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The Akron Wingfoots are one of the oldest basketball teams in the United States. They were founded in 1918 by the workers at the Goodyear Tire Company in Akron, Ohio. The teams, while giving workers recreation, also helped to promote one of the first canvas/rubber based shoes made specifically for athletics, the wingfoot.
In the late 1930s, Goodyear, Firestone, General Electric, and other companies with similar Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Elite teams decided to form the National Basketball League (NBL) to showcase their teams. The Wingfoots won the first NBL title in 1938. The team was not part of the BAA and NBL merger that created the NBA. Instead, they reconstituted those NBL teams left over into the National Industrial Basketball League. The Wingfoots regained national power in the NIBL, which in 1960, was changed to the National Alliance of Basketball Leagues.