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Old 08-04-2014, 04:56 AM   #51
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Only thing the Minnesota Lynx have in common with the Minnesota Fillies from the late 1970s and early 1980s is being based in Minneapolis. The Fillies, one of three WPBL teams that lasted all of that league's existence (Chicago Hustle and New Jersey Gems are the others), endured going through three different facilities (each with progressively reduced seating capacity), a revolving door of coaches that included team owner Gordon Nevers, a mortician who never previously coached basketball, and no taste of the playoffs. That meant no title unlike the Lynx many years later accomplished--twice. Like with many WBPL teams, the Minnesota Fillies endured the usual attendance, coaching, and financial issues plauging them. In March 1981 before a game against Chicago during the third and final season, replacement players were used prompted by an in-house player labor strife due to missed paychecks. You can easily figure out what happened on- and off-court when they were used...
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2014...esota-fillies/

Below the NBA and the nascent ABA in US pro basketball during the 1960s and 1970s was the Eastern Professional Basketball League that served as a forerunner to the Continental Basketball Association. One of those teams that played in that league during this period with teams based in the Mid-Atlantic and New England was the Trenton Colonials, a league also-ran for much of the 1960s.
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2014...ton-colonials/
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Old 23-04-2014, 10:03 AM   #52
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Our first entry of a team from an obscure Southwest Basketball League courtesy of Fun While It Lasted is the Corpus Christi Sharks. That team from 1996-1999 would not be out of place in the ABA. Arrived late with the league and didn't get ample time to make presence known to the community, even with having the best record in the SWBL. Still averaged best attendance in the league at 1000.

Even with longtime Houston Rocket and an original Charlotte Hornets member Robert Reid later coaching and playing, it still suffered from the typical minor pro basketball issues when owned by league commisioner/owner Charles Johnson, a former NBA agent. But unlike many minor league teams that publicly vowed restructuring and return, it actually did but downgraded severely.
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2014...hristi-sharks/
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:21 AM   #53
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Fun While It Lasted takes a look back at the final WBL All-Star Game in Albuquerque, a city that never had a WBL franchise but exploring it, back on February 9, 1981. The WBL was in its final days with teams on the verge of collapsing and one of its more popular and successful ones, the Chicago Hustle, pondering selling shares in the stock market. Unfortunately for the game showcasing some of the early women's pro basketball legends, Albuquerque and the WBL both were surrounded by the twin dark clouds of disgraced New Mexico Lobos women's basketball coach Norm Ellenberger (despite his strong lobbying efforts and the WBL's willingness to look past his allegations for badly-needed expansion money) and Nebraska Wrangler Connie Kunzmann's murder.

Oh yes, the WBL West All-Stars 125-92 won with game MVP Molly Bolin, Carol Blazejowski, and Nancy Lieberman all scoring 20+ points. Chicago's Inge Nissen led the East in the largest crowd for the short WBL All-Star Game existence before the league shut up shop for good later that year without seeing a fourth season.
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2014...all-star-game/
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:40 AM   #54
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From Bloomberg Business Archives back in August 1992, when the World Basketball League scandal unraveled after it was discovered sports-mad Mickey Monus funneled some of his fast-rising Phar-Mor drug store chain money to the money-losing WBL with its ownership structure and fraud and unpaid bills. All ensuring his downfall. Just as Monus was about to join the Colorado Rockies baseball franchise ownership group.
http://www.businessweek.com/stories/...ting-to-happen
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Old 24-08-2014, 06:20 AM   #55
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One thing about the original Canadian NBL that I just now discovered was during in its first (and only) full season in 1993. The Saskatoon Slam and the Cape Breton Breakers, the best team then in the league at 36-16, played their entire Canadian NBL Finals series at the Saskatchewan Place in Saskatoon instead of traveling to Sydney, Nova Scotia as a way to cut costs; unlike the United States, there aren't a lot of cities spread across Canada. Those traveling costs were undeniably a major reason why this league met its demise. With the help of hometown crowd, the Slam won that series in a best-of-five 3-1.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:55 AM   #56
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The Dayton Rockettes. Very much forgotten and obscure WBL franchise. A charter WBL franchise that folded after its first season in 1978-79 at 12-22 playing in a small market in a intimate hockey arena, plagued by financial issues from the beginning. Just like the rest of the WBL struggled to deal with eventually minus the scrapping it went through for several years:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2014...ton-rockettes/
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Old 19-12-2014, 03:48 AM   #57
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A look at the semipro Eastern Basketball Professional League's Camden Bullets, a team that notably had 10-time NBA All-Star Philly native and Villanova star Pitchin Paul Arizin for three years, who refused to head west to San Francisco along with the Philadelphia Warriors when they moved in 1962 being the NBA's 3rd alltime leading scorer despite missing two years for Korean War service, through a February 14, 1963 EBPL All-Star Game program. Arizin led everybody in the game with 35 points and 16 rebounds en route to EBPL MVP this season, but it was his Camden teammate Bobby McNeil was the game's MVP thanks to his 32 points, 12 assists and 7 boards:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2014...vs-epbl-stars/

Back in the days when women's pro basketball was struggling on many front during its US infancy and even billed itself with college games to gain attention, the WBL had the idea of having legendary Old Dominion Monarchs players on both the Dallas Diamonds and Chicago Hustle (Nancy Lieberman and Inge Nissen), return home to Norfolk, Virginia with Old Dominion facing James Madison as part of the twin bill back around Thanksgiving 1980 for the WBL preseason. Old Dominion was THE women's basketball power back then in the AIWA starring Anne Donovan, who never played US women's pro basketball. Poor Inge Nissen, Denmark's best women's basketball player, she doesn't even have her own Wikipedia entry...
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2014...hicago-hustle/

Atlanta Glory, the second Atlanta women's pro basketball team and successful until the Dream came along in 2008. Even with the brilliant 4x Olympian and Georgian native Teresa Edwards, we hardly knew ye in the 2-year afterglow of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics playing in two downtown Atlanta college gyms (one of which was built for the Atlanta Olympics at Morehouse):
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2014...atlanta-glory/
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:58 AM   #58
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Back on this. Fun While It Lasted finally gets into the nitty-gritty in several of those Canadian WBL franchises. Problem is, each and every of these three teams--Calgary 88s, Saskatchewan Storm, and Hamilton Skyhawks--have story lines in their descriptions that run the same because all were affected by the Mickey Monus Phar-Mor embezzlement scandal that ultimately brought down the World Basketball League. They were the heart of the WBL with its success both on-court and at the box office at the Olympic Saddledome, the Saskatchewan Place, and the Copps Coliseum. I put in more description about those teams than these new entries. Does mention in the case of Calgary the "terrible" touring teams from Europe and the Soviet Union, who were never restricted in the WBL's height regulations, and amounted to automatic wins for the WBL teams that counted in the regular season standings. All three of those teams mentioned suffered six-figure debts (also Halifax and Winnipeg suffered). When the league officials gave $48,000 to the host Hamilton Skyhawks for the All-Star Game in July 1992, it bounced. On July 31, 1992, the Storm's plane was left stranded in Dayton, Ohio when nobody came up with the cash for the flight home following a game with the Dayton Wings in what turned out to be their final game for both.

Saskatchewan and Hamilton moved on to help form a new domestic pro basketball league in Canada. But the Storm, with new owners eager for a brand name change, became the Slam in an effort to distance themselves in identity from the then-recent scorched earth carcass of the WBL the Storm name was unfortunately associated with. But Hamilton ventured on to the Canadian NBL without its founder, referee Ron Foxcroft, who was instantly dubious about the new league's journey in 1993 without strong television coverage and money behind it and jumped ship. New ownership ran out of momentum and abruptly moved out of Hamilton to Edmonton before the playoffs despite being 24-22. Lost in the semis to the Cape Breton Breakers in Alberta's capital and was never heard from again.

One thing not mentioned there is that there is indeed a Saskatchewan Storm legacy. One of its players, Thomas Lyles, fell in love with and later married a local resident named Jesenka or "Jessie" in Saskatoon and also launched an R&B recording career there. They have a son along with a daughter who were born there but the family later moved to Indianapolis at the age of 7 (but does proudly rep for Team Canada) and played basketball to a highly-touted HS player and subsequently landed at Kentucky and just announced he'll turn pro. Kid's name is Trey Lyles:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2015...tchewan-storm/
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2015...lton-skyhawks/
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2015...2-calgary-88s/
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:49 AM   #59
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The NBA and ABA have naturally dominated the North American basketball landscape during much of the 1960s and 1970s. However, there were lower level minor pro basketball leagues that were in existence. Already mentioned on this very thread is the Eastern Basketball Association, the forerunner to the Continental Basketball Association. The minor pro basketball league boom, proposed and actually played, didn't take off until late 1980s with the WBL and later the GBA. I'm just now discovering ANOTHER league, albeit a short-lived one, that came in the 1960s. It was called the North American Basketball League, a pro basketball bus league. With a name like that, it could at least try to be major league like the NBA and ABA. But it wasn't. The teams based in this league that lasted eight seasons before very quietly folding were all based in the Midwest in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana like it was with the traditional locations for the minor league International Hockey League in ice hockey, although that league was predominantly Michigan-based with its teams. There's only three teams for the NABL that I'm aware of: Muskegon Panthers, Columbus Comets, and the Grand Rapids Tackers.

Here's a brief story from Fun While It Lasted of one of those teams from Ohio's capital city called the Columbus Comets, a team that featured former Ohio St. Buckeyes stars Gary Bradds, an All-American and AP Players of the Year that the Baltimore Bullets drafted with the #3 overall selection in 1964, and Mel Nowell, a member of the 1960 Ohio St. NCAA championship team. As well as player-coach Joe Roberts, one of the first African-American pro basketball coaches. Columbus later sold Bradds' contract to the Oakland Oaks and played several ABA season. Nowell also tasted the ABA afterwards. Team folded along with the rest of the NABL after the 1967-68 season:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2015...lumbus-comets/
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:08 AM   #60
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This North American Basketball League doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry. But based on the info on Michigan sports teams champions list, both pro and college, had the Grand Rapids Tackers listed winning a few titles during the 1960s in 1964, 1965, and 1968 with the NABL and its forerunner the Mid-West Professional Basketball League, and that Columbus Comets porgram. Maybe with the name change it aspired to branch out from the Great Lakes Midwest region and aim national, if not Canada. I need to devote some time online to conduct some Google searches about this league further. But I can tell you based on that program and the APBR a bit more about the teams. Many of these areas eventually got themselves IBL franchises decades later, even using some the old teams' names, before that league became more Pacific Northwest-based:

1964-65 NABL W L Pct. GB
Grand Rapids Tackers 12 4 .750 ..
Twin City Sailors* 11 5 .688 1
Pontiac Nationals 8 8 .500 4
Muskegon Panthers 7 9 .438 5
Chicago Bombers 2 14 .125 10

*Twin City played in Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, MI (not Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN).

1965-66 NABL W L Pct. GB
Grand Rapids Tackers 12 4 .750 ..
Twin City Sailors 12 4 .750 ..
Muskegon Panthers 10 6 .625 2
Chicago Bombers 3 13 .188 9
Holland Carvers 3 13 .188 9

1966-67 NABL W L Pct. GB
Muskegon Panthers 19 2 .905 ..
Columbus Comets 12 9 .571 7
Lansing Capitals 12 9 .571 7
Grand Rapids Tackers 11 10 .524 8
Holland Carvers 11 10 .524 8
Twin City Sailors 11 10 .524 8
Battle Creek Braves 4 17 .190 15
Chicago Bombers 4 17 .190 15

1967-68 NABL
EASTERN DIVISION W L Pct. GB
Columbus Comets 12 6 .667 ..
Lansing Capitals 12 6 .667 ..
Battle Creek Braves 5 13 .278 7
Pontiac Tomahawks 4 14 .222 8

WESTERN DIVISION W L Pct. GB
Grand Rapids Tackers 14 4 .778 ..
Holland Carvers 11 7 .611 3
Chicago Bombers 5 13 .278 9

NABL CHAMPIONSHIP
Grand Rapids defeated Columbus


NABL AWARD WINNERS 1964-68

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
1964-65 -
1965-66 -
1966-67 - Herschell Turner, Muskegon
1967-68 - M.C. Burton, Grand Rapids

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
1964-65 - Dick Dzik, Pontiac
1965-66 -
1966-67 - Ollie Johnson, Grand Rapids
1967-68 - Arvesta Kelly, Columbus

COACH OF THE YEAR
1964-65 - Bob Wilkinson, Benton Harbor
1965-66 -
1966-67 - Jimmy Darrow, Muskegon
1967-68 -

NABL ALL-STAR TEAMS

1964-65

FIRST TEAM
Nick Mantis, Grand Rapids
Ed Burton Muskegon
Willie Merriweather, Pontiac
Larry Comley, Benton Harbor
Porter Merriweather, Chicago

SECOND TEAM
Willie Jones, Grand Rapids
Delton Heard, Grand Rapids
Joe Roberts, Muskegon
Mel Nowell, Muskegon
Bob James, Benton Harbor

1965-66

FIRST TEAM
Ed Burton, Muskegon
Larry Comley, Benton Harbor
Billy McGill, Grand Rapids
Nick Mantis, Grand Rapids
Willie Jones, Grand Rapids

SECOND TEAM
Al Saunders, Benton Harbor
Willie Merriweather, Holland
Gary Bradds, Benton Harbor
Herschel Turner, Muskegon
Porter Merriweather, Chicago

1966-67

FIRST TEAM
Gary Bradds, Columbus
Joe Roberts, Columbus
Ed Burton, Muskegon
Herschel Turner, Muskegon
Porter Merriweather, Chicago

SECOND TEAM
Horace Walker, Lansing
Willie Merriweather, Holland
Ollie Johnson, Grand Rapids
Mel Nowell, Columbus
Jerry Harkness, Benton Harbor

THIRD TEAM
Larry Comley, Benton Harbor
Guy Manning, Battle Creek
Les Hunter, Benton Harbor
Tom Thacker, Muskegon
Fred Lewis, Battle Creek

1967-68

FIRST TEAM
M.C. Burton, Grand Rapids
Don Edwards, Lansing
Arvesta Kelly, Columbus
Willie Merriweather, Holland
Billy McGill, Holland

SECOND TEAM
Hubie Marshall, Holland
Bob Wilkinson, Grand Rapids
Willie Lee Bond, Chicago
Art Crump, Battle Creek
Ajac Tripplett, Battle Creek


NABL YEARLY LEADERS 1964-68

SCORING
1964-65 - Porter Merriweather, Chicago 28.1
1965-66 - Porter Merriweather, Chicago 28.3
1966-67 - Porter Merriweather, Chicago 29.9
1967-68 - Art Crump, Battle Creek 29.6

REBOUNDING
1964-65 - Ed Burton, Muskegon 16.3
1965-66 - Ed Burton, Muskegon 14.4
1967-68 - Horace Walker, Lansing 16.6
1967-68 - M.C. Burton, Grand Rapids 15.9

ASSISTS
1964-65 -
1965-66 - Willie Jones, Grand Rapids 81
1966-67 -
1967-68 -

http://www.apbr.org/nabl6468.html

From the Holland Oilers that had the first high schooler drafted in the NBA in Reggie Harding and Gene Schrotenboer, who also owned the Grand Rapids Tackers to the Grand Rapids Mackers to the Grand Rapids Hoops to the West Michigan Mayhem to more recently Grand Rapids Flight and Holland Blast. A look at defunct basketball teams based in Western Michigan:
https://wmbizblog.wordpress.com/2013...chigan-part-1/
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:16 AM   #61
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This little blog entry mostly about the WPBL's Chicago Hustle, one of the few consistent and successful entities in that league for three seasons, will have to do until Fun While It Lasted gets to write its own detailed Hustle piece. It was Chicago at home at the packed DePaul Alumni Hall that witnessed the Minnesota Fillies going on strike for missed paychecks 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Les Grobstein was their play-by-play announcer. Writer Norm Dachman recalls happy memories meeting the team at (underpublicized) charity works:
http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-th...-the-wnba-123/

What a tremendous shame for the Nebraska Wranglers. It arrived on the scene as an expansion team, became one of the best teams in the league, and won a title against Dallas just as the deeply troubled WBL was collapsing around them during the league's third season. Never got another chance in subsequent women's pro basketball leagues since. Nebraska was supposed to be originally based in Colorado, likely in Denver, and called the Colorado Wranglers before convinced to head to Omaha and its Civic Auditorium with its many available dates. Chicago-area tax attorney Larry Kozlicki was inexplicably granted a second chance in running a franchise in that league after the WBL took over his previous endeavor the Long Beach-based California Dreams, for refusing to continue playing after months of missed paychecks. Somehow, he was brought back to buy back the team and move them like it was nothing. What also gets lost about the notable names in the league was that Nebraska's rookie front court player, #3 overall pick Rosie Walker from Stephen F. Austin had a better season, with her dominance being among the leaders in scoring and rebounding, than the more notable names like Nancy Lieberman, Inge Nissen, Carol Blazejowski, and Ann Meyers. Then it had issues of its own like the sporadic payroll and no athletic trainer. Even some players resorted to hitchhiking from the hotel to the arena. Nebraska and Dallas also played in turned out the final WBL game in history when the Wranglers won the 1981 WBL title, despite both teams expressing interest to continue. But what overshadowed their only season was the tragic murder of one of top players Carol Kunzmann. Poor Nebraska:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2011...ska-wranglers/
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Old 25-08-2015, 06:14 AM   #62
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Nebraska, even with solid subsequent success of its women's Cornhuskers basketball team in the Big 12 and Big 10, sadly hasn't tasted women's pro basketball since. The LBA, ABL, and WNBA NEVER considered it, be it in Omaha or Lincoln.

New entry into this featuring the so short-lived WABA in 1984 called the Houston Shamrocks, the missing (and weakest) women's pro basketball link between the Houston Angels and the Houston Comets that attempted to capitalize on the Team USA women's basketball success with the fledging league. Never mind Houston as a city is commonly not known for its Irish heritage. The Shamrocks had one of the few 1984 Olympic women's basketball heroes from LA playing in this league in Lea Henry. Surprisingly, it had Houston Cougars/Houston Rockets/Washington Bullets legend Elvin "The Big E" Hayes as head coach fresh from his NBA playing retirement that past season. Neither was far from enough to save WABA from its incoming self-inflicting woes:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2015...ton-shamrocks/
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Old 18-11-2015, 01:36 PM   #63
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Yes, the World Basketball League has a legacy in the NBA even soon after it went kaput. Just take a look back at who emerged out of the wildly-successful Youngstown Pride and how the local community embraced the players. Coach Bob Patton and Mario Elie look back with pride:
http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/jul/1...gstown/?mobile
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:07 AM   #64
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In a new book called George Steinbrenner and His Pipe Dream, Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Bill Livingston tells the story of Cleveland's only modern-day pro basketball champion to date, the short-lived and troubled but visionary ABL's Cleveland Pipers back in 1963. At the time of Steinbrenner's death back in 2009, I wrote here about the future infamous New York Yankees owner's first foray into pro sports ownership with basketball that his dad derisively viewed as a nothing more than a hobby for the young Cleveland business who couldn't get to access to his family's fortune. That was actually taken from a Steinbrenner biography, where the Pipers were granted some, but never the primary focal, attention overall.

5 excerpts from the book were printed to the Plain Dealer during a weeklong series. The Cleveland Pipers should actually be notable in the fact it had the first black coach of an integrated pro basketball team in John McLendon, who previously coached at Tennessee A&I (now Tennessee St.). If you ever followed the New York Yankees baseball team under George's stewardship, you can certainly see the genesis of what was to come in his personality and grandiose years later with the Cleveland Pipers.

How a "nakedly ambitious", fiery, and combustible but then-underfinanced George Steinbrenner undermined not just coach John McLendon but also the franchise with eyes on NBA admittance as ABL champs with a possible merger with the Kansas City Steers. Suffered the typical situations afflicting many pro teams before and since. Think about that: had it happened there would be no Cleveland Cavaliers (if the Pipers survived well and long enough) or the Cincinnati Royals moving to Kansas City:
http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/...rt_river_index

Steinbrenner and the more reserved McLendon butted heads on player personnel, among other things, right from the start. As one who lived in the racially-explicit South, McLendon avoided confrontation and sought moral aspirations and dignity conducive to staying power. Nothing racial here. Needless to say, the marriage was not going to last in the then-NIBL:
http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/....html#comments

Cleveland Pipers players had enough and revolt after McLendon leaves following George's manipulations with later Bill Sharman helping to fufill Steinbrenner's star-studded ambitions as head coach:
http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/...rt_river_index

The 1962 ABL Championship series knotted at 2-2 with the Kansas City Steers because of Cleveland's back-to-back buzzer beater victories. Will the 5th and deciding game get played, and more importantly, and where? Too much flip-flopping. Even St. Louis, still in the NBA then, was considered during this hectic indecisiveness. Cleveland ultimately won in a close one:
http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/...rt_river_index

Against all odds, the Pipers get Ohio St. star Jerry Lucas to satisfy George's star power cravings, further assuring NBA entry and a bright future ahead--and also almost got his Buckeye teammate and fellow future NBA legend John Havlichek:
http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/...ade_georg.html
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Old 20-12-2015, 03:19 AM   #65
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Back when the Global Basketball Association was forming at a time in the early 1990s when some sports leagues like the World League of American Football and the proposed Global Hockey Association utilized the idea of teams in North America and European ones travelling across the Big Pond for games that counted in the standings. The GBA was too grand (and unrealistic back then even now) in its vision, despite wanting to live up to its name, to have teams in all corners of the world:
https://news.google.com/newspapers?n...,1384155&hl=en
http://www.tulsaworld.com/archives/c...fbee18e33.html

And the GBA used a white basketball for games because it looked better on TV and never leaves a blur starting with the first game between the Albany Sharp Shooters and Memphis Hot Shots:
http://articles.courant.com/1991-11-...one-yearbook/2
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:26 PM   #66
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Those precious few who followed and played for the GBA's Music City Jammers back in 1992 Nashville certainly knew about Nashville Post writer Harold "Bun" Huggins, who chronicled them. The Jammers, as one expect in a fledging haphazardly-planned and executed minor league basketball team, played at five different basketball courts like the Municipal Auditorium to call home before winning the GBA title that year before folding the next season. Huggins died couple days ago following a brief bout of leukemia:
http://www.nashvillepost.com/busines...ins-dies-at-73

Why couldn't Nashville embrace minor league basketball in its recent history including the Jammers and since the WBL's Nashville Stars? Thin basketball fan base? Underfunded ownership? Insurmountable entertainment competition? Lack of a consistent proper basketball venue? Poor local promotion/media coverage and unfamiliarity for recognition? Maybe if Nashville became a NBDL affiliate, maybe it can overcome the bad taste/first impressions
http://nashvillecitypaper.com/conten...news/below-rim
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Old 21-01-2017, 03:14 AM   #67
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Latest ABL (early 1960s men's pro league not the 1996-1998 women's league) Fun While It Lasted entry is the Washington Tapers, a team that played at a time that was the dark ages for Washington, DC pro basketball years after the demise of the old Washington Capitals and several years before even the arrival of the one-season ABA version of the Capitals with Rick Barry from its move from Oakland Oaks and then having later crossed the Potomac into Virginia as the Squires. Those DC (and Virginia) residents looking for a more stable pro basketball fix during this period had to travel to Baltimore and watch the Bullets at the overgrown middle school cafteria-looking Baltimore Civic Center.

That one dud blip in that extensive Washington pro basketball drought came in 1961 with a founding ABL franchise created by a tape company millionaire owner in Paul Cohen, who it must be noted, was a muscular dystrophy sufferer. It was him who tapped Jerry Lewis to promote the cause for many decades including the Labor Day telethon. That's the Tapers' legacy. Yes, I said it was a dud blip even with Gene Conley, a two-sport star who previously played Major League Baseball for the Milwaukee Braves and pro basketball for the Boston Celtics, and Dan Swartz, a holdover from the NIBL acting as the Tapersí top scorer at 24.8 points per game in 1961-62. In a typical midseason minor league pro basketball move that will occur with subsequent teams, Tapers announced it would move to Commack Arena in Long Island on New Year's Eve after two months in Washington. Following that, Cohen moved the Washington/New York Tapers again to Philadelphia before the whole ABL took down the entire league exactly a year later from that New York move before even completing the 1962-63 season:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2017...ington-tapers/
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:33 AM   #68
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At long last we got the Chicago Hustle, by far one of the few consistently successful WBL franchises in the late 1970s-early 1980s with tremendous instant cred starting on December 9, 1979 in the first WBL game on the road up along Lake Michigan against the Milwaukee Does . Players like center Sue Digitale, forwards Liz Galloway and Debra Waddy-Rossow and guards Rita Easterling and Janie Fincher formed the starting five with former DePaul women's coach Doug Bruno as never really leaving DePaul as Hustle coach during the first season in 1978-79 to great success. A rock in a perrenially floundering league around it with an uncomparative promotional sophistication (like promoting free Dr. Pepper when the Hustle score 110 points at DePaul's Alumni Hall)--solid attendance at Alumni Hall, a strong Superstation WGN TV contract, and great local media coverage that treated the Hustle well. Alas, no league title during its lifetime for it
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2017...hicago-hustle/
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:11 PM   #69
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A brief late spring 1990 Las Vegas Silver Streaks WBL TV commercial announcing tickets for that year's Tuesday, May 15th home opener at the Thomas & Mack Center against the Calgary 88's:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sPv8SsKNWg

Youngstown Pride alums like Mario Elie and Bob Patton still feel some pride over the deeply talented Youngstown Pride's two WBL titles 25+ years onward being one of the league's more successful teams. Some cool stories here about the players also including Tim Legler and Fred Cofield:
http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/jul/1...of-youngstown/

When Western New York high school prep star Ray Hall from McKinley High and later Canisius College struggled to find another pro team to latch onto after he was left go by the WBL's struggling Erie Wave at 5-13 back in June 1990 as its former leading scorer:
http://buffalonews.com/1990/07/17/ra...s-him-goodbye/
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Old 25-03-2017, 02:14 AM   #70
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Tuscon Gunners, where Gerald Henderson and head coach Herb Brown (Larry's older brother) honed their games, for only one season in the 6-states repped Western Basketball Association, winning the title in 7 games versus the CBA-bound Reno Bighorns. Franchise went down with the entire league in 1979. Shared the Tuscon Community Center with the Tuscon Rattlers minor league hockey team at the time:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2017...ucson-gunners/
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Old 28-03-2017, 11:11 AM   #71
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Back to the ABL from the early 1960s with the Kansas City Steers, one of the better entries right from the start in Harlem Globetrotters' founder Abe Saperstein's league and succeeded in recruiting some top talent. With thanks to Fun While It Lasted. As one wanting to compete against the NBA in major markets nationwide. In both of the short-lived ABL's seasons, the highly-talented Steers finished with the best record. When the league folded midway on New Year's Eve 1962 in its sophomore season with the insurmountable shakiness surrounding them, the KC Steers managed to "win" the league title as the folded league declared them champions by virtue of having the ABL's best record at 22-9. Took Kansas City a decade later to taste major league basketball action again when the Kings arrived in 1972 from Cincinnati.

There's also the "haywire" story about the 5-game 1962 ABL Championship series with the Cleveland Pipers and venue availability, booking, scheduling, the league office, and George Steinbrenner all involved:
http://www.funwhileitlasted.net/2017...s-city-steers/
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Old 21-04-2017, 12:19 PM   #72
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Sports Illustrated's July 24, 1989 3-page "slice of life" piece (not counting ads with them) on the WBL's Las Vegas Silver Streaks with several of the players like Daren Queenan, Daryl Kennedy, Jaime Waller, Zach Jones, and Johnny Brown still harboring the unlikely NBA dreams in honing their skills and globetrotting their pro trade after college despite being unsatisfactory tweeners in the NBA's eyes. Playing in front of largely empty seats and varying attendance figures at the Thomas & Mack Center, despite getting 10,550 for the July 12, 1989 All-Star Game, like in this one against the Illinois Express and minor league legend Alfredrick Hughes. Danny Hovanec keeps them focused though pained. Just think Las Vegas is considering an NBA expansion team now:
https://www.si.com/vault/issue/702390/66/2
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