World Professional Basketball Tournament

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World Professional Basketball Tournament was an invitational tournament for professional basketball teams in the United States held in Chicago, Illinois by the Chicago Herald American. The annual event was held from 1939 to 1948. Many of the teams came from the National Basketball League, though it also included teams from other leagues and barnstorming teams such as the New York Rens and Harlem Globetrotters. Games were played at various sites including Chicago Coliseum, International Amphitheater and Chicago Stadium. The NBL League Champion usually won this tournament. The exceptions being 1939 when the New York Rens won the title. In 1940, the Harlem Globetrotters won the championship and a team called the Washington D.C. Bears with many New York Rens Players on their roster won the tournament in 1943. The Oshkosh All-Stars from the NBL made the most finals appearances of 5 winning it in 1942. The Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons from the NBL won the most Championships winning 3. The tournament lost some of its prestige when the BAA started in 1946. The BAA and NBL operated separately until they merged in 1949 to form the NBA as we know it today. The World Tournament - Professional Players and Fans acknowledged the winner to be the World Champions of Basketball.

All-Time Championship Game Scoring Records


All-Time World Tournament Team Records

  • Team App. Gms W-L Title record
  • Oshkosh All-Stars 9 30 20-10 1-4
  • Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons 8 21 15-6 3-0
  • New York Rens-Wash. Bears 10 28 18-10 2-1
  • Harlem Globetrotters 7 20 13-7 1-0
  • Detroit Eagles 3 10 8-2 1-1
  • Chicago American Gears 2 9 7-2 0-0
  • Chicago Bruins-Ramblers 4 9 5-4 0-1
  • Toledo White Huts-Whites-Jeeps 4 10 5-5 0-1
  • Sheboygen Redskins 8 14 5-9 0-0
  • Anderson Chiefs-Duffy Packers 3 7 4-3 0-0
  • Minneapolis Lakers 1 3 3-0 1-0
  • Brooklyn Eagles 1 4 3-1 0-1
  • L.I. Grumman Flyers/Hellcats 2 5 3-2 0-0
  • Dayton Acmes-Mickeys 2 5 3-2 0-1
  • Midland Dow Chemicals 3 6 3-3 0-0
  • Indianapolis Kautskys 5 7 3-4 1-0
  • Washington Heurlick Brewers 1 3 2-1 0-0
  • Tri-Cities Blackhawks 2 5 2-3 0-0
  • Baltimore Bullets 2 6 2-4 0-0
  • 8 Teams Had 1 win: Including Cleveland Chase Brassmen-Allmen Transfers (1-3)
  • The world famous Philadelphia Sphas were (1-1) in 1941
  • 27 Teams Did not win a game including Pittsburgh Corbetts-Raiders-Pirates (0-4),
  • Indianapolis Pure Oil-Oilers (0-3) and Rochester Seagrams-Wings (0-3).
  • The world famous New York Celtics were (0-1) in 1939.


World Tournament Complete Information:

1939
  • 1st Place: New York Rens 34- Oshkosh All-Stars 25
  • MVP- Puggy Bell (New York Rens)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Pop Gates (New York Rens) 12
  • Leroy Edwards (Oshkosh All-Stars) 12
  • 3rd Place: Harlem Globetrotters 36- Sheboygen Redskins 33
  • 5th Place: New York Yankees, Chicago Harmons, New York Celtics
  • 8th Place: Fort Wayne Harvesters, Brenton Harbor House of David, Illinois Grads, Clarksburg Oilers
1940
  • 1st Place: Harlem Globetrotters 31- Chicago Bruins 29
  • MVP- Sonny Boswell (Harlem Globetrotters)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Sonny Boswell (Harlem Globetrotters) 12
  • Mike Novak (Chicago Bruins) 7
  • 3rd Place: Washington Heurich Brewers 41- Syracuse Reds 30
  • 5th Place: Sheboygen Redskins, Waterloo Wonders, Oshkosh All-Stars, NY Rens
  • 9th Place: Fort Wayne Harvesters, Rochester Seagrams, Kenosha Royals, Canton Bulldogs, Benton Harbor House of David, Clarksburg Oilers
1941
  • 1st Place: Detroit Eagles 39- Oshkosh All-Stars 37
  • MVP- Buddy Jeannette (Detroit Eagles)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Ed Sadowski (Detroit Eagles) 11
  • Bob Carpenter (Oshkosh All-Stars) 8
  • 3rd Place: New York Rens 57- Toledo White Huts 42
  • 5th Place: Chicago Bruins, Kenosha Royals, Harlem Globetrotters, Philadelphia Sphas
  • 9th Place: Davenport Central Turner Rockets, Indianapolis Kautskys, Newark Elks, Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, Dayton Sucher Wonders, Rochester Seagrams, Sheboygen Redskins, Bismark Phantoms
1942
  • 1st Place: Oshkosh All-Stars 43- Detroit Eagles 41
  • MVP- Ed Riska (Oshkosh All-Stars)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Gene Englund (Oshkosh All-Stars) 17
  • Buddy Jeanette (Detroit Eagles ) 14
  • 3rd Place: Long Island Grumman Flyers 43- Harlem Globetrotters 41
  • 5th Place: Aberdeen Army Ordinance Training Center, Sheboygen Redskins, Chicago Bruins, New York Rens
  • 9th Place: Detroit A.A.A., Columbus Bobb Chevrolets, Northern Indiana Steelers, Davenport Central Turner Rockets, Toledo White Huts, Hagerstown Conoco Oilers, Indianapolis Kautskys, Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons
1943
  • 1st Place: Washington D.C. Bears 43- Oshkosh All-Stars 31
  • MVP- Curly Armstrong (Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Johnny Isaacs (Washington D.C. Bears) 11
  • Leroy Edwards (Oshkosh All-Stars) 7
  • 3rd Place: Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons 58- Dayton Dive Bombers 52
  • 5th Place: Detroit Eagles, Sheboygen Redskins, Harlem Globetrotters, Minneapolis Sparklers
  • 9th Place: Akron Collegians, Indianapolis Pure Oils, Chicago Ramblers, South Bend Studebaker Champions
1944
  • 1st Place: Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons 50- Brooklyn Eagles 33
  • MVP- Bobby McDermott (Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Jake Pellington (Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons) 19
  • Bob Tough & Bernie Opper (Brooklyn Eagles) 11
  • 3rd Place: Harlem Globetrotters 37- New York Rens 29
  • 5th Place: Dayton Aviators, Cleveland Chase Brassmen, Sheboygen Redskins, Oshkosh All-Stars
  • 9th Place: Akron Collegians, Camp Campbell Tankmen, Detroit Suffrins, Indianapolis Pure Oils, Rochester Wings, Pittsburgh Corbetts
1945
  • 1st Place: Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons 78- Dayton Acmes 52
  • MVP- Buddy Jeanette (Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Buddy Jeanette (Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons) 18
  • John Mahnken (Dayton Acmes) 16
  • 3rd Place: Chicago American Gears 64- New York Rens 55
  • 5th Place: Oshkosh All-Stars, Pittsburgh Raiders, Midland Dow Chemicals, Harlem Globetrotters
  • 9th Place: Hartford Nutmegs, Detroit Mansfields, Indianapolis Oilers, Cleveland Allmen Transfers, Newark C-O Twos, Long Island Grumman Hellcats
1946
  • 1st Place: Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons 73- Oshkosh All-Stars 57
  • Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons 56- Oshkosh All-Stars 47
  • Oshkosh All-Stars 61- Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons 59
  • (Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons wins series 2 games to 1)
  • MVP- George Mikan (Chicago American Gears )
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Bobby McDermott (Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons) 20
  • Leroy Edwards (Oshkosh All-Stars) 24
  • 3rd Place: Chicago American Gears 65- Baltimore Bullets 50
  • Chicago American Gears 59- Baltimore Bullets 54
  • (Chicago American Gears wins series 2 games to none)
  • 5th Place: New York Rens, Sheboygen Redskins, Midland Dows, Anderson Chiefs
  • 9th Place: Pittsburgh Raiders, Cleveland Allmen Transfers, Indianapolis Kautskys, Detroit Mansfields, Toledo Whites, Dayton Mickeys
1947
  • 1st Place: Indianapolis Kautskys 62- Toledo Jeeps 47
  • MVP- Julie Rivlin (Toledo Jeeps)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • Leo Klier (Indianapolis Kautskys) 12
  • George Sobek (Toledo Jeeps) 20
  • 3rd Place: Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons 86- Oshkosh All-Stars 67
  • 5th Place: Sheboygen Redskins, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Anderson Duffy Packers, Midland Dows
  • 9th Place: Herkimer Mohawk Redskins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Syracuse Nationals, Portland Indians, New York Rens, Baltimore Bullets
1948
  • 1st Place: Minneapolis Lakers 75- New York Rens 71
  • MVP- George Mikan (Minneapolis Lakers)
  • Leading Championship Game Scorers:
  • George Mikan (Minneapolis Lakers) 40
  • Sweetwater Clifton (New York Rens) 24
  • 3rd Place: Anderson Duffey Packers 66- Tri-Cities Blackhawks 44
  • 5th Place: Bridgeport Newfield Steelers, Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, Indianapolis Kautskys, Wilkes-Barre Barons
1949
  • TOURNAMENT DISBANDED


External sources[edit]