**Player of the Game Basketball Required**
With this year book, you get the complete 1961-62 ratings as well as the
partially completed 62-63 season ratings. Every player to take the court
in the ABL is represented in this year book.
The American Basketball League played one full season, 1961-1962, and part of
1962-1963. The league actually folded on December 31, 1962. The ABL was the
first basketball league to have a three point shot for baskets scored far away
from the goal.
The league was formed when basketball mogul Abe Saperstein did not get the Los
Angeles National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise he felt he had been
promised in return for his years of supporting the NBA with doubleheader games
featuring his Harlem Globetrotters. When Minneapolis Lakers owner Bob Short was
permitted to move the Lakers to Los Angeles, Saperstein reacted by convincing
National Alliance of Basketball Leagues (NABL) team owner Paul Cohen (Tuck
Tapers) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Champion Cleveland Pipers
owner George Steinbrenner to take the top NABL and AAU teams and players and
form a rival league. Saperstein and Cohen each secretly made arrangements with
local promoters in the other cities to finance those teams so there would be an
eight-team league. Saperstein's ego led him to place the Los Angeles Jets in Los
Angeles to take on the transplanted Lakers. He got Bill Sharman as coach and
signed former NBA players Larry Friend and George Yardley to give the team
instant credibility. The idea backfired and the Jets did not last the season.
The multiple radical changes, combined with uneven attendance (although some
teams, such as the Kansas City Steers, drew well), and no fresh capital from new
owners, caused Saperstein and Cohen to decide to throw in the towel with the
close of 1962 on December 31. Just like that, the league that pioneered the
three point shot and the wider foul line (both eventually adopted by the rest of
the basketball world) was gone. The Philadelphia Tapers, Kansas City Steers,
Hawaii Chiefs, Cleveland Pipers and even the Los Angeles Jets after a time all
came back and returned to their NABL roots, where they continue to this day as
AAU Elite teams.
TOP ABL Players included Johnny Cox, Larry Friend, Bill Spivey, Roger Kaiser,
Jeff Cohen, George Yardley, Larry Siegfried, Ben Warley, Connie Dierking, Bill
Bridges, Win Wilfong, Gene Conley, Gene Tormohlen, Fred Sawyer, Bevo Francis,
Maurice King (basketball player), Nick Romanoff, Charlie Tyra, Sylvester 'Cy'
Blye, Roger Taylor, Rick Herrscher, Frank Burgess, Dick Brott, Archie Dees,
Larry Swift, Lee Harman, Phil Wilcox, Connie Hawkins, Bruce Spraggins, and Larry
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 26 March, 2007.