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Oshkosh All-stars

Founded:  1929
Folded:   1949
Location: Racine, WI
Arena:    Washington Park H.S. Gym
Built in: 1928
Capacity: 1,264
Titles:   3 (2 NBL)
Owner:    Lon Darling

1941 NBL Champion
1942 NBL Champion
1942 World Professional Tournament Champion

Lon Darling organized the team in 1929 as a barnstorming team. As a barnstorming team they played mostly against other teams based in Wisconsin but would often travel to Chicago and Detroit for games and tournaments. They were one of the first Midwest or eastern teams to travel west when they played in a tournament in Salt Lake City in 1933. The All-Stars had no set roster and players switched teams from night to night. Players could make anywhere from $15 to $25 per game and played nearly every day of the week.

In February of 1936, the all-white, All-stars played two games against the New York Renaissance Big Five (Rens) , an all-black team in what may be one of the first interracial sporting events in American history. Both games drew such large crowds that both teams decided to meet again the next year for a five game series; with the winner being crowned World Basketball Champion.

The Rens won the 1937 series three games to two games, but both teams decided to extend the series to seven games, in which the All-stars won both and were named World Basketball Champions.

They joined the NBL in 1937, as one of the leagues founding members, and are arguably the leagues third most successful franchise behind only the Pistons and the Redskins. They are also the only franchise that managed to play all 12 seasons in the NBL

The All-stars saw unmatched success in the early years of the NBL making the finals five consecutive years in a row and winning two league titles in 1941 and 42.

Even though they were in the NBL the All-stars, like most franchises of the era, still barnstormed and played in other tournaments. In 1942 they won the World Professional Basketball Championship over fellow NBL team the Detroit Eagles, who had beaten the All-stars the year prior to win the tournament.

Even though they were in a small city, from 1939 until 1943 the All-stars were probably the best basketball team in the world. The success of the All-stars is largely tied to their two star players Gene Englund and Leroy Edwards. Those two along with Fort Wayne's Bobby McDermott were the best players of the era.

The late war years were a difficult time for the All-stars as in 1945 they missed the playoffs for the only time in their history and their string of finals appearances ended in 1943. The All-star did not make the finals again until the last year of the NBL where they lost to the Anderson Packers.

in 1949 the NBL merged with the BAA to form the NBA. The BAA, which took control of the league operations, played in bigger cities and did not want the small market Oshkosh in the league. The franchise was relocated to Milwaukee under new ownership, but when the Milwaukee ownership negated on the deal the ownership of the team returned to Oshkosh and the franchise reverted back to the Oshkosh ownership (Lon Darling) the franchise went on hiatus and their players were sold off.

To Milwaukee - Gene Berce (OSH), Jack Burmaster (OSH), Gene Englund (OSH), Alex Hannum (OSH), Marshall Hawkins (OSH), Bob Mulvihill (OSH), Walt Lautenbach (OSH), Gene Selbo (OSH), Floyd Volker (OSH)

Indianapolis purchased Marshall Hawkins and Floyd Volker
Sheboygan purchased Jack Burmaster , Walt Lautenbach and Gene Selbo
Syracuse purchased Alex Hannum
Tri Cities purchased Gene Berce

Note - Gene Englund announced his retired and the rights to Bob Mulvihill went unassigned

1938 Oshkosh team

Leroy Edwards and Charley Shipp

Leroy Edwards

New York Rens vs Oshkosh box scores

1937-38 Oshkosh All-stars Championship team

Oskosh vs Hammond Ciesars Preview ft Leroy Edwards

LeRoy Edwards

Oshkosh vs Toledo program

Ed Riska

Chicago American Gears star George Mikan attempts to block a shot of the All-stars.

Score sheet from a game program vs Youngstown.

Deacon Stankey circa 1940

1929-30 All-stars, before they joined the NBL.

Herman Witasek

Ed Erban