Friday, June 28, 2019

Dick Farley

Richard Lawrence Farley


Born:
April 13, 1932
Winslow, IN

Died:
October 1, 1969
Fort Wayne, IN


Career
1945-46 Winslow High School - Indiana (High School)
1946-47 Winslow High School - Indiana (High School)
1947-48 Winslow High School - Indiana (High School)
1949-50 Winslow High School - Indiana (High School)
1950-51 Indiana University (College) Freshmen
1951-52 Indiana University (College)
1952-53 Indiana University (College)
1953-54 Indiana University (College)
1954-55 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1955-56 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1958-59 Detroit Pistons (NBA)

Farley started playing basketball when he was 12, and by the time he got to Winslow HS as a freshman, he was good enough to make the varsity team. In his junior and senior years, he would lead little Winslow HS deep into the state tournaments. He would attend Indiana University, where the Hoosiers would win a pair of Big Ten Championships with Farley. He was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals, where he averaged 6.3 ppg in two seasons before the military came-a-calling.

Farley served in the U.S. Air Force for two years before playing one last season in the NBA, with the Detroit Pistons. He moved to Fort Wayne where he was the president of Office Interiors, Inc. He would die of cancer at the young age of 37.

DIck married Marge Eckrich and they had two sons and three daughters.

Source:
Tribune (Coshocton, OH), August 24 and 31, 1969
The Herald (Jasper, IN), October 3, 1969

Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/farledi01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=farledi01

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Fred Diute

Fred Homer Diute


Born:
January 9, 1929
Binghamton, NY

Died:
July 19, 2004
Veru Beach, FL


Career
1945-46 Central High School - Binghamton, NY (High School)
1946-47 Central High School - Binghamton, NY (High School)
1947-48 St. Bonaventure (College) Freshmen
1948-49 St. Bonaventure (College)
1949-50 St. Bonaventure (College)
1950-51 St. Bonaventure (College)
1953-54 Brockport Monarchs - New York (Semi-pro)
1954-55 Milwaukee Hawks (NBA)

Born and raised in Binghamton, New York, Diute played at St, Bonaventure before being drafted by the Rochester Royals in the 1951 NBA Draft. He would serve in the army during the Korean War, and after the war was released by the Royals prior to the 1953-54 season opener. He turned down an offer to play in the National Industrial League to stay close to home. After playing some semi-pro basketball, he would sign with the Hawks in November of 1954. He would play in seven games before being released, only scoring 11 points. Out of basketball, he would work for many years for Champion Sports in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Diute died of cancer in 2004.

Source:
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pressconnects/obituary.aspx?n=fred-diute&pid=87881199

Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/diutefr01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=diutefr01

George Dempsey

George P. Dempsey


Born:
July 19, 1929
Philadelphia, PA

Died:
October 7, 2017
Cinnaminson, NJ ??


Career
1945-46 Merchantville High School - New Jersey (High School)
1946-47 Merchantville High School - New Jersey (High School)
1948-49 The King's College - New York (College)
1949-50 The King's College - New York (College)
1950-51 The King's College - New York (College)
1954-55 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1956-57 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1957-58 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1958-59 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1958-59 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)

Following a stellar basketball career at King's College in New York where he scored 1316 points in his freshman and sophomore seasons, Dempsey served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. After the war, he would play 5 seasons in the NBA, primarily with the Philadelphia Warriors. After leaving the game, Dempsey worked for the Roosevelt Paper Company for 47 years.

George married Doris Lightcap in 1954 and they had four sons and one daughter.

Source:
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/184586623/george-p_-dempsey

Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/dempsge01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=dempsge01

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Larry Costello

Lawrence Ronald Costello


Born:
July 2, 1931
Syracuse, NY

Died:
December 11, 2001
Fort Myers Beach, FL


Career
1948-49 Minoa High School - New York (High School)
1949-50 Minoa High School - New York (High School)
1950-51 Niagara University (College)
1951-52 Niagara University (College)
1952-53 Niagara University (College)
1953-54 Niagara University (College)
1954-55 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1956-57 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1957-58 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1958-59 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1959-60 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1960-61 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1961-62 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1962-63 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)
1963-64 Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
1964-65 Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
1967-68 Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
1968-69 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1969-70 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1971-72 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1972-73 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1973-74 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1974-75 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1975-76 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1976-77 Milwaukee Bucks (NBA) Head coach
1978-79 Chicago Bulls (NBA) Head coach

Costello hit the ground running at Niagara, helping the freshmen team to an undefeated season in 1950-51. He would lead the varsity team in scoring as a sophomore, and his three years on varsity lead the Eagles to the NIT twice. A tough and physical player, he would play 12 seasons in the NBA with the Philadelphia Warriors and the Syracuse Nationals / Philadelphia 76ers. He retired as a player in 1968 and immediately moved to the bench, being named the head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks. He coached the Bucks to the NBA title in 1971 with players such as Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson. He would coach the Bucks for eight full seasons and was fired 16 games into a ninth. Costello was one of the first head coaches to employ a full-time assistant on the bench. He returned to coaching in 1978 with the Chicago Bulls but was replaced by Scotty Robertson after a 20-36 start.

Costello died of cancer in 2001.

Source:
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42777375
https://www.buffalosportshallfame.com/member/larry-costello/
NY Times, December 14, 2001

Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/costela01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=costela01

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Bert Cook

Bertram Eugene Cook


Born:
April 26, 1929
Hooper, UT

Died:
November 24, 1998
Roy, UT


Career
1946-47 Weber County High School - Utah (High School)
1947-48 Weber County High School - Utah (High School)
1948-49 Utah State University (College) Freshmen
1949-50 Utah State University (College)
1950-51 Utah State University (College)
1951-52 Utah State University (College)
1954-55 New York Knicks (NBA)

After a collegiate career at Utah State University that saw him named All-American, Cook would serve in the U.S. Army for two years before joining the New York Knicks. He would play 37 games for the Knicks in the 1954-55 season before a knee injury ended his career. His playing days over, he returned home to Utah and worked as the Weber County Sheriff as well as a recreational director for the Clearfield Job Corps. He would eventually run the family business at the Bert Cook Auction Company. He died in 1998 following a battle with cancer.

Bert had two sons and three daughters.

Source:
Deseret News, November 13, 1991
Elko Daily Free Press, December 22, 1998

Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/cookbe01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=cookbe01

Monday, June 17, 2019

In Memoriam: Ken Buehler

Dr. Ken Buehler (1919-2019)

Buehler, a three-year veteran of the NBL and the oldest known living professional basketball player, died last April at the age of 99.




Kenneth Buehler, age 99, of Arbor Vitae passed away on Thursday, April 18 at Friendly Village nursing home in Rhinelander.
He is survived by daughter Barbara (George),daughter Patricia (Frank), son Robert, grandchildren Justin Shetler, Maya Flores, Magdelena Flores, Melanie Rasmussen (Derek), Steven Cyra (Sydney), great grandchildren Deanna Flores, Michael Flores, Michaela Flores, Emmanuel Silvera, Luke Rasmussen and great great granddaughter Giselle Solis.
In addition to his wife, Jeannette, he was predeceased by his brothers Harold and Earl Buehler and his sister Virginia Lyons.
Ken was born in Edgar, Wisconsin on November 19, 1919. When his parents, Charles and Gerda Buehler, lost their dairy farm during the depression, the family moved into town and Ken loved living close to the gymnasium where he played basketball with his brothers.
Ken continued playing basketball while attending Milwaukee State Teachers College (now UWM) and then played basketball professionally with the Sheboygan Redskins. Ken was named Rookie of the Year for the National Basketball League in 1943, and in 1974 was named to UWM’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
World War II interrupted Ken’s basketball career when he enlisted in the Navy.He married his sweetheart Jeannette just before he pushed off to fight the Japanese in the Pacific. As 2nd lieutenant, Ken was 2nd in command of the USS Harris that carried 2000 men. Ken was later awarded the Bronze star.
The GI bill enabled Ken to go to dental school at Marquette Dental School in Milwaukee and he practiced dentistry in Menomonee Falls for over 35 years. When he wasn’t seeing patients, Ken kept busyraising three children and playing golf. At age 55, he won the Wisconsin State Dental golf tournament, besting a 30 something rival in sudden death.
When Ken retired, he and Jeannette moved to South Palm Beach, Florida joining Jeannette’s sister and brother and their spouses. And later they were joined by daughter, Barbara. In 2015, he moved back to Wisconsin to live with his daughter, Patsy. Ken enjoyed golfing into his eighties and fishing and biking well into his nineties. At 98 he still frequently rode his 3 wheel bicycle for 2 to 3 miles.
Ken was a wonderful, cheerful and generous man loved by friends and family. He was “never better” until the end.
A celebration of life ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at Nimsgern Funeral Home, 1025 Margaret Street, Woodruff, WI. There will be a 5:00 welcome and a 5:30 service with a light supper to follow.
Donations in memory of Ken may be made to the UCC church he and Jeannette attended in Florida, First Congregational Church of Lake Worth, 1415 N K Street, Lake Worth, FL 33460.
Online condolences may be shared at www.nimsgernfuneral.com. Nimsgern Funeral & Cremation Services is serving the family.

Fred Christ

Frederick L. Christ


Born:
August 6, 1930
Glendale, NY

 :




Career
1945-46 St. Francis Prep - Brooklyn (High School)
1946-47 St. Francis Prep - Brooklyn (High School)
1949-50 Fordham University (College)
1950-51 Fordham University (College)
1951-52 Fordham University (College)
1952-53 Fort Monmouth Signaleers (Military)
1953-54 Fort Monmouth Signaleers (Military)
1954-55 New York Knicks (NBA)

Christ played at Forham where he set the school record for points in a single game with 37 points. He entered the U.S. Army after school, serving two years He started the 1954-55 season with the New York Knicks, appearing in six games before being released.

Source:


Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chrisfr01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=chrisfr01

Bob Carney

Robert Lee Carney


Born:
August 3, 1932
Aurora, IL

Died:
November 10, 2011
Normal, IL


Career
1947-48 West High School - Aurora, IL (High School)
1948-49 West High School - Aurora, IL (High School) 
1949-50 West High School - Aurora, IL (High School)
1951-52 Bradley University (College)
1952-53 Bradley University (College)
1953-54 Bradley University (College)
1954-55 Ada Oilers (NIBL)
1954-55 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)

While at Bradley, Carney would score 1,355 points in his career, an average of 15.6 per game. Bob set at NCAA Tournament record when he hit 23 free throws in the opening round of the 1954 tourney. Bradley would go on to the Final Four that tournament, and the Braves would fall in the title game to LaSalle. Carney was drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks in the 1954 NBA Draft, but didn't make the team. He would sign with the Minneapolis Lakers on February 1, 1955 and played in 19 games and another seven playoff games.

Bob married Gloria Grandia and they had three daughters.

Source:
PJStar.com, November 11, 2011

Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/carnebo01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=carnebo01

Tom Brennan

Thomas Francis Brennan, Jr.


Born:
August 6, 1930
New York, NY

Died:
February 11, 1990



Career
1946-47 Fordham Prep - New York (High School)
1949-50 Villanova University (College)
1950-51 Villanova University (College)
1951-52 Villanova University (College)
1952-53 Service All-Stars (Military)
1953-54 Fort Monmouth Signaleers (Military)
1954-55 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)


Graduating from Villanova in 1952, Brennan was selected by the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1952 NBA Draft, but went to serve in the U.S. Army before joining the team for the 1954-55 season.

Source:


Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/brennto01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=brennto01

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Don Anielak

Donald Robert "Moose" Anielak



Born:
November 1, 1930
St. Louis, MO

Died:
November 19, 1995
Sandwich, IL


Career
1948-49 Bland High School - Missouri (High School)
1949-50 Bland High School - Missouri (High School)
1950-51 Moberly Junior College -Missouri (College)
1951-52 Bradley University - Illinois (College) Did not play
1951-52 Soells - St. Louis (Independent)
1951-52 Optimists - Washington, MO (Independent)
1952-53 SW Missouri State College (College)
1953-54 SW Missouri State College (College)
1954-55 New York Knicks (NBA)
1955-56 Duchesne High School - St. Charles, MO (High School) Head coach 
1956-57 Duchesne High School - St. Charles, MO (High School) Head coach 
1957-58 Crater High School - Central Point, OR (High School) Head coach 
1958-59 Crater High School - Central Point, OR (High School) Head coach 
1959-60 Yates City High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1960-61 Ramsey High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1961-62 Ramsey High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1962-63 Ramsey High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1963-64 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1964-65 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1965-66 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1966-67 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1967-68 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1968-69 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1969-70 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1970-71 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1971-72 Williamsville High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1972-73 Koshkonong High School - Missouri (High School) Head coach
1973-74 Koshkonong High School - Missouri (High School) Head coach
1974-75 Koshkonong High School - Missouri (High School) Head coach
1975-76 North Boone High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1976-77 North Boone High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1977-78 North Boone High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach 
1979-80 Sandwich High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1980-81 Sandwich High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1981-82 Sandwich High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1982-83 Sandwich High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1983-84 Sandwich High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1984-85 Sandwich High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1985-86 Sandwich High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach
1986-87 Sandwich High School - Illinois (High School) Head coach 

Anielak played at Moberly JC before transferring to Bradley. However, he, along with two teammates, failed to show for Bradley's opening game on December 1, 1951 and left the school. He would transfer to Southwest Missouri State College (now Missouri State University) the next year. In just two years at SW, the 6'7 Anielak scored 888 point for the Bears. He was drafted by the New York Knicks in the third round of the 1954 NBA draft, but only played one regular season game for them, scoring three points and pulling down two rebounds against Fort Wayne on November 6, 1954. He became a very successful basketball coach in Illinois and Missouri, regularly turning around stumbling programs into winners.

In December of 1995, Anielak suffered a fatal heart attack while hunting. He was 65 years old.

Source:
Miissouri State Bears HOF

Stats:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/a/anieldo01.html
https://www.justsportsstats.com/basketballstatsindex.php?player_id=anieldo01

Monday, June 10, 2019

1954-55 Syracuse Nationals (NBA)

1954-55 SYRACUSE NATIONALS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Eastern Division
Finished: 43-29 .597, 1st place

Eastern Division Finals - Defeated Boston, 3-1
NBA Finals - Defeated Fort Wayne, 4-3

The Nationals finally won the NBA title this year, courtesy of Dolph Schayes and Paul Seymour. The Nat;s won the Eastern division by five games and defeated the Celtics in the division finals. They went on to clip the Pistons in the NBA Finals.
  • Head Coach: Al Cervi (February 12, 1917 - November 9, 2009)

PLAYERS:
  • Dick Farley (April 13, 1932 - October 1, 1969)
Biography 

  • Billy Gabor (May 13, 1922 - June 4, 2019)
Biography

  • Billy Kenville (December 1, 1930 - June 19, 2018)
Biography 

Red Kerr
  • George King (August 16, 1928 - October 5, 2006)
Biography

  • Earl Lloyd (April 3, 1928 - February 26, 2015)
Biography

Jackie Moore
  • Wally Osterkorn (July 6, 1928 - January 11, 2012)
Biography

  • Red Rocha (September 18, 1923 - February 13, 2010)
Biography

  • Dolph Schayes (May 19, 1928 - December 10, 2015)
Biography

  • Paul Seymour (January 30, 1928 - May 5, 1998)
Biography

  • Connie Simmons (March 15, 1925 - April 15, 1989)
Biography

Jim Tucker

1954-55 Rochester Royals (NBA)

1954-55 ROCHESTER ROYALS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Western Division
Finished: 29-43 .403, 3rd place

Western Division Semi-Finals - Lost to Minneapolis, 2-1


Rochester saw their fortunes totally flip from previous seasons. They went from a a 44-28 record to a 29-43 record. Despite their poor finish, they did grab a playoff spot, losing to the Lakers in 3 games.
  • Head Coach: Les Harrison (August 20, 1904 - December 23, 1997) 

PLAYERS:
  • Cal Christensen (June 6, 1927 - August 31, 2011)
Biography

  • Jack Coleman (May 23, 1924 - December 8, 1997)
Biography 

  • Bob Davies (January 15, 1920 - April 22, 1990)
Biography

  • Don Henriksen (October 10, 1929 - May 14, 2008)
Biography 

Tom Marshall
  • Jack McMahon (December 3, 1928 - June 11, 1989)
Biography

Boris Nachamkin
  • Arnie Risen (October 9, 1924 - August 4, 2012)
Biography

  • Odie Spears (June 17, 1924 - March 28, 1985)
Biography

Art Spoelstra

  • Bobby Wanzer (June 4, 1921 - January 23, 2016)
Biography

1954-55 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)

1954-55 PHILADELPHIA WARRIORS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Eastern Division
Finished: 33-39 .458, 4th place

The Warriors missed the playoff for the third-straight year, but the team continued to improve. Neil Johnston not only lead the NBA in scoring with 22.7 PPG, but also in rebounding with 15.1 rebounds per game. Along with talent like Paul Arizin, the Warriors were close to a winning combination.

  • Head Coach: Eddie Gottlieb (September 15, 1898 - December 7, 1979)

PLAYERS:
  • Paul Arizin (April 9, 1928 - December 12, 2006)
Biography

  • Tom Brennan (August 6, 1930 - February 11, 1990)
Biography

  • Larry Costello (July 2, 1931 - December 11, 2001)
Biography 

  • Walt Davis (born January 5, 1931)
Biography 

  • George Dempsey (July 19, 1929 - October 7, 2017)
Biography 

  • Danny Finn (May 29, 1928 - February 18, 2007)
Biography

  • Jack George (November 13, 1928 - January 30, 1989)
Biography 

  • Joe Graboski (January 15, 1930 - July 2, 1998)
Biography

  • Paul Hoffman (May 5, 1925 - November 12, 1998)
Biography

  • Neil Johnston (February 4, 1929 - September 28, 1978)
Biography

Mike Kearns
Jackie Moore

  • Ken Murray (April 20, 1928 - June 15, 2008)
Biography

Gene Shue

  • Zeke Zawoluk (October 13, 1930 - January 9, 2007)
Biography

1954-55 New York Knicks (NBA)

1954-55 NEW YORK KNICKS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Eastern Division
Finished: 38-34 .528 2nd place

Eastern Division Semi-Finals - Lost to Boston, 2-1


The Knicks struggled to stay above .500 the whole season, battling with the Celtics for second place all season long. They held on to finish in second, but Lapchick's club lost to the Celts in the playoffs.
  • Head Coach: Joe Lapchick (April 12, 1900 - August 10, 1970)

PLAYERS:
  • Don Anielak (November 1, 1930 - November 19, 1995)
Biography 

  • Jim Baechtold (December 9, 1927 - August 29, 2011)
Biography

  • Carl Braun (September 25, 1927 - February 10, 2010)
Biography

  • Fred Christ (b. August 6, 1930)
Biography


  • Nat Clifton (October 13, 1922 - August 31, 1990)
Biography

  • Bert Cook (April 26, 1929 - November 24, 1998)
Biography 

  • Ray Felix (December 10, 1930 - July 28, 1991)
Biography

  • Harry Gallatin (April 26, 1927 - October 7, 2015)
Biography

  • Chuck Grigsby (August 15, 1928 - July 15, 2003)
Biography


  • Herm Hedderick (January 10, 1930 - August 20, 2014)
Biography 

  • Paul Hoffman (May 5, 1925 - November 12, 1998)
Biography

  • Bobby Knight (April 30, 1929 - May 23, 2008)
Biography 

  • Dick McGuire (January 25, 1926 - February 3, 2010)
Biography 

  • Bob Peterson (January 25, 1932 - July 30, 2011)
Biography

Gene Shue
Jack Turner






1954-55 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)

1954-55 MINNEAPOLIS LAKERS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Western Division
Finished: 40-32 .556, 2nd place

Western Division Semi-Finals - Defeated Rochester, 2-1
Western Division Finals - Lost to Fort Wayne, 3-1


After their third-straight NBA title, the Lakers were finally dethroned. After a second place finish, they defeated Rochester in the divisional semis, they fell to Fort Wayne in the Western Division Finals. The Lakers essentially ran a six-man rotation each game, headed by Vern Mikkelsen and Clyde Lovellette, who both averaged 18.7 PPG. Those two Hall of Fame players were supported by two other Hall of Famers, Slater Martin and Jim Pollard.
  • Head Coach:  John Kundla (July 13, 1916 - July 23, 2017)
PLAYERS: 

  • Bob Carney (August 3, 1932 - November 10, 2011)
Biography 

  • Lew Hitch (July 16, 1929 - February 8, 2012)
Biography

  • Jim Holstein (September 24, 1930 - December 16, 2007)
Biography

Ed Kalafat

  • Clyde Lovellette (September 7, 1929 - March 9, 2016)
Biography 

  • Slater Martin (October 22, 1925 - October 18, 2012)
Biography

  • Vern Mikkelsen (October 21, 1928 - November 21, 2013)
Biography 

  • Jim Pollard (July 9, 1922 - January 22, 1993)
Biography

  • Dick Schnittker (b. May 27, 1928)
Biography

  • Whitey Skoog (November 2, 1926- April 4, 2019)
Biography

  • Don Sunderlage (December 20, 1929 - July 15, 1961)
Biography

Bobby Watson




1954-55 Milwaukee Hawks (NBA)

1954-55 MILWAUKEE HAWKS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Western Division
Finished: 26-46 .361, 4th place

The continuously losing Hawks totally revamped their roster, only bringing back six players. The most exciting addition was future Hall of Fame player Bob Pettit. Pettit would average over 20 points a game for the Hawks and be named Rookie of the Year, but unfortunately the Hawks finished in last place yet again.

Head Coach:
PLAYERS: 
  • Bill Calhoun (b. November 4, 1927)
Biography

  • Chuck Cooper (September 29, 1926 - February 5, 1984)
Biography

  • Fred Diute (January 9, 1929 - July 19, 2004)
Biography 

  • Alex Hannum (July 19, 1923 - January 18, 2002)
Biography

  • Bob Harrison (b. August 12, 1927)
Biography 

  • Lew Hitch (July 16, 1929 - February 8, 2012)
Biography

Ronnie MacGilvray
Phil Martin
Ken McBride
Carl McNulty
Jackie Moore
Bob Pettit



  • George Ratkovicz (November 13, 1922 - November 10, 2007)
Biography

  • Pep Saul (b. February 16, 1924)
Biography 

Frank Selvy
  • Chuck Share (March 14, 1927 - June 7, 2012)
Biography

Bobby Watson

Thursday, June 6, 2019

1954-55 Fort Wayne Pistons (NBA)

1954-55 FORT WAYNE PISTONS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Western Division
Finished: 43-29 .597, 1st place

Western Division Finals - Defeated Minneapolis, 3-1
NBA Finals - Lost to Syracuse, 4-3

Fort Wayne, lead by George Yardley, Larry Foust and Mel Hutchins, won their first regular season divisional crown in the NBA tenure, as well as defeating the defending NBA Champion Lakers in the Western Division Finals. They would lose a hard-fought Finals to Syracuse in seven games.
  • Head Coach: Charles Eckman (September 10, 1921 - July 3, 1995) 

PLAYERS:
  • Frankie Brian (May 1, 1923 - May 14, 2017)
Biography

  • Larry Foust (June 24, 1928 - October 27, 1984)
Biography

  • Jim Fritsche (December 10, 1931 - February 28, 2019)
Biography

  • Bob Houbregs (March 12, 1932 - May 28, 2014)
Biography

  • Mel Hutchins (November 22, 1928 - December 19, 2018)
Biography

  • Monk Meineke (October 30, 1930 - September 3, 2013)
Biography 

  • Andy Phillip (March 7, 1922 - April 28, 2001)
Biography

  • Al Roges (October 25, 1930 - February 23, 2009)
Biography 


Dick Rosenthal
  • Paul Walther (March 23, 1927 - December 21, 2014)
Biography

  • George Yardley (November 3, 1928 - August 13. 2004)
Biography

  • Max Zaslofsky (December 7, 1925 - October 15, 1985)
Biography


1954-55 Boston Celtics (NBA)

1954-55 BOSTON CELTICS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Eastern Division
Finished: 36-36 .500,  3rd place

Eastern Division Semi-Finals - Defeated New York, 2-1
Eastern Division Finals - Lost to Syracuse, 3-1

The Celtics, now into their fifth season under Red Auerbach, finished at the .500-mark, which was a 6-win decline from the previous season. However, the repeated their 3rd place finish again, and exited the playoffs in the Eastern Division Finals again. The high-scoring Celtics, employing a fast style of the game, were lead by Bob Cousy (21.2 PPG), Bill Sharman (18.4 PPG) and Ed Macauley (17.5 PPG)
  • Head Coach: Red Auerbach (September 20, 1917 - October 28, 2006)

PLAYERS: 

  • Don Barksdale (March 31, 1923 - March 8, 1993)
Biography

  • Bob Brannum (May 28, 1926 - February 5, 2005)
Biography

  • Bob Cousy (b. August 9, 1928)
Biography

  • Bob Houbregs (March 12, 1932 - May 28, 2014)
Biography

  • Ed Macauley (March 22, 1928 - November 8, 2011)
Biography 


Red Morrison
  • Jack Nichols (April 9, 1926 - December 24, 1992)
Biography


Togo Palazzi
Frank Ramsey
  • Fred Scolari (March 1, 1922 - October 17, 2002)
Biography

  • Bill Sharman (May 25, 1926 - October 25, 2013)


Skippy Whitaker

1954-55 Baltimore Bullets (NBA)

1954-55 BALTIMORE BULLETS
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Eastern Division
Finished: 3-11 .214 (not included in official NBA records)

Bee left the team November 10, and was replaced by assistant coach Al Barthelme. The Bullets, laden with $50,000 in debt, folded on November 26, 1954. Their players were redistributed in a draft among the remaining teams, and all stats and results for the Bullets were striken from the official records for this season. This is the last NBA franchise to fold.

Head Coaches: 
  • Clair Bee (March 2, 1896 - May 20, 1983) 1-4
  • Al Barthelme (October 10, 1919 - March 4, 2004) 2-7


PLAYERS: 
  • Rollen Hans (b. April 13, 1931)
Biography 

  • Don Henriksen (October 10, 1929 - May 14, 2008)
Biography 

  • Paul Hoffman (May 5, 1925 - November 12, 1998)
Biography

  • Bob Houbregs (March 12, 1932 - May 28, 2014)
Biography

Dan King
  • Al McGuire (September 7, 1928 - January 26, 2001)
Biography

  • Ken Murray (April 20, 1928 - June 15, 2008)
Biography

  • Jim Neal (May 21, 1930 - October 3, 2011)
Biography 

  • Al Roges (October 25, 1930 - February 23, 2009)
Biography 

Frank Selvy

  • Connie Simmons (March 15, 1925 - April 15, 1989)
Biography

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

1954-55 NBA


After three-straight NBA Championships, the reign of the Minneapolis Lakers came to an end in the 1954-55 season, as the Syracuse Nationals battled out to win their first (and as it would turn out, only while in Syracuse) NBA Championship. Lead by Dolph Schayes and Paul Seymour, the Nats managed to take out the Fort Wayne Pistons in an NBA finals that stretched to seven games. The Pistons had managed to lose the first to games of the series in Syracuse before winning the next three at home to put that Nats on the ropes. Syracuse would return home for game 6 and win that and the deciding game to claim the NBA crown.

The Baltimore Bullets, struggling financially year after year, folded after a 3-11 start. Their players were distributed to the remaining NBA teams and all stats and results involving the Bullets were stricken from the record. The Baltimore Bullets are, at the time of this blog, the last NBA team to fold. The NBA would continue on as an 8-team league until 1961 when the Chicago Packers joined.

The 1954-55 season would also mark the retirement of George Mikan. Well, at least for the year. The legendary player, at the time likely the greatest to take the court, retired to work for the Lakers on an executive level, but would return for one more season in 1956 before retiring for good.

The 1954 NBA Draft was finally a more stream-lined draft with no regional picks like in years prior. The selection order now totally dictated by the records of the previous years, 100 players were selected over 13 round, with 27 of the players selected eventually seeing action in NBA games. Frank Selvy, a guard and forward out of Furman University, was selected first overall by the Bullets. Je would play nine season for 5 different franchises, twice being named to the All-Star game. The most prominent of the players drafted was the second overall pick, Bob Pettit of LSU. Taken by the Milwaukee Hawks, Pettit would play 11 seasons, mainly as a power forward, being named to the All-Star team every season he was active. He was named the Rookie of the Year, and would retire with an average of 25.5 points per game and was the first NBA player to reach 20,000 career points.



Eastern Division:
Baltimore Bullets*
Boston Celtics
New York Knicks
Philadelphia Warriors
Syracuse Nationals


Western Division:
Fort Wayne Pistons
Milwaukee Hawks
Minneapolis Lakers
Rochester Royals

* Folded before end of season

In Memoriam: Billy Gabor

Syracuse, N.Y. -- Billy Gabor, who played at Syracuse University and in the NBA for the Syracuse Nationals, died on Tuesday at the age of 97.

Gabor died after a brief battle with pneumonia. He had turned 97 on May 13 and was believed to be the oldest living former NBA player. He had been living for the past several years in Jupiter, Fla.

Gabor’s son, Bill, confirmed the news on Tuesday.

Gabor played at Syracuse University during the 1942-43, 1945-46, 1946-47 and 1947-48 seasons. His career was interrupted by World War II when he served in the U.S. Air Force.

Nicknamed "The Bullet'' due to his exceptional speed, Gabor then went on to play in the NBA for six years; all of them with the Syracuse Nationals.

Gabor was one of Syracuse University’s earliest stars.

He was the first SU player to score 400 points in a single season. He also was the first player to score 1,000 points in his career. He finished his career as SU’s all-time leading scorer with 1,344 points. His record stood for nearly 20 years until the legendary Dave Bing surpassed it in 1966.

In 2009, Syracuse University retired his No. 17 jersey, which now hangs in the Carrier Dome alongside those of Bing, Derrick Coleman, Carmelo Anthony and other greats.

"He was one of the greatest Syracuse players of all-time,'' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "He was always a great representative of his school and his family.''

Gabor averaged 9.8 points per game during his NBA career. He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie team, he made the league’s All-Star team in 1953 and was a member of the Nationals’ NBA championship team in 1955.

He is a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, the Binghamton Sports Hall of Fame, and the Syracuse University All Century Basketball Team.

In Memoriam: Dick Suprunowicz

Dick Suprunowicz played for the Elmira Colonels of the ABL in the 1951-52 season.

Richard Suprunowicz, 91, of Schenectady, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at Ellis Hospital after being stricken at home. Born on December 21, 1927 in Schenectady, he was the son of the late Makary and Ida Piotrowski Suprunowicz. Dick is remembered as a talented athlete. He was a graduate of Mont Pleasant High School in Schenectady where he played basketball alongside of his older brother Mack, both receiving full scholarships to universities. Dick played basketball for Syracuse University where he received his bachelor's degree and later went on to attend Union College, receiving his master's in education. After college, Dick felt it was his duty to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Navy, serving during the Korean War. Dick began his career in education, first working for the Schenectady School District at Central Park Junior High teaching math and science. He then went to work at Mont Pleasant High School teaching math and coaching basketball, golf, tennis, and bowling. He continued on to Linton High School as a math teacher and retired as Assistant Principal in 1984. Dick was a communicant and served as an usher with St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church. He was an avid golfer, bowler, and for his basketball achievements, was nominated into both the Schenectady High School Athletic Hall of Fame and New York State Basketball Hall of Fame. In addition to his parents, Dick was predeceased by a son, William Suprunowicz in 2001 and his brother, Mack Suprunowicz in 2010. Survivors include his wife, Lorraine Miller Suprunowicz, whom he married on October 13, 1951; his children, Michael Suprunowicz of Schenectady and Joan (Mark) Brucker of Rotterdam; his brother, Walter Suprunowicz of SC; seven grandchildren, Jessica, Krista, and Michael Suprunowicz, Christopher (Rachel), Daniel, and Stephen (Julie) Brucker, and Patrick Suprunowicz; several nieces, nephews and countless athletes, players and students who he referred to as "his kids".

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Milestone #10 - New York State Professional League 1946-49 (NYSL)

In retrospect, I am surprised this league lasted 3 seasons. It, like it's Connecticut counterpart, was doomed due to the prominence of the BAA and NBL as well as the ABL. Granted, the ABL's scope had diminished substantially since the War, but it still held a higher status as a professionally league than the NY League or its Eastern Basketball Association partners in the Connecticut League and the Eastern League. Only the Eastern League would survive of the three.


I was able to locate around half of the box scores for this league, so statistics are largely incomplete.


Here is the NYSL by the numbers:


Number of NYSL players: 352
Unidentified/unknown whereabouts:99 (a stunning amount considering the luck I have had with other minor leagues)
Surviving NYSL players: 11 assumed to be alive, four of which are confirmed survivors. Of the 99 unknown, it is possible there are a few who are still with us.

Longevity:
Of the 352 players, 44 players (12.50%) lived to see the age of 90. 11 men (3.13%) died before the age of 50. (Numbers could obviously change as unknown players get identified.





1948-49 Utica Olympics (NYSL)

1948-49 UTICA OLYMPICS
NEW YORK STATE PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE

Finished: 6-14 .300 (6-18 .250*)

Utica's freefall continued as they started with only one win in their first 7 games. They would be mired near the bottom of the standing before folding in February of 1949.

 * Forfeited two games to Glens Falls, one to Mohawk and one to Saratoga


Head Coach: 
  • Stan Waxman (May 20, 1922 - February 22, 2013) Also played. See below.

PLAYERS:
  • Buck Desorcy (December 17, 1916 - May 16, 1972)
  • Pete Farina
  • Hal Flick  
  • Jim Joyce (October 23, 1924 - October 24, 2006)
  • Krushey  
  • Al Lucas (July 4, 1922 - April 26, 1995)
  • Ben Maley
  • O'Connor   
  • Jim Schults (July 9, 1920 - April 11, 2009)
  • Frank Soscia (April 10, 1918 - January 6, 1962)
  • Big John Williams  

1948-49 Troy Celtics (NYSL)

1948-49 TROY CELTICS
NEW YORK STATE PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE


Finished: 2-2 .500

A couple of years after the Celtics dropped from the ABL, they joined the NYSL in fall of 1948. The team barely made it into December, quitting the league on December 12 after two impressive wins over Saratoga and Glens Falls and losses to Cohoes and Schenectady by a combined three points.


Head Coach: 
  • Lou Figari (November 13, 1909 - September 5, 1971)
PLAYERS:
  • Puggy Bell (November 26, 1914 - February 19, 1985)
  • Les or Jack Doktor  
  • William Knapp 
  • Mills  
  • Ed Schwartz  
  • Bill Warnecke   

1948-49 Schenectady Packers (NYSL)

1948-49 SCHENECTADY PACKERS
NEW YORK STATE PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE
Finished: 14-13 .519 (15-13 .536*), 4th place

Semi-Finals: Lost to Mohawk, 2-1

With a new sponsor / owner from the previous season, the former Comets were now the Packers and also a better team with Honey Russell as the coach. The finished in fourth place and made the playoffs, losing to Mohawk in the semis. After the NYSL disbanded, the Packers joined the ABL where they would play four games in the 1949-50 season before folding.

* One forfeit loss to Saratoga


Head Coach: 

PLAYERS:
  • Dan Davis 
  • Jack or Les Doctor (or Doktor) 
  • Frankel   
  • Kelly  
  • Don Kotter (December 29, 1920 - November 11, 1985)
  • Machmann   
  • Rosenmann 
  • Chuck Yund (December 12. 1918 - September 5, 1961)

Monday, June 3, 2019

1948-49 Saratoga Indians (NYSL)

1948-49 SARATOGA INDIANS
NEW YORK STATE PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE
Eastern Division
Finished: 5-25 .167 (7-25 .219*), 6th place


After a 26-10 record the season before, the Indians totally reversed their fortunes, finishing 7-25 (two of those wins were by forfeit) and buried in last place. The Indians of this season bore very little similarity to the previous season, and the untried revolving door of players yielded only poor results.

 * Two forfeit wins, one from Schenectady and one from Utica. 


Head Coach: 
Jack Flynn
  • Dutch Dehnert (April 5, 1898 - April 20, 1979)

PLAYERS:
  • Puggy Bell (November 26, 1914 - February 19, 1985)
  • Chapman 
  • George Faust 
  • Jack Flynn (December 23, 1916 - December 6, 1993)
  • Guertze    
  • Jerry Halstead (February 21, 1919 - March 29, 1998)
  • Bob Holm (January 22, 1919 - April 14, 2002)
  • Jack Kobuskie (July 6, 1923 - July 3, 2011)
  • Dick Kraus (September 30, 1926 - February 2, 1995)
  • McCabe   
  • Don Otten (February 6, 1926 - December 10, 2011)
  • Willard Rice (July 4, 1919 - October 7, 1992)
  • Bill Warneke  
  • George Weber (July 20, 1922 - October 15, 2005)

1948-49 Mohawk Redskins (NYSL)

1948-49 MOHAWK REDSKINS
NEW YORK STATE PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE
Finished: 18-9 .667 (19-9 .679*) , 2nd place

Divisional  Semi-finals - Defeated Schenectady, 2-1
League Finals - Tied with Cohoes when series was terminated, 1-1

With a new coach in Red Sarachek, Mohawk improved vastly on their record from the previous season, running with the leader Cohoes until the waning days of the season. They defeated Schenectady in the semi-finals before meeting Cohoes in the championship series. With interest in this league vanishing not just from the public's standpoint but also the players, Kassler, King, Younger and Verdeschi all failed to show for the team's loss to Cohoes in Game 2 of the Finals. Citing both team's inability to maintain a complete or even competitive roster for the series, the league cancelled the championship after two games. The NYSL folded shortly thereafter.

 * One forfeit win from Utica

Head Coach: 
  • Red Sarachek (October 19, 1912 - November 14, 2005) Also may have appeared in a game

PLAYERS:
  • Ike Dubow (January 15, 1922 - January 16, 1974)
  • Ken Keller (August 16, 1922 - February 24, 1983)
  • Dolly King (November 15, 1916 - January 29, 1969)
  • John McDonald  
  • Murtha  

1948-49 Harlem Yankees (NYSL)

1948-49 HARLEM YANKEES
NEW YORK STATE PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE
Finished: 5-8 .417 (12-15 .444*), 1st place


The Harlem Yankees were a popular independent team that drew very well. They followed in the shoes of the Harlem Globetrotters and New York Rens, featuring predominately black players. They were persauded to take Troy's place in the New York State League in January of 1949, and were handed a 7-7 record to start with. The Yankees would drop their first four league contests before winning four straight. They failed to make the playoffs for their half season of work, and when the league dissolved in the summer of 1949, the club the American Basketball League for the 1949-50 season. They would spend four seasons in the ABL, located first in Harlem and then in Saratoga, Schenectady, Glens Falls and even Hazleton, Pennsylvania. After the American League folded in 1953, they joined the Eastern League for the 1955-56 season.


 * Harlem was given a 7-7 record upon joining the league in January of 1949.




Head Coach: 
  • Joe Daniels
Benny Garrett
PLAYERS:
  • Jerry Bailey (July 18, 1922 - August 1985)
  • Frank "Speed" Caffey 
  • Dunleigh Cardin (January 20, 1924 - September 2, 1986)
  • Chuck "Trigger" Davis  
  • Benny Garrett (March 21, 1916 - ????)
  • Vol Leacock (December 16, 1926 - July 1981)
Art Tunell
  • Art Tunell (b. September 30, 1924)
  • William