NEW YORK - Over the next few weeks, GoColumbiaLions.com will take a look at the teams, student-athletes, coaches and staff members set to be inducted in the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame this October. Our next installment features two of the earliest stars for the men's basketball program in Ted Kiendl 1911CC and John Howard Johnson '22CC.
Ted Kiendl 1911CC
During one of its most successful periods in program history, Columbia men’s basketball did not have to look far for its star player – Brooklyn’s own, Ted Kiendl.
From 1908-11, the Lions won 40 of 43 games with Kiendl leading the way. He played on the 1908-09 Intercollegiate Championship squad and helped the Lions win the 1910-11 E.I.B.L title.
Individually, the forward was the first Columbia player to earn National Player of the Year accolades in 1910-11 after he led the E.I.B.L. in scoring (100 points, 7.1 PPG in the pre-shot clock era). For his career, Kiendl was a three-time All-American and all-league honoree.
Upon his graduation, Kiendl had a brilliant career as a negligence defense attorney, beginning in 1913. He later served as a special assistant for New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey.
Kiendl passed away in 1976.
John Howard Johnson ’22CC
The impact of John Howard Johnson goes beyond his contributions to the Columbia men’s basketball program. Of course, it cannot be understated that Johnson was the first African American to play on the varsity squad and one of the top forwards in the Eastern Intercollegiate League. But it was his work after leaving Morningside Heights that made him a true Hall of Famer outside of athletics.
Johnson finished in the top-five of league scoring in 1919-20 and 1920-21 and was one of the premier forwards of his time. Some of his best performances with Columbia included scoring points in a 28-25 victory over Dartmouth in 1920 and pouring in 11 in a 15-14 victory over CCNY in 1921.
Two years after receiving an anthropology degree from the University, Johnson became an ordained reverend and went on to become one of the most respected civil activists in Harlem.
Johnson founded St. Martin’s Parish on Lenox Avenue in 1928, which was declared a New York City landmark in 1966, and built his congregation to more than 3,000 people by the late 1940’s. A lifetime New Yorker, Johnson devoted his time to integration within people in his diverse community.
In 1935, he was named a member of the Emergency Relief Bureau and appointed as the NYPD’s chaplain by New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1939.
Johnson passed away in his Long Island home at the age of 98 in 1995.