Friday, November 22, 2019

In Memoriam: Wat Misaka

Wat Misaka (1923-2019)

Wataru “Wat” Misaka, an Ogden native who was recognized as the first person of color to play in the NBA, died Wednesday in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah announced.

Misaka was 95.

A graduate of Ogden High School, Misaka played for Weber Junior College in his hometown and then joined the Utah program. The 5-foot-7 guard contributed to Utah’s victory over Dartmouth in the 1944 NCAA championship game at Madison Square Garden in New York and to the team’s 1947 NIT title, alongside Arnie Ferrin, who remained a lifelong friend.

“We achieved things that a lot of people never will,” Ferrin said Thursday. “He made us a better team and made me a better person. I can’t say I had anybody I enjoyed being around more than Wat."

Only later did Misaka recognize how he had inspired other Japanese Americans during World War II, as they were “really searching for their identity and to be accepted,” he once said.

A 2008 documentary titled “Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story” enabled even his former Utah teammates to understand more about what he went through in college, hearing racial taunts from fans and having his family endure harsh experiences.

“I’m not sure if we were aware of some of the pressures he had to overcome,” Ferrin once said.

That’s why Wisaka is remembered as being “bigger than the game of basketball,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement.

In his nine years on the job, Ute basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak became acquainted with Misaka, who regularly joined Ferrin at special events. Krystkowiak tweeted that Misaka “embodied such an amazing Ute spirit” and “remained close to the program during my time here, and will be deeply missed.”

The Utah High School Activities Association praised Misaka, whose “legacy helped promote inclusion through sports for underserved populations.”

Some accounts described Misaka as “Hawaiian,” as part of an apparent effort to protect him as he played in road games, but he thrived in New York in both the 1944 NCAA Tournament and 1947 NIT.

Having spent two years in the U.S. Army, including an assignment to Hiroshima after the bombing of the city, Misaka rejoined Utah’s basketball program for his senior year.

The Utes beat Kentucky for the NIT championship, with Misaka holding Wildcat star Ralph Beard to one point. Partly based on that performance, the New York Knicks of the league then called the Basketball Association of America signed Misaka (the BAA's final three years are considered part of the NBA's official history).

He played in only three games for the Knicks before being released. Having turned down an offer to join the Harlem Globetrotters, he returned to Utah and completed his degree in engineering.

Thanks largely to the documentary, Misaka’s role in NBA history as the first person of color came into focus in his mid-80s. In a promotional trip, he returned to New York for the first time since his brief Knicks tenure and visited the new Madison Square Garden.

Misaka received further attention in 2012 when Asian American guard Jeremy Lin made a sensational debut with the Knicks. And, in March 2019, when Gonzaga played in Salt Lake City in the NCAA Tournament, Bulldog star Rui Hachimura appreciated the opportunity to meet Misaka as a legendary Japanese American basketball player.

In his hometown, Ogden administrators renamed “Kilowatt Court” at Liberty Park in a 2018 ceremony, citing Misaka’s nickname. On Thursday, the City Council tweeted, “An Ogden legend, he served our country with courage, broke barriers through basketball and will be remembered for the example he set us all.”

Misaka is survived by a daughter a son. His wife, Katie, died in 2017.

- Kurt Kragthorpe, Salt Lake Tribune -

Friday, November 15, 2019

In Memoriam: Irv Noren

Irv Noren (1924-2019)

Noren, a long-time baseball player who was an All-Star and two-time World Champion with the New York Yankees, was also a professional basketball player, playing with Chicago American Gears in the NBL as well as the Los Angeles Red Devils' barnstorming club.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Irv Noren, a major-league outfielder from 1950-60 and a longtime supporter of racing, especially at Del Mar, as an owner and fan, died Nov. 15 at his Oceanside, Calif., home. He was 94, two weeks away from his 95th birthday.
Noren was in ill health and under hospice care for an extended period of time.

"But he came out (to Del Mar) two or three times in the summer in a wheelchair," said Jenine Sahadi, a friend, former trainer, and racing official. "I talked to him last week, and he said he wanted to come out to this meeting."
According to Del Mar publicity, Noren played for six teams—the Washington Senators, New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers. He is best remembered for his 4 1/2 years with the Yankees (1952-56) when he was platooned in the outfield with Bob Cerv and started four games at center field in the 1955 World Series for an injured Mickey Mantle.
Noren played on three World Series-winning Yankees teams and was the third-base coach for manager Dick Williams on the Oakland A's championship teams in 1972-73.
Following his playing career, Noren was a frequent visitor to Del Mar and a part-owner of several horses.

In Memoriam: Dick "Clubby" Bennett

Dick "Clubby" Bennett (1921-2019)

Richard Bennett, 98, died Monday, November 11, 2019 at the Schenectady Center. Richard was born in Erie, PA to the late Ignatius and Helen Gabriel Bednarkiewicz, moving to Schenectady at age 3. Richard was a graduate of the former Mont Pleasant High School and Siena College. He was a star basketball player at both schools. While at Mont Pleasant he played for legendary coach, Sig Makofski from 1937- 1940. Coach Makofski considered Richard one of his greatest players, his team was undefeated in the 1938-39 season. After graduating, he attended Michigan State for one season, he left after one semester and transfered to Siena, where he played for Coach Dan Cunha. After two seasons his career was ended by WW II. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and served in a military hospital, honorably discharged in 1945. Later, he played professional basketball for the Schenectady Comets of the New York State League and the Schenectady Packers of the American Basketball League, starting for both teams. Richard was inducted into the Schenectady School District Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Capital District Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. He worked for several years for A.W. Wood Co, retiring in 1983. Richard was a member of the American Legion, the Rotterdam Elks and the Knights of St. John. Richard was predeceased by his wife, Virginia Byrnes Bennett, who died in 2017; a son, James M. Bennett; a brother, Henry Bednarkiewicz and a sister, Leona Deitz. He is survived by his son, Richard "Skip" Bennett of Rotterdam and a sister, Helen Byrnes of Nashville, TN. He is also survived by nieces and nephews, Pamela (Stewart) Finton, Leslie (James) Laplante, Doug (Donna) Byrnes, Kathy (Gary) Blalack, and many great nieces and great nephews.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

In Memoriam: Mel Rothbart

Mel Rothbart (1928-2019)

Rothbart, who played basketball at CCNY on the eve of the point-shaving scandal that shook the sports world, has died at the age of 91. Rothbart would leave CCNY after his sophomore year and played pro basketball with the Paterson Crescents of the ABL and with Waterbury in the Eastern League.

In Memoriam: Aaron Tanitsky

Aaron Tanitsky (1926-2019)

Tanitsky, one of the last surviving members of the fabled Philadelphia SPHA's, died last September at the age of 93.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

In Memoriam: Lindsey Oden

Lindsey Oden (1929-2019)

Lindsey "Nug" Oden, age 90, of Pinson, Alabama passed at his home on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Nug was active in sports and enjoyed the long wonderful life that God gave him, he was grateful. He served in the Army during the Korean conflict. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gilbert and Lexie Lindsey Oden; two brothers, Bill Oden and G.C. Oden and two sisters, Frances Kyle and Faye Carter. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Peggy Morgan Oden; son, Jay Lindsey Oden; granddaughters, Rebecca, Kathryn, Emily and their mother, Milette Acton Oden, all of North Carolina and one sister, Patsy Oden Spitzer. Nug will be lovingly remembered by his family for his honesty, hard work and always willing to help a neighbor. "When those who know you the best, respect you the most-you are blessed." The family will receive friends on Thursday, November 7, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Deerfoot Memorial Funeral Home. Graveside service will follow at 12:30 PM at Forest Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your favorite organization. Deerfoot Memorial Funeral Home-directing.

Monday, November 11, 2019

In Memoriam: Pep Saul

Frank "Pep" Saul (1924-2019)

South Orange, N.J. - Frank "Pep" Saul, Seton Hall men's basketball's first 1,000-point scorer, first to have his number retired and member of Seton Hall Athletics' inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 1973, has passed away at the age of 95.

Saul played for the Pirates as a freshman in 1942-43 before going to serve in the United States Military during World War II. He returned to The Hall in 1946 to earn his college degree and continue playing basketball for the Pirates. He led the Pirates in scoring each of his final three years and became Seton Hall's first 1,000-point scorer on March 5, 1949 in a win over Creighton.

In Saul's four years on the roster, Seton Hall's record was 74-17. This included an 18-game winning streak to start the 1946-47 season when the basketball program and Saul had returned from the war.

After his Seton Hall career concluded, Saul was selected in the first round of the 1949 NBA Draft by the Rochester Royals, 12th overall. He played six seasons in the NBA and won four NBA titles, one with the Royals and three with the Minneapolis Lakers. Saul played important roles on many of those championship-winning teams, including averaging 11.3 points and 3.5 assists in 13 playoff games for the 1951-52 Lakers.

Saul's Seton Hall number three was retired by the school, and in 1973, he was one of 11 inductees into the inaugural Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Fame class.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Corrections

A discovery of n old program shows the Logg for the Seattle club in the Pacific Coast League was George Logg, not Leslie Logg.

George Logg

Also, evidence shows the Billy Galvin from University of Washington played for Seattle, not George Glavin as I originally surmised.. However, no identification of Billy Galvin has been found, so I have not changed it yet but I am definitely calling the original identification into question.

George Glavin

Monday, November 4, 2019

In Memoriam: Emil Drovetto

Emil Drovetto, who played with the Yakima Ramblers of the Pacific Coast Basketball League, died last month.

Detective Emil Drovetto, Ret.


Emil was born November 27, 1925 in Roslyn, Washington. His parents were Anton (Tony) and Mary Drovetto, and he was the youngest of four sons. Emil graduated from Cle Elum High School in 1944 and went on with enthusiasm to serve in the U.S. Merchant Marines, transporting supplies to troops and allies during World War ll. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and decided to start a career in law enforcement with the Seattle Police Department. He worked patrol car in the North precinct and was later assigned to the Chinatown-International District beat. He was a member of the Seattle Police Marching Drill Team, representing the City of Seattle at numerous events and parades locally and around the United States, including the 1962 Presidential Inauguration of John F. Kennedy, the Annual Aloha Days Celebration in Honolulu, Hawaii, numerous Seafair parades and as a sponsor of the U.S. Marine Corp Band performance at the Seattle Center.


Emil's life nearly came to an end after the Marine Corp Band performance on October 12, 1968. Upon his return home from the performance, he stopped to visit a close friend, Vic Rossi, owner of the G&R grocery store on Roosevelt Way. During the visit, two armed men surprised Vic and Emil and demanded cash from the register. Gunshots were fired at Emil as they assumed he was armed. However, Emil was wearing his dress uniform for performances, not armed and unable to defend Vic or himself from the gunshots that ensued. He struggled to disarm one of the assailants while the other was continuing to fire. Emil was able to chase the assailants out of the store, and attempted to flag down passing motorists. Fortunately two young school teachers, James Whitford and Ralph Velie, stopped and took him to UW hospital. Emil was struck by five bullets, bleeding profusely and had life threatening wounds to various organs. Thanks to the quick action of the good Samaritans that drove him to the hospital, the passionate treatment from UW medical staff and prayers from family, friends and the entire city, Emil eventually made a full recovery.


Upon returning to active duty with the police department, Emil was promoted to detective and continued to work until his retirement in 1972. After his career with the police department, Emil worked as a Mutual Clerk at Longacres Race Track in Renton, where he continued his love and association with thoroughbred horses and the many wonderful people that participate in the "sport of kings."


Emil was married to his beloved High School sweetheart, Norma Bosone, for 44 years. During their life together they had three children, sons Joe and Gary, and daughter Dina. Emil and Norma enjoyed attending Little League games, numerous tent camping trips and road trips, the most memorable being the road trips to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California in 1960 and 1961 to watch the Huskies shatter Wisconsin and Minnesota.


While patrolling the Chinatown beat, Emil and Norma developed an interest and appreciation for Chinese culture and cuisine. They vacationed in the Far East to learn more about the Asian culture and traveled to Italy to connect with their own family roots. They continued to visit their friends on the island of Oahu until Norma's death on October 4, 1992, one day before another scheduled trip to Honolulu.


Following Norma's death, Emil later developed a friendship with Kaye Beeson, who was a widow of a Seattle Police Officer. Kaye was Emil's friend and companion and they continued to travel and gather with friends until her death on February 3, 2018.


Emil had a love for entertaining and was known for his happy outgoing personality and kindness for all those around him. He always had a special place in his heart for family members, friends and work associates. His coworkers and local business men and women in the Chinatown community called him "Spaghetti" in recognition of his Italian heritage. He was a founding member of the Retired Association of Police (RAP), and organized their first meetings at Restaurants in Chinatown. He participated as a member of the Roslyn Eagles, Foot Printers, and the Italian Club. Emil enjoyed playing basketball, swimming, walking around Green Lake, attending UW Husky and Seahawks football games. He and his brother Art owned two thoroughbred horses and were big supporters of the horse racing industry.


Emil leaves behind to cherish his memory: son Joe, his wife Laura, their two sons, Tony and Nick, daughter Dina, her husband Amr their two children Montasir and Alia and daughter in-law, Sheila Gavin Drovetto, widow of son Gary. Emil also leaves behind his good friend Sam Talerico and his wife Margy, as well as retired Chief Hubert "Bud" Vandenwyer, plus many other loving friends and loyal coworkers. A special thank you goes to the compassionate care givers and support staff of the Parkshore Senior Living Community, where Emil spent his final two plus years battling the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. He passed away peacefully on October 6, 2019. His urn will be placed next to his wife Norma at the Eagles Cemetery in Roslyn, Washington with military honors.


Bill Chase (PCBL) Identified

I found the obituary for Bill Chase that confirms the identity of the Pacific Coast player.

Bill Chase
1918-1987

Stan Williamson (PCBL) Identified

An anonymous reader dropped a good lead on the identity of Stan Williamson, and it helped me confirm the Pacific Coast League player's identity.

Stan Williamson
1923-1973

Friday, October 11, 2019

In Memoriam: John Seagrist

John Seagrist (1923-2019)

Seagrist, a 6'8 center, left college early and signed with the Boston Celtics. He never played with the Celts, but played a few games for the Hartford Hurricanes of the ABL and New Britain in the Eastern League before quitting the sport. He died last month at 96.






Wednesday, October 9, 2019

In Memoriam: Ed Kalafat

Ed Kalafat (1932-2019)

Kalafat played three season with the Minneapolis Lakers in the mid 1950's


Age 86, of St. Paul Passed away October 7, 2019 at Sholom Home. Ed also known as "Big Ed" had a love for sports, boating and visiting Naples, FL. He was an active member in the Lumen Christi Church, former professional basketball player with the Minneapolis Lakers, Hall of Fame player for the U of M and captain in the U.S Army but most of all a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Preceded in death by his parents Steve and Katie Kalafat and wife Judith Kalafat. Survived by sister Eileen, nieces and nephews, 3 daughters, Kelly (Skip) Maurer, Lisa Kalafat, Amy (Jeff) Pinotti, 7 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren and beloved dog Brandy. Funeral Mass will b e held at 11am Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at Lumen Christi Catholic Church (2055 Bohland Ave, St Paul) with a visitation one hour prior to services at the church. Entombment at Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Lumen Christi Catholic Church, Sholom Home or United Hospital. Special thank you to the staff at Saint Paul Fire Station 19, staff and hospice team at Sholom Home and United Hospital for the loving care they provided for Ed.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

1947-48 Sacramento Senators (ABL-AAU)

1947-48 SACRAMENTO SENATORS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 4-15 .211 (9-15 .400), 4th place

Received five forfeit wins from Phoenix.


Head Coach:
  • Dave Kelley (July 24, 1913 - August 31, 1991)
PLAYERS:
  • Sam Alaimo (April 18, 1922 - April 26, 2015)
  • Tony Braginetz (March 23, 1921 - May 8, 2016)
  • Don Delaney (b. April 26, 1924)
  • Gordon Garetson (December 9, 1918 - December 24, 1994)
  • Bob Gill (October 4, 1925 - July 19, 2016)
  • Warren Hubbart (October 29, 1921 - January 15, 2004)
  • Woody Hutchinson (November 3, 1918 - October 21, 2009)
  • Jim Reese (July 4, 1923 - October 12, 2010)
  • Charlie Reyner (September 13, 1921 - May 21, 2003)
  • Roy Tamm (June 26, 1920 - May 2014)
  • Al White
  • Roy Willhoite (February 9, 1916 - December 27, 1992)

1947-48 Phoenix J.W. Nick's Contractors (ABL-AAU)

1947-48 PHOENIX J.W. NICK'S CONTRACTORS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 1-14 .067 (1-23 .042), 5th place

Team was suspended February 10, 1948, with a 1-14 record. They forfeited their remaining nine games.

Head Coach:
  • Bill Ogilvie (October 12, 1916 - December 30, 1975)

PLAYERS:
  • Ernie Baker
  • Ralph Baskett (March 17, 1924 - December 20, 2007)
  • Daffy Douthit (November 23, 1926 - August 20, 1983)
  • Bill Dycus
  • Ford Ferguson (August 31, 923 - May 17, 2008)
  • Marshall Fox (b. December 1923)
  • Carroll Gunnett (November 13, 1921 - June 11, 1979)
  • Dick Gustin (May 30, 1921 - February 21, 1948)
  • Earl Jones (August 20, 1917 - February 5, 2009)
  • Jim Mackey (June 10, 1922 - May 7, 1995)
  • Bill Moylan (December 13, 1922 - June 25, 2001)
  • Bill Nicks (November 30, 1923 - January 23, 1981)
  • Bill Ogilvie (October 12, 1916 - December 30, 1975)
  • Elmer Olson
  • Bill Rainey
  • John Roper (January 19, 1928 - October 25, 2004)
  • Hank Slagle (August 9, 1916 - August 20, 2004)
  • Hank Slider (May 21, 1925 - June 15, 1999)

1947-48 Oklahoma Phillips 66 Oilers (ABL-AAU)

1947-48 OKLAHOMA PHILLIPS 66 OILERS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 19-3 .864 (21-3 .875), 1st place

Record includes two forfeits from Phoenix

Head Coach:
  • Bud Browning (October 5, 1911 - September 11, 1978)
PLAYERS:
  • Lew Beck (April 19, 1922 - April 25, 1970)
  • Ed Beisser (May 9, 1919 - October 7, 2000)
  • Gordon Carpenter (September 24, 1919 - March 8, 1988)
  • Gene Jones (May 6, 1919 - January 1, 1983)
  • Bob Kurland (December 23, 1924 - September 29, 2013)
  • Marty Nash (February 16, 1920 - May 20, 2006)
  • Jack Perrault (May 6, 1923 - October 6, 1974)
  • R.C. Pitts (June 23, 1919 - October 29, 2011)
  • Cab Renick (September 29, 1917 - November 25, 1999)
  • Frank Stockman (February 10, 1920 - October 31, 2010)
  • Ruddy York (April 25, 1921 - May 18, 1996)

1947-48 Oakland Bittners (ABL-AAU)

1947-48 OAKLAND BITTNERS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 12-11 .522 (13-11 .542), 3rd place

Received one forfeit win from Phoenix.

Head Coaches:
  • Al Kyte (May 3, 1903 - March 9, 1992 ) 3-1
  • Laddie Gale (April 22, 1917 - July 29, 1996) 10-10 Also played. See below.

PLAYERS:
  • Jack Abell (March 26, 1926 - October 26, 1949)
  • Bob Alameida (March 13, 1920 - April 7, 1994)
  • Tom Amberry (November 13, 1922 - March 18, 2017)
  • Don Barksdale (March 31, 1923 - March 8, 1993)
Biography
  • Lou Bogan (May 6, 1921 - March 7, 2008)
  • Billy Burke (September 22, 1922 - October 25, 2006)
  • Don Burness (June 1, 1919 - March 3, 1987)
  • Dick Faszholz (September 24, 1925 - August 21, 2001)
  • Hal Fisher (May 10, 1919 - November 12, 2004)
  • Laddie Gale (April 22, 1917 - July 29, 1996)
Biography 
  • Bob Hogeboom (b. November 19, 1925)
  • Bob Matthews (June 22, 1919 - July 16, 1994)
  • Les O'Gara (May 24, 1920 - December 26, 2000)
  • Mushy Silver (b. February 15, 1922)
  • Slats Taulbee (August 14, 1924 - April 6, 1998)
  • Don Williams (September 30, 1918 - August 11, 2004)

1947-48 Denver Nuggets (ABL-AAU)

1947-48 DENVER NUGGETS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 15-8 .652 (16-8 .667), 2nd place

Received one forfeit win from Phoenix

Head Coach:
  • Ralph Bishop (October 1, 1915 - October 1, 1974)

PLAYERS:
  • Hank Balke (December 27, 1922 - March 13, 2004)
  • Vince Boryla (March 11, 1927 - March 27, 2016)
Biography
  • Jimmy Darden (June 19, 1922 - April 29, 1994)
Biography
  • Ward Gibson (December 5, 1921 - February 1, 1958)
Biography
  • Jack Gray (October 6, 1920 - June 30, 2014)
  • Neal Large (March 6, 1922 - April 28, 2004)
  • Roy Lipscomb (January 3, 1923 - November 24, 1984)
  • Ed Little (March 19, 1925 - November 1978)
  • Ron Livingstone (October 9, 1925 - August 26, 1991)
Biography
  • Robert Salen (b. September 28, 1924)

1946-47 San Diego Tecate Dons (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 SAN DIEGO TECATE DONS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 5-15 .250, 11th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 3-1


Head Coach:
  • Tee Connelly ( - )  Also played. See below

PLAYERS:
  • Jack Balmer (September 22, 1924 - April 14, 2008)
  • Nick Buzolich (October 3, 1918 - February 25, 2003)
  • Tee Connelly 
  • Dick Faszholz (September 24, 1925 - August 21, 2001)
  • Bob Fitzpatrick (January 31, 1922 - October 1, 2009)
  • Goyette
  • Scotty Hamilton (November 21, 1921 - April 11, 1976)
  • Jack Herron (July 5, 1919 - May 23, 2003)
  • Fon Johnson (February 7, 1916 - May 29, 2007)
  • Al Martinez (March 15, 1916 - November 27, 2005)
  • Tommy McCarty (June 3, 1921 - February 23, 1965)
  • Meyers 
  • Mitchell
  • Warren
  • Al Wells  

1946-47 Salt Lake City Deseret News (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 SALT LAKE CITY DESERET NEWS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 8-12 .400, T-6th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 2-1


Head Coach:
  • Laddie Gale (April 22, 1917 - July 29, 1996) Also played. See below.

PLAYERS:
  • Bob Bell (September 6, 1920 - December 17, 1987)
  • Vaughn Bennion (April 25, 1921 - December 3, 1998)
  • Blaine Crowther (March 27, 1922 - May 8, 2005)
  • Glenn Duggins (May 29, 1925 - January 4, 1997)
  • Andy Duncan (April 17, 1922 - April 12, 2006)
Biography
  • Laddie Gale (April 22, 1917 - July 29, 1996)
Biography
  • Floyd Giles (July 25, 1918 - June 25, 1998)
  • Banard Hafen (November 20, 1921 - October 25, 2012)
  • Cliff McLean (November 19, 1912 - March 17, 2004)
  • Matt Pavalunas (May 15, 1917 - May 15, 1991)
  • Ellis Pritchett (July 9, 1926 - November 18, 2012)
  • Ed Scott (July 3, 1922 - July 12, 2014)

1946-47 Sacramento Senators (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 SACRAMENTO SENATORS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 6-14 .300, 10th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 2-2


Head Coach:
  • Dave Kelley (July 24, 1913 - August 31, 1991)
PLAYERS:
  • Jack Adee
  • Al Athey (February 21, 1922 - April 2, 1980)
  • Wayne Boulding (March 13, 1927 - March 26, 2013)
  • Tony Braginetz (March 23, 1921 - May 8, 2016)
  • Andy Curtiss (November 2, 1919 - April 26, 1995)
  • Gordon Garetson (December 9, 1918 - December 24, 1994)
  • Bob Gill (October 4, 1925 - July 19, 2016)
  • Ken Hashegan (April 6, 1913 - November 30, 1980)
  • Verne Hoffman (April 8, 1921 - April 23, 2004)
  • Gus Mota (May 6, 1919 - October 2, 1993)
  • Jim Rickert (April 2, 1918 - April 10, 2011)
  • Roy Tamm (June 26, 1920 - May 2014)
  • Warren Taylor (December 12, 1920 - February 4, 1993)
  • Al White
  • Roy Willhoite (February 9, 1916 - December 27, 1992)

1946-47 Pocatello Simplots (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 POCATELLO SIMPLOTS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 8-12 .400, T-6th place

ABL Tournament - Eliminated 0-2


Head Coach:
  • Loren Devel "Cy" Anderson (July 11, 1915 - ????)
PLAYERS:
  • Merlin Ahlquist (May 2, 1915 - March 21, 1998)
  • Chick Atkinson (January 16, 1918 - January 4, 1962)
  • Warren Christensen (March 13, 1922 - February 17, 2011)
  • Frank Fullmer (September 15, 1918 - March 12, 1998(
  • Art Grove (March 17, 1923 - May 25, 1984)
Biography
  • Merle Isham (October 29, 1916 - August 25, 2002)
  • Weldon Kern (April 30, 1923 - April 21, 2014)
Biography
  • Lindsey 
  • Floyd Morris (December 23, 1916 - July 15, 2006)
  • Bob Muller 
  • Bob Orr (January 1, 1920 - December 10, 1996)
  • Berkley Parkinson (July 15, 1915 - December 14, 2004)
  • Robertson 
  • Ray Turner (September 6, 1917 - September 29, 1995)
  • Red Wade (June 27, 1914 - December 28, 2002)

1946-47 Oklahoma Phillips 66 Oilers (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 OKLAHOMA PHILLIPS 66 OILERS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 19-1 .950, 1st place

ABL Tournament - Eliminated 1-1


Head Coach:
  • Bud Browning (October 5, 1911 - September 11, 1978)
PLAYERS:
  • Ed Beisser (May 9, 1919 - October 7, 2000)
  • Gordon Carpenter (September 24, 1919 - March 8, 1988)
  • Leon Eggleston (June 8, 1918 - July 10, 1996)
  • Bob Kurland (December 23, 1924 - September 29, 2013)
  • Bill Martin (March 31, 1917 - November 24, 1996)
  • Marty Nash (February 16, 1920 - May 20, 2006)
  • Jack Perrault (May 6, 1923 - October 6, 1974)
  • R.C. Pitts (June 23, 1919 - October 29, 2011)
  • Cab Renick (September 29, 1917 - November 25, 1999)
  • Frank Stockman (February 10, 1920 - October 31, 2010)
  • Ruddy York (April 25, 1921 - May 18, 1996)

1946-47 Oklahoma City Continental Airlines (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 OKLAHOMA CITY CONTINENTAL AIRLINES
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 10-10 .500, 4th place

ABL Tournament - Eliminated, 1-1


Head Coach:
  • Chuck Hyatt (February 29, 1908 - May 9, 1978)

PLAYERS:
  • Bill Budd (January 24, 1921 - July 31, 2016)
  • Don Fitz (February 11, 1919 - November 25, 2002)
Biography
  • Hugh Ford (April 21, 1920 - November 19, 1995)
  • Marvin Gelber (January 24, 1927 - March 30, 1963)
  • George Hamburg (October 13, 1920 - March 3, 1969)
  • Bob Hamilton (April 22, 1922 - December 7, 1995)
Biography
  • Hal Hutcheson (May 16, 1920 - September 17, 1991)
Biography
  • Leroy King (December 24, 1921 - August 8, 2004)
Biography
  • Pete McCloud (December 29, 1918 - July 17, 2013)
Biography
  • Howard Shannon (June 10, 1923 - August 16, 1995)
  • Bill Stranagan (December 1, 1918 - September 7, 1997)

1946-47 Oakland Bittners (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 OAKLAND BITTNERS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 18-2 .900, 2nd place

ABL Tournament - Tournament Champions, 3-0


Head Coach:
  • Bill Wheatley (July 5, 1909 - February 5, 1992)

PLAYERS:
  • Bob Alameida (March 13, 1920 - April 7, 1994)
  • Ernie Baker 
  • Don Burness (June 1, 1919 - March 3, 1987)
  • Bill Calhoun (b. November 4, 1927)
Biography
  • George Clyne (February 20, 1927 - December 5, 2011)
  • Tom Edwards (March 24, 1918 - August 24, 1996)
  • Sig Jacobson (September 12, 1921 - June 8, 2010)
  • Leon LaFaille (February 20, 1918 - May 21, 2019)
  • Ronnie Livingstone (October 9, 1925 - August 26, 1991)
Biography
  • Don McCaslin (b. December 13, 1926)
  • Paul Napolitano (February 3, 1923 - June 22, 1997)
Biography
  • Jim Pollard (July 9, 1922 - January 22, 1993)
Biography
  • Jim Sharp
  • Slats Taulbee (August 14, 1924 - April 6, 1998)
  • Don Williams (September 30, 1918 - August 11, 2004)

1946-47 Los Angeles Carroll Shamrocks (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 LOS ANGELES CARROLL SHAMROCKS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 8-12 .400, T-6th place

ABL Tournament - Eliminated 0-2


Head Coach:


PLAYERS:
  • Hal Allen (September 21, 1917 - December 23, 2009)
  • Jack Ballard (March 8, 1922 - May 7, 2002)
  • Ralph Crowton (August 2, 1916 - October 11, 2010)
Biography 
  • Dick Gartrell (October 13, 1922 - February 22, 2010)
  • Ernie Handelsman (December 30, 1922 - March 19, 1993)
  • Wally Kowalski (May 18, 1917 - February 24, 1999)
  • Les O'Gara (May 24, 1920 - December 26, 2000)
  • Bob Ormsby (June 4, 1921 - September 3, 2014)
  • Marty Pelka (May 16, 1920 - February 17, 2013)
  • Don Seidel (b. September 6, 1925)
  • Jack Stone (October 24, 1926 - November 19, 2004)
  • Vic Townsend (May 22, 1919 - August 14, 2000)
  • George Vulich (May 12, 1925 - February 8, 2011)
  • Doug Winters (April 19, 1920 - February 10, 1992)

1946-47 Kansas City M&O Cigar Smokies (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 KANSAS CITY M&O CIGAR SMOKIES
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 8-12 .438, T-6th place

ABL Tournament - Eliminated 2-2


Head Coach:
  • Herman Fischer (July 7, 1910 - August 10, 1986) Also played. See below.

PLAYERS:
  • Hank Balke (December 27, 1922 - March 13, 2014)
  • Jack Ballard (March 8, 1922 - May 7, 2002)
  • Clarence Brannum (May 28, 1926 - October 9, 2000)
Biography
  • Bob Butherus (July 25, 1923 - December 17, 2001)
  • Bill Feagans (February 2, 1927 - April 5, 2009)
  • Herman Fischer (July 7, 1910 - August 10, 1986)
  • Pat Geraghty (July 9, 1925 - May 7, 1962)
  • Monty
  • Bill Morris (May 14, 1920 - June 16, 1995)
  • Bob Nodler (September 5, 1918 - March 8, 2003)
  • Bob O'Brien (January 26, 1927 - September 19, 2008)
Biography
  • Don Platt (October 15, 1917 - June 26, 2006)
  • Lou Steinmeir (March 22, 1921 - May 4, 1992)
  • Joe Trosper (May 11, 1921 - September 29, 2011)
  • Harold Wiseman (May 30, 1921 - August 21, 2005)
  • Vernon Yates (September 17, 1923 - February 16, 2006)

1946-47 Hollywood 20th Century Fox (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 HOLLYWOOD 20TH CENTURY FOX
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 11-9 .550, 3rd place

ABL Tournament: Finished 3rd, winning consolation game

Head Coach:
  • Jerry Gracin (December 8, 1915 - May 14, 1981) Also played.

PLAYERS:
  • Len Berg (January 14, 1920 - January 11, 2011)
  • Ralph Crowton (August 2, 1916 - October 11, 2010)
Biography
  • Bob Gilbert (February 24, 1925 - October 15, 2010)
  • Jerry Gracin (December 8, 1915 - May 14, 1981)
  •  Ted Gossard (May 30, 1918 - March 31, 2016)
  • Jack Lippert (January 19, 1918 - October 21, 1974
  • Frank Lubin (January 7, 1910 - July 8, 1999)
  • Bob Matthews (June 22, 1919 - July 16, 1994)
  • Tom McGarvin (April 19, 1917 - June 18, 2005)
  • Ed McGrath (September 2, 1917 - May 14, 2002)
  • Art Mollner (December 20, 1912 - March 16, 1995)
  • Alex Omalev (July 2, 1920 - November 10, 2008)
  • Dale Sears (April 27, 1918 - January 6, 1973)
  • Jim Seminoff (September 1, 1922 - June 12, 2001)

1946-47 Denver Nuggets (ABL-AAU)

1946-47 DENVER NUGGETS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 9-11 .450, 5th place

ABL Tournament - Runner-up 3-1

The Denver club, now known as the Nuggets, tried to improve their fortunes be revamping their roster, only bringing back Ace Gruenig, Larry Varnell as well as returning playing coach Jack McCracken. They stumbled out to a poor start, but played a little better at the end of the regular season. The Nuggets hit their stride in the ABL tournament, advancing to the final game which they lost to Oakland.

Head Coach:
  • Jack McCracken (June 15, 1912 - January 5, 1958) 6-0 Also played. See below

PLAYERS:
  • Chink Alterman (March 8, 1922 - February 6, 2009)
Biography
  • Ralph Bishop (October 1, 1915 - October 1, 1974)
Biography
  • Vince Boryla (March 11, 1927 - March 27, 2016)
Biography
  • Jimmy Darden (June 19, 1922 - April 29, 1994)
Biography
  • Jack Gray (October 6, 1920 - June 30, 2014)
  • Ace Gruenig (March 12, 1913 - August 11, 1958)
Biography
  • Ralph Langer (April 18, 1921 - October 18, 1998)
Biography
  • Bob Marsh (November 10, 1913 - January 20, 1973)
  • Art Mathisen (November 27, 1920 -January 5, 2004)
  • Jack McCracken (June 15, 1912 - January 5, 1958)
  • Ed Sholine (June 2, 1921 - January 9, 2002)
  • Art Unger (August 12, 1915 - November 1, 2003)
  • Larry Varnell (March 8, 1918 - July 15, 2008)

1945-46 San Francisco Dardies (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 SAN FRANCISCO DARDIES
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 9-7 .563, 4th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 3-1


Head Coach:
  • Bill Mortola (February 17, 1917 - May 11, 1993)
PLAYERS:
  • Bob Alameida (March 13, 1920 - April 7, 1994)
  • Ernie Baldini (June 18, 1928 - January 17, 1987)
  • Jack Butterworth (June 19, 1914 - October 19, 1998)
Biography
  • Bill Cowden (September 6, 1920 - October 17, 2007)
  • Gordon Cuneo (January 15, 1924 - January 14, 2010)
  • Ken DeBrunner (November 21, 1922 - January 11, 1989)
  • Ray Ellefson (November 18, 1922 - October 7, 1994)
Biography
  • Bob Feerick (January 2, 1920 - June 8, 1976)
Biography
  • Gene Gallette (February 22, 1919 - November 19, 1976)
Biography
  • Jack Gray (October 6, 1920 - June 30, 2014)
  • Paul Napolitano (February 3, 1923 - June 22, 1997)
Biography
  • Fred Scolari (March 1, 1922 - October 17, 2002)
Biography
  • Tom Siebert (January 14, 1918 - February 3, 2011)
  • Trude Sperry (September 6, 1922 - June 11, 2004)
  • Slats Taulbee (August 14, 1924 - April 6, 1998)
  • Paul Valenti (September 10, 1920 - September 13, 2014)
  • Hal Wood (August 20, 1918 - August 28, 2001)

1945-46 San Diego Dons (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 SAN DIEGO DONS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 6-10 .375, 8th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 2-2


Head Coach:
  • Tee Connelly ( - ) Also played. See below

PLAYERS:
  • Aud Brindley (December 31, 1923 - November 19, 1957)
  • Lou Campbell (March 19, 1918 - August 11, 2011)
  • Tee Connelly ( - ) 
  • Garnett Corbin (July 1, 1918 - November 6, 1995)
  • Bill Hance (July 9, 1924 - July 23, 2014)
  • Troy Horton (b. June 3, 1923)
  • Fon Johnson (February 7, 1916 - May 29, 2007)
  • Martin
  • Tommy McCarty (June 3, 1921 - February 23, 1965)
  • Allie Paine (July 22, 1919 - March 21, 2008)
Biography
  • Marty Pelka (May 16, 1920 - February 17, 2013)
  • Jim Pollard (July 9, 1922 - January 22, 1993)
  • Rice
  • Estil Robertson (November 9, 1911 - November 28, 1978)
  • Al Wells 

1945-46 Salt Lake City Deseret Simplots (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 SALE LAKE CITY DESERET SIMPLOTS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 7-9 .438, T-6th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 4-2


Head Coach:
  • Bill Wheatley (July 5, 1909 - February 5, 1992)

PLAYERS:
  • Merlin Ahlquist (May 2, 1915 - March 21, 1998)
  • Maynard Bailey (April 10, 1921 - February 3, 2010)
  • Ralph Crowton (April 2, 1916 - October 11, 2010)
Biography
  • Andy Duncan (April 17, 1922 - April 12, 2006)
Biography
  • Arnie Ferrin (b. July 29, 1925)
Biography
  • Frank Fullmer (September 15, 1918 - March 2, 1998)
  • Laddie Gale (April 22, 1917 - July 29, 1996)
Biography
  • Dave Howard  
  • Walt Lozoski (August 20, 1917 - March 27, 2005)
  • Clyde Morris (November 30, 1914 - April 30, 1982)
  • Floyd Morris (December 23, 1916 - July 15, 2006)
  • Bob Orr (January 1, 1920 - December 10, 1996)
  • Berkeley Parkinson (July 15, 1915 - December 14, 2004)
  • Deb Smith (January 7, 1920 - February 25, 2009)
Biography
  • Ray Turner (Spetember 6, 1917 - September 29, 1995)

1945-46 Sacramento Senators (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 SACRAMENTO SENATORS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 2-14 .125, 9th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 0-2


Head Coach:
  • Dave Kelley (July 24, 1913 - August 31, 1991) Also played. See below
PLAYERS:
  • Jack Abell (March 26, 1926 - October 26, 1949)
  • Jack Adee
  • Wally Borrevik (November 14, 1921 - December 9, 1988)
Biography
  • Andy Curtiss (November 2, 1919 - April 26, 1995)
  • Bunny Edwards (October 15, 1919 - March 9, 2007)
  • Gaines
  • Marvin Gilberb (February 3, 1921 - June 8, 2002)
  • Norman Keller (October 26, 1923 - December 16, 2004)
  • Dave Kelley (July 24, 1913 - August 31, 1991)
  • Vidi Kriste (July 10, 1917 - October 16, 1988)
  • Leon Lafaille (February 20, 1918 - May 21, 2019)
  • Frank Laney (February 2, 1923 - May 27, 2007)
  • Bob Leighton (February 1, 1926 - July 28, 2014)
  • Jack Lozeau
  • Gus Mota (May 6, 1919 - October 2, 1993)
  • Bob Shaddock (November 15, 1920 - April 22, 1991)
Biography
  • Jack Simms (July 23, 1920 - April 27, 1985)
  • Jim Steen (May 23, 1926 - December 30, 2001)

1945-46 Oklahoma Phillips 66 Oilers (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 OKLAHOMA PHILLIPS 66 OILERS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 13-3 .813, 1st place

Round Robin - Won 4-1


Head Coach:
  • Bud Browning (October 5, 1911 - September 11, 1978) Also played. See below.

PLAYERS:
  • Ed Beisser (May 9, 1919 - October 7, 2000)
  • Bud Browning (October 5, 1911 - September 11, 1978)
  • Gordon Carpenter (September 24, 1919 - March 8, 1988)
  • Leon Eggleston (June 8, 1918 - July 10, 1996)
  • Pop Freiberger (January 8, 1918 - November 20, 1996)
  • Kenny Jastrow (September 9, 1922 - July 3, 2010)
  • Grady Lewis (March 25, 1917 - March 11, 2009)
  • Paul Lindemann (April 30, 1918 - June 24, 1990)
  • Bill Martin (March 31, 1917 - November 24, 1996)
  • Jimmy McNatt (December 19, 1918 - December 23, 2000)
  • Marty Nash (February 16, 1920 - May 20, 2006)
  • Jack Perrault (May 6, 1923 - October 6, 1974)
  • R.C. Pitts (June 23, 1919 - October 29, 2011)
  • Cab Renick (September 29, 1917 - November 25, 1999)
  • Will Rothman (April 14, 1919 - May 12, 2002)
  • Frank Stockman (February 10, 1920 - October 31, 2010)

1945-46 Los Angeles Carroll Shamrocks (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 LOS ANGELES CARROLL SHAMROCKS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 8-8 .500, 5th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 0-2


Head Coach:
  • Eddie Oram (October 5, 1914 - December 18, 2004)

PLAYERS:
  • Bob Bernhard (July 26, 1921 - November 29, 1998)
  • Ronnie Doe (December 27, 1916 - July 1, 2003)
  • Harold Dornsife (November 12, 1915 - March 9, 1999)
  • Dan Ducich (August 1, 1925 - June 19, 1954)
  • Alex Hannum (July 19, 1923 - January 18, 2002)
Biography
  • Wally Kowalski (May 18, 1917 - February 24, 1999)
  • Hank Luisetti (June 16, 1916 - December 17, 2002)
  • Frank McKay or MacKay 
  • Paul Merchant  (b. July 21, 1924)
  • George Nelmark (May 9, 1917 - December 4, 2010)
Biography
  • Jack Nichols (April 9, 1926 - December 24, 1992)
Biography 
  • Les O'Gara (May 24, 1920 - December 26, 2000)
  • Bob Ormsby (June 4, 1921 - September 3, 2014)
  • Art Stoefen (August 29, 1914 - January 7, 1995)
  • Bob White (February 26, 1917 - January 26, 1995)
  • Tex Winter (February 25, 1922 - October 10, 2018)
  • Doug Winters (April 19, 1920 - February 10, 1992)

1945-46 Kansas City M&O Cigar Smokies (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 KANSAS CITY M&O CIGAR SMOKIES
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 7-9 .438, T-6th place

Round Robin - Eliminated 1-2


Head Coach:
  • Frank "Buck" Weaver (September 24, 1907 - July 9, 1952)

PLAYERS:
  • Jack Ballard (March 8, 1922 - May 7, 2002)
  • Bob Butherus (July 25, 1923 - December 17, 2001)
  • Howard Engleman (November 20, 1919 - January 12, 2011)
  • Herman Fischer (July 7, 1910 - August 10, 1986)
  • Frank Groves (September 2, 1913 - June 14, 1996)
  • Bill Hahn (January 25, 1920 - October 23, 2002)
  • Edgar Hinshaw (June 29, 1915 - May 29, 1989)
  • Lynch  
  • Bob Nodler (September 5, 1918 - March 8, 2003)
  • Don Platt (October 15, 1917 - June 26, 2006)
  • Tucker  
  • Vernon Yates (September 17, 1923 - February 16, 2006)

1945-46 Hollywood 20th Century Fox (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 HOLLYWOOD 20TH CENTURY FOX
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 10-6 .625, T-2nd place

Round Robin: Eliminated, 2-1

Head Coach:
  • G. T. "Bud" Fischer

PLAYERS:
  • Harold Allen (September 21, 1917 - December 23, 2009)
  • Chet Carlisle (November 2, 1916 - August 3, 1988)
  • Jerry Gracin (December 8, 1915 - May 14, 1981)
  • Don Jeffries (June 22, 1918 - September 11, 1985)
  • Buck Lasley (October 29, 1920 - March 21, 1974)
  • Law  
  • Jack Lippert (January 19, 1918 - October 21, 1974
  • Frank Lubin (January 7, 1910 - July 8, 1999)
  • Tom McGarvin (April 19, 1917 - June 18, 2005)
  • Art Mollner (December 20, 1912 - March 16, 1995)
  • Alex Omalev (July 2, 1920 - November 10, 2008)
  • Dale Sears (April 27, 1918 - January 6, 1973)
  • Jim Seminoff (September 1, 1922 - June 12, 2001)

1945-46 Denver Ambrose Jellymakers (ABL-AAU)

1945-46 DENVER AMBROSE JELLYMAKERS
AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE - AAU
Finished: 10-6 .625, T-2nd place

Round Robin - Eliminated 1-2


Head Coaches:
  • Floyd Burdette (September 5, 1914 - December 1, 1995) 4-6 Also played. See below
  • Jack McCracken (June 15, 1912 - January 5, 1958) 6-0 Also played. See below

PLAYERS:
  • Jack Barringer (February 3, 1914 - September 10, 2005)
  • Floyd Burdette (September 5, 1914 - December 1, 1995)
  • Cline  
  • Bulbs Ehlers (March 10, 1923 - June 17, 2013)
Biography 
  • Ray Evans (September 22, 1922 - April 24, 1999)
  • Ace Gruenig (March 12, 1913 - August 11, 1958)
Biography
  • George Hamburg (October 13, 1920 - March 3, 1969)
  • Bob Hendren (August 10, 1923 - March 5, 1999)
  • Arnie Johnson (May 16, 1920 - June 6, 2000)
Biography 
  • Jack McCracken (June 15, 1912 - January 5, 1958)
  • Les McKeel (September 30, 1919 - January 16, 1983)
  • Don Putnam (November 13, 1922 - June 26, 2006)
Biography 
  • Bill Strannigan (December 1, 1918 - September 7, 1997)
  • Larry Varnell (March 8, 1918 - July 15, 2008)
  • Roy Willhoite (February 9. 1916 - December 27, 1992)

American Basketball League - AAU (ABL-AAU)

The AAU was formed in the late 1800's to codify the sporting world to commonize rules and practices and to promote amateur competition. Basketball became an AAU sport, and a tournament was held annually to determine the national champion. The teams consisted of a corporate sponsor who would employ players at their business. Since they were paid for their work and not their basketball playing, they maintained their amateur status, which was especially critical if they wanted to compete in the Olympics. More and more highly skilled would forego professional basketball leagues to play AAU ball, and many college players could supplement their income by playing in the AAU without jeopardizing their eligibility. (These waters would become murky, but that is for another blog entry another day.)

After World War 2, a group of AAU teams from the Western half of the United States decided to band together to play in a league. They would play a regular balanced schedule with a playoff and championship, all for the purpose of preparing themselves for the AAU tournament each spring. Notable AAU clubs like the Phillips 66ers, Oakland Bittners and the Denver Nuggets would play in this league, which would be called the American Basketball League. (The other basketball league with the same name at the time had nothing to do with this western league)

In December of 1945, nine teams from western states started play in a 16-game season that would see each team play each other twice. The Phillips Petroleum team from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was already recognized as an amateur powerhouse. They were in the midst of a six-year streak of victorious AAU titles and were the early favorite in the ABL. They jumped out to a 5-0 start before losing two of three to the M&O Smokies of Kansas City and the Ambrose Jellmakers of Denver. They would finish the season 13-3 and in first place, with the Jellymakers and 20th Century Fox (out of Hollywood) tied for second at 10-6. The 66ers would take the league title in the round-robin playoffs in Denver, setting them out for the AAU tournament and subsequent victory there.

The next season saw the league expand to 11 teams, and the 66ers were challenged by the newly-admitted Oakland Bittners. The Bittners and 66ers would both run through the league, meeting on February 26 for a regular season game that would determine the regular season title. the Bittners were 17-1, the Oilers 18-1. The Oilers would prevail, 36-32, to claim the crown, but would falter in the ABL round robin as Oakland swept its way to the ABL Championship.

Financial issues saw the ABL shrink to a mere five teams for the 1947-48 season, and one of those five teams, the J.W. Nicks Contractors out of Phoenix, Arizona, was suspended from the league in February. The Oilers were again the cream of the crop, going 21-3 (including a couple of forfeits from the expelled Phoenix club). However, the ABL cancelled their postseason tournament and no champion was truly crowned.

Apparently the ABL attempted a 1948-49 season. I saw some box scores and references to games with Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose. However, the information is so scarce that I cannot find much of anything. The league apparently failed to finish the season. Other teams from the previous season of the ABL had left for greener pastures. The Denver Nuggets joined the NBL, and with NBL's merger with the BAA, played one season in the NBA before folding. The Oilers would move to the National Industrial League, where they competed until 1968.

I will not go into great detail here. I am just going to list rosters and teams. I found a good portion of  the box scores, so the rosters should be fairly complete.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Bob Carr (Yakima Ramblers - PCBL) Identified

Courtesy of an email from a family member, I was able to confirm that Bob Carr of the Pacific Coast League's Yakima Ramblers is Robert Allen Carr.

Bob Carr
1917-1996

Skippy Whitaker

Lucian Cary "Skippy" Whitaker


Born:
August 29, 1930
Quantico, VA

Died:
August 1990
London, United Kingdom


Career
1947-48 Sarasota High School - Florida (High School)
1949-50 University of Kentucky (College)
1950-51 University of Kentucky (College)
1951-52 University of Kentucky (College)
1954-55 Boston Celtics (NBA)

Whitaker was born in Virginia but went to high school in Sarasota. He would go to the University of Kentucky and was a member of the 1951 NCAA Championship team. After graduating in 1952, he was drafted by the Indianapolis Olympians in the 1952 NBA Draft, but served with the Marines instead. He played three games for the Boston Celtics in February of 1955, scoring only 2 points.

Not sure what became of Whitaker after leaving the Celtics, except that died in London sometime in 1990.

Source:


Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/whitask01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=whitask01

Bobby Watson

Robert E. Watson


Born:
March 22, 1930
Central City, KY

Died:
January 31, 2017
Owensboro, KY


Career
1946-47 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School)
1947-48 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School)
1949-50 University of Kentucky (College)
1950-51 University of Kentucky (College)
1951-52 University of Kentucky (College)
1954-55 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)
1954-55 Milwaukee Hawks (NBA)
1957-58 Henderson County High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1958-59 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1959-60 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1960-61 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1961-62 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1962-63 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1963-64 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1964-65 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1965-66 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1966-67 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1967-68 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1968-69 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1969-70 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1970-71 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1971-72 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1972-73 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1973-74 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1974-75 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1975-76 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1976-77 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1977-78 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach
1978-79 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach 
1979-80 Owensboro High School - Kentucky (High School) Head coach

Watson went to Kentucky wher ehe was a member of the 1951 NCAA Championship team. He became the fifth Wildcat to score 1000 points in his career. Watson was drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks in 1952 but served in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War. He signed with the Minneapolis Lakers in late 1954 and played with the team until February 16, 1955, when he was traded to the Milwaukee Hawks for Lew Hitch. His playing career was shortened by an injury, we would go to coach basketball back at Owensboro High School, winning state titles in 1972 and 1980.

Bobby married Diane Hunt and they had one son and one daughter.

Source:
Obituary, WKYT

Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/watsobo01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=watsobo01

Jack Turner

Jackie Lee Turner


Born:
June 29, 1930
Bedford, IN

Died:
October 5, 2014
Bedford, IN


Career
1946-47 Bedford High School - Indiana (High School)
1947-48 Bedford High School - Indiana (High School)
1948-49 Western Kentucky University (College) Freshmen
1949-50 Western Kentucky University (College)
1950-51 Western Kentucky University (College)
1953-54 Western Kentucky University (College)
1954-55 New York Knicks (NBA)

A basketball star out of Bedford, Indiana, Jack Turner would go on to Western Kentucky. Turner served in the military following his junior year and returned to Western in 1953 and helped lead them to a 29-3 record. He was drafted by the New York Knicks in the first round of the 1954 NBA Draft and would play 65 games for the Knicks. 

Source:


Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/t/turneja01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=turneja01

Jim Tucker

James D. Tucker


Born:
December 11, 1932
Paris, KY

 :




Career
Paris High School - Kentucky (High School)
1951-52 Duquesne University (College)
1952-53 Duquesne University (College)
1953-54 Duquesne University (College)
1954-55 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1955-56 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1956-57 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)

Tucker attended Duquesne and averaged 19 points as a sophomore. A very popular player for the Dukes, Tucker was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals in the third round of the 1954 NBA draft. One of the first black players in the NBA, Tucker played sparingly that first season as the Nationals won the NBA title. However, he did set an NBA record on February 20, 1955, when he scored the fastest triple-double in NBA history. In a mere seventeen minutes against the Knicks that night, Tucker scored 12 points, assisted on 12 baskets and grabbed 10 rebounds. His record stood until Nikola Jokic broke it in 2018.

A documentary about Tucker was released in 2018 called "Let 'Em Know You're There." The trailer can be seen HERE

Source:
http://www.readilyapparent.tv/lekyt


Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/t/tuckeji01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=tuckeji01

Art Spoelstra

Arthur Cornelius Spoelstra


Born:
September 11, 1932
Grand Rapids, MI

Died:
April 9, 2008
Evansville, IN


Career
1948-49 Godwin Heights High School - Grand Rapids, MI (High School)
1949-50 Godwin Heights High School - Grand Rapids, MI (High School)
1951-52 Western Kentucky University (College)
1952-53 Western Kentucky University (College)
1953-54 Western Kentucky University (College)
1954-55 Rochester Royals (NBA)
1955-56 Rochester Royals (NBA)
1956-57 Rochester Royals (NBA)
1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers  (NBA)
1957-58 New York Knicks (NBA)
1958-59 Allentown Jets (EPBL)
1959-60 Wilkes-Barre Barons (EPBL)

From Grand Rapids, Michigan, the 6'9 Art Spoelstra would score over 1500 points at Western Kentucky, leading the team to three straight NIT appearances and an 80-14 in his three years on the varsity team.

Drafted by the Rochester Royals, Spoelstra would play four seasons in the NBA, mostly with the Royal before splitting time between the Lakers and the Knicks in 1957-58. He played two years in the Eastern League after that. Art later worked as a stagehand on Broadway.

Art and his wife, Irene, had three sons and a daughter.


Source:


Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/spoelar01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=spoelar01