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The Renaissance Big Five was an all-black professional basketball team that was formed by Robert Douglas in February 13, 1923. This team, which was also known as the New York Renaissance or the Rens, was created in an arrangement with the Renaissance Casino and Ballroom. The latter’s entertainment complex, at Harlem’s 138th Street and Seventh Avenue, turned out to be the team’s home court.
The Rens’ success made its team a professional one from the amateur. Being one of the dominant basketball teams in 1920-’30, it has played its first game in November 3, 1923. The Rens claimed the title of world champions on December 20, 1925, after beating then dominant team the Original Celtics. They amassed a record of 120 to 8 in the seasons of 1932-’33.
The team won the first professional basketball championship in 1939 beating Oshkosh All-Stars. Having hoarded a record of 2588-539, the team made a history. Finally in 1963, the New York Renaissance was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame.