Basketball Wiki

Hampton Pirates
Hampton Pirates.png
School Name: Hampton University
Location: Hampton, Virginia
Arena: Hampton Convocation Center
Capacity: 7,200
Conference: MEAC
Head coach: Edward Joyner, Jr.

Hampton University Pirates have a long and storied basketball history among the historically Negro colleges. The institution, located in Hampton, Virginia, was founded as the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1868. The name was shortened to Hampton Institute in 1930, and became Hampton University in 1984.

Hampton Institute's earliest team dates to the 1910-11 season, when it was reported to have had a team, but its basketball tradition should better be traced back to the 1911-12 team, which upset Howard University's Howard Big Five team, the reigning Colored Basketball World's Champions, 19-16 in overtime. This matchup may have been the first intercollegiate game between two African American colleges. It was Howard's second defeat in two years. With that victory Hampton claimed the titular colored intercollegiate championship. For a detailed account of the game, see Hot Potato: The Birth of Black Basketball.


Hampton Institute was one of the founding members of the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association in February of 1912. Other members of this pioneering league were Howard University, Lincoln University, Shaw University, and Virginia Union University. In the 1912-13 season, Hampton lost only one game all season, to their nemesis, Howard University.

Some online sources claim that in the 1915-16 season, Hampton Institute was recognized as the Colored Basketball World's Champion. There is little evidence to support this notion, as basketball was at a low ebb in DC, and not particularly strong in New York either. Only Pittsburgh's Monticello team appeared to have a top-notch program that year.

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