Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ed Crenshaw from Star Player at Sumner High to One of Missouri's Top High School Coaches

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ed Crenshaw from Star Player at Sumner High to One of Missouri's Top High School Coaches

Article excerpt

At a time when whites and blacks didn't mingle on the basketball courts, Ed Crenshaw, who died Tuesday (Sept. 25, 2012) at age 78, was a star at Sumner High School.

Despite being one of the best players in the metro area, he didn't get much recognition; African-American schools such as Sumner weren't permitted to compete in the early 1950s against white high schools.

But it was hard to ignore someone averaging 20-some points a game. The basketball coach at what is now Quincy University recruited him, and Mr. Crenshaw led his team to the national playoffs.

He went on to become one of the winningest coaches in Missouri history. He started out as the first black faculty member at what was then an all-white Catholic school in rural O'Fallon, Mo.

Edward James Crenshaw Sr. died at Delmar Gardens nursing home in Chesterfield. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2009, his family said Friday.

Growing up, Ed Crenshaw shot hoops at an inner-city park near his childhood home in St. Louis to stay out of trouble. He was the youngest of five children, whose mother was a factory worker.

Basketball was a big deal then at Sumner with more than 100 students trying out for the team. At 6-feet, 6-inches, Mr. Crenshaw got the job as center.

At first, Sumner played only teams from other predominantly black schools. In his junior and senior years, the team was permitted to begin playing Catholic schools as well.

Sumner made it to the local championship and lost to St. Louis University High School.

"Now the white community got a chance to learn about Ed Crenshaw and the Sumner basketball team," recalled Ed Bester, who graduated in 1953, a year behind his friend Mr. Crenshaw.

Mr. Crenshaw was an All-American player and the first African- American to win the KMOX player of the year award. He set numerous scoring records.

At Quincy, Mr. Crenshaw became the school's first black basketball player. …

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