Ben Henderson – The Grandfather of Black Basketball
Ben Henderson is a bandit with a kind heart. He takes old strums, styles, and stories out of retirement and puts them to dance the good dance night after night in various venues for audiences around the globe – collecting EPs and goose bumps along the way!
Henderson joined Teal, Becker & Chiaramonte in 2015 as an active member of their Tax Department and Real Estate committees.
Early Life and Education
Henderson was born in Cuthbert, Georgia and attended prep school and Atlanta University before making the move north to New York City in 1920 to work at Pace & Handy music publishing house as a pianist for demonstration and promotion purposes – drawing upon both classical training and music notation to quickly become one of its valued employees.
He was an active member of Dalraida Baptist Church and served on its Usher Board, Male Choir and Deacon Board. Additionally, he enjoyed gardening and transporting produce to neighbors and friends in need. Unfortunately, he is predeceased by both of his parents, two brothers and five sisters before leaving Geneva Garner Henderson behind with two children he will leave behind as his legacy.
Ben Henderson serves as Cradle-to-Care program manager at RSSC and strives to ensure people from South Stockton have access to education, training, and job opportunities. Before this role he worked at Mary Magdalene Community Services where his case management efforts helped reduce recidivism rates among former inmates.
Ben has extensive public policy experience and is widely respected within the criminal justice arena. As an assistant district attorney, he prosecuted everything from nonviolent misdemeanors to serious felonies while becoming known for his expertise on complex public policy issues pertaining to criminal justice.
Ben has been an instrumental partner at Hill Ward Henderson for more than five years, litigating major commercial cases including professional liability and products liability cases as well as representing public entities such as the Florida House of Representatives and Senate in various litigation matters.
Achievement and Honors
He is best known for creating YMCA programs aimed at engaging African-Americans in health and physical education programs at the YMCA, and for helping develop the Eastern Board of Officials which organized basketball for Black players. As the Grandfather of Black basketball, he was honored this past weekend by having a statue dedicated to him at University of the District of Columbia sports complex in Washington DC.
Henderson has served as piano accompanist for various Middletown public school choirs and the Greater Middletown Chorale in Middletown, and currently attends Eastman School of Music to pursue organ performance under Nathan Laube’s tutelage.
Award-Winning Actor Combatant in the Society of American Fight Directors; also worked as Director/Educator with Alpine School District and Utah COPA.
Benny enjoyed life’s simple pleasures: playing dice and cards, cooking delicious meals or just relaxing with his friends over a cup of plain back coffee. He always put others first; we will all miss him dearly.
His dedication to advocating for those underserved runs deep. He has served as a case manager at Mary Magdalene Community Services to reduce recidivism among formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as acting as field representative for two state senators.
Henderson is an accomplished actor/fight director. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Classical Acting from Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University and his Bachelor of Science in Theatrical Arts from Utah Valley University, having performed on stage productions such as FUN HOME at SLAC; A MAID’S TRAGEDY; ROMEO AND JULIET and LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST at Shakespeare Theatre Company/ACA as well as LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST; BIG FISH and PETER PAN at Hale Center Theatre Orem.
He holds 11 wins and three losses over his professional career so far, and currently reigns as WEC Lightweight Champion.
Henderson began his professional fighting career in 2006. His professional debut came at Midwest Championship Fighting where he defeated Dan Gregory with a standing guillotine choke in the first round.
Later, Henderson would regain the title by defeating Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone in a unification bout, before successfully defending it twice until losing it in an unforgettable fight of the night against Anthony Pettis.
His California home and impressive car collection make up part of a net worth estimated to be about $4 Million by 2023.