North Side basketball pioneer Henry Chapman elected to Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

November 29, 2022

Chapman broke North Side basketball color barrier in 1951; was first Allen County basketball players to surpass 1,000 points

henry chapman
Henry "Hank" Chapman


Henry “Hank” Chapman, one of the first African-American basketball players at North Side High School, has been elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Chapman, who died November 1 at age 86, was one of 18 men selected for the 61st induction class by the hall’s board of directors announced November 29.

Henry Chapman was Allen County's first 1,000 point-scorer, finishing his high school career with 1,124 points at North Side

Chapman starred for North Side from 1951 to 1955, breaking the color barrier alongside classmate Charlie Lyons in their freshman season. As a senior, he led North Side to sectional and regional championships in 1954 and 1955, a semi-state title in 1955, and to the state finals in 1954 (a two-point semi-final loss to Gary Roosevelt).

1955 north side
#41 Hank Chapman led North Side to the 1955 State Finals. Teammate Charlie Lyons, #40, were the first two African-Americans to play on the boys basketball team in their 1951-52 freshman year

“It should be noted that he acquired frostbite on his shooting hand, as a result of changing a flat tire in sub-zero temperature the night before the game,” the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame wrote of Chapman in its news release announcing this year’s inductees.


Henry Chapman helped North Side to the NIC & sectional cross country titles in 1955

Chapman was the first Allen County basketball player to surpass 1,000 career points, finishing with 1,124 points. He was named All-City three times and added All-Sectional and All-Regional honors in his senior campaign.

He was also an accomplished runner, leading the North Side cross country team to Northern Indiana Conference and sectional titles in 1954. He also helped North Side track & field to sectional and regional titles in 1955.

After high school, Chapman barnstormed with and against the Harlem Globetrotters, according to the news release.  Chapman worked 31 years at International Harvester in Fort Wayne, and played several years on the company’s YMCA league team, as well.

He was part of the inaugural class of the North Side Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.

The 61st men’s class of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame will be enshrined March 23 in Indianapolis. A full list of nominees can be seen here.


photos courtesy North Side High School Legend yearbooks

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