La Crosse Bobcats

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La Crosse Bobcats
La Crosse Bobcats logo
Leagues CBA
Founded 1996
Dissolved 2001
Arena La Crosse Center
Location La Crosse, Wisconsin
Team colors red, purple, white
              

The La Crosse Bobcats were a Continental Basketball Association basketball team located in La Crosse, Wisconsin from 1996 to the league's bankruptcy in February 2001.[1] The Bobcats were the second CBA team located in La Crosse; previously, the La Crosse Catbirds played from 1985 to 1994. The team hosted its matches at the La Crosse Center.

Don Zierden served as the Bobcats head coach during their inaugural 1996–97 season.[2] The team held their first open tryouts at Viterbo College from October 25 to October 27, 1996.[3]

In 1997, the Bobcats marketing campaign featured commercials depicting La Crosse players hawking sub-par team endorsed products in a home shopping parody. The team's tagline for the commercials were, "Lousy endorsements. Great basketball". No actual La Crosse players were in the commercials since they were filmed during the off-season, so actors were used.[4]

During the 1999 CBA draft, the Bobcats selected former Wisconsin Badgers forward Sam Okey in the eighth round. Okey declined a contract from La Crosse, opting to play in a Turkish professional league. In September 2000, the Bobcats announced that Okey had signed a contract for the upcoming season. Okey first received basketball notoriety in Wisconsin while attending a Cassville prep school. He was a McDonald's High School All-American in 1995.[5]

In 2006, the City of La Crosse dedicated a time capsule which included objects from the city's 150 year history. Buried under a marble slab, the capsule is set to be opened for the city's bicentennial celebration in 2056. A Bobcats pin-back button and program from their inagural season were included in the capsule.[6]

All-time roster[edit]

Stephen Jackson played for the Bobcats in 1997 and 1998.
Mark Hendrickson had three separate stints with La Crosse (1997, 1999 and 2000).
Sources [7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Season-by-season records[edit]

Years Wins Losses Winning percentage Head coach(s) Ref
1996–97 19 37 .339 Don Zierden [9]
1997–98 25 31 .446 Don Zierden [10]
1998–99 21 35 .375 Don Zierden (3–1)
Mike Mashak (18–34)
[11]
1999–2000 21 35 .375 Dennis Johnson (14–22)
Bill Klucas (7–13)
[12]
2000–01 9 14 .391 Bill Klucas [13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CBA appears to be finished; Two teams join the IBL, while others -- including the La Crosse Bobcats -- say they're done". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, Wisconsin: Capital Newspapers. February 4, 2001. p. D3. 
  2. ^ "Locally". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, Wisconsin: Capital Newspapers. May 30, 1996. p. 2B. 
  3. ^ "Locally". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, Wisconsin: Capital Newspapers. October 6, 1996. p. 2B. 
  4. ^ Baar, Aaron (December 1, 1997). "Taking it to the hoopla". Adweek. Adweek, LLC. p. 7. 
  5. ^ "Former UW star Okey tries CBA". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, Wisconsin: Capital Newspapers. September 21, 2000. p. 2C. 
  6. ^ Jungen, Anne (October 15, 2006). "Buried in time: La Crosse celebrates 150 years with time capsule dedication". La Crosse Tribune. La Crosse, Wisconsin. 
  7. ^ "1998-99 LaCrosse Bobcats Roster". laxbobcats.com. La Crosse Bobcats. Archived from the original on April 23, 1999. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 
  8. ^ "L A X B O B C A T S". laxbobcats.com. La Crosse Bobcats. Archived from the original on March 3, 2000. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b "1996-97 La Crosse Bobcats Roster". justsportsstats.com. Just Sports Stats. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 
  10. ^ a b "1997-98 La Crosse Bobcats Roster". justsportsstats.com. Just Sports Stats. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 
  11. ^ a b "1998-99 La Crosse Bobcats Roster". justsportsstats.com. Just Sports Stats. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 
  12. ^ a b "1999-00 La Crosse Bobcats Roster". justsportsstats.com. Just Sports Stats. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 
  13. ^ a b "2000-01 La Crosse Bobcats Roster". justsportsstats.com. Just Sports Stats. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 
  • Walker, Don (2001-03-07). "La Crosse, other CBA teams harbor ill will; They feel betrayed by league management". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.