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Chicago Bruins (1939-42) Chicago Studebaker Flyers(42-43)

Founded:   1925
Folded:    1943
Location:  Chicago, IL
Arena:     132nd Street Armory (25-1)
           Chicago Coliseum (41-42)
Built in:
Capacity:  6,000
Titles:    None

The Chicago Bruins were an American basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois that was a member of the American Basketball League. The Bruins later played in the National Basketball League (1939-1942) and World Professional Basketball Tournament. The team was owned by Chicago Bears owner George Halas.

In 1942 they became the Chicago Studebaker Flyers (also known as the Chicago Studebakers) They were funded by the United Auto Workers who had bought majority control of the franchise.

During the 1942-1943 NBL season, the Studebakers and the Toledo Jim White Chevrolets became the first teams in the league to integrate. The Studebakers did so by signing six former Harlem Globetrotters: Tony Peyton, Duke Cumberland, Bernie Price, Sonny Boswell, Roosie Hudson, and Hillary Brown. Though some claimed that the former Globetrotters experienced racism from their white teammates, coach Johnny Jordan insisted that "there was no strife", adding, "All the blacks were treated well by players and fans. People knew the Globetrotters were great ballplayers. They were well received.

The Bruins mostly played at the 132nd Armory. This was a great location as it was near bus and rail lines which allowed for easy spectator access. World War II would halt this as the armory was used for the war effort. The war effort also took many of the best players and fans.

The following year when the team was purchased by the United Auto Workers and renamed the Studebaker Flyers the team played at several locations, which made it almost impossible for die hard fans to know where the team was playing. This lead to the eventual demise of the franchise.

Year	League	Reg. Season	Playoffs
1925/26	ABL	7th (1st half); 7th (2nd half)	Did not qualify
1926/27	ABL	7th (1st half); 6th (2nd half)	Did not qualify
1927/28	ABL	3rd, Western	Did not qualify
1928/29	ABL	4th (1st half); 7th (2nd half)	Did not qualify
1929/30	ABL	4th (1st half); 3rd (2nd half)	Did not qualify
1930/31	ABL	5th (1st half); 1st(t)(2nd half)2nd Half Tiebreaker
                Place       W   L  Pct.   HW  HL  RW  RL  GB  
1939/40 NBL     3rd(west)   14  14 .500   10   4   4  10   1
1940/41 NBL     5th         11  13  .458   8   4   3   9   7
1941/42 NBL     6th          8  15  .348   4   8   3   8  11.5
1942-43 NBL     4th          8  15  .349   5   6   3   9   9   

1942-43 NBL     1-2   Lost Semi Finals to Pistons

Military Veterans who have played in the NBA

The United States Military has been a big piece of American history and American lore. Before every basketball game fans stand an honor America and the men and women who have served with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. The song immortalizes the defense of Fort McHenry from the war of 1812. The Veterans Administration (VA) estimates that 22 million Americans have served in the military. Countless famous Americans have served in the armed forces and that includes several NBA players.

During the early days of one of the NBA's precursors, the NBL, it was not uncommon for a player to leave the league to join the military. The military offered better pay and better accommodations than the league did.

World War II was nearly the end of the NBL as the majority of players left to serve. The lack of players caused the first racial integration in any major sport in American history

Complete Article

Program from 1925 when the Bruins played in the ABL

Kautskys vs Bruins circa 1940

Bruins from Chicago Tribune photo

Chicago Studebaker Flyers vs Sheboygan Redskins

Promo ad

Bruins vs Jim White Chevrolets program from 1941

2 photos of the Studebakers team circa 1942

Bruins Team photo