MaryDeSaussureSobers.mp3]



Click here for more information on how to order Bats, Balls, Nets and Hoops and to find out how it connects to curriculum guidelines as outlined in the New York City K–8 Social Studies Scope and Sequence.

Bats, Balls, Nets and Hoops: Stories of Sports in Brooklyn and the  forthcoming curriculum kit are made possible by generous funding from Barclays Nets Community Alliance.

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