Cover image for Pioneers of the hardwood : Indiana and the birth of professional basketball
Title:
Pioneers of the hardwood : Indiana and the birth of professional basketball
Author:
Gould, Todd, 1965-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
xvi, 246 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780253333735

9780253211996
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library GV885.72.I6 G68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

As fire is to prairie or water to fish, so is basketball a part of the natural environment in Indiana. Round ball, or Hoosier Hysteria, is so much a part of the state's heritage that many people believe basketball was invented in Indiana. Naismith's game is a virtual religion in the state.

While everyone knows about the growth of basketball in high schools and in college, the story of Indiana's role in the development of professional basketball has not been told before. It is a lively, passionate story of athletes willing to play for nickels, of raucous fans, local heroes, and love of the game.

Growing out of an award-winning television documentary, Pioneers of the Hardwood tells of the origins of professional basketball in Indiana in the good old barnstorming days. Gould covers the Indianapolis Em-Roes, the dominating Fort Wayne Pistons (later the Detroit Pistons), the Indianapolis Kautskys, the Anderson Packers, the Whiting Ciesars, the Hammond/Calumet Buccaneers, and the Indianapolis Olympians, the core of which was five players from the 1949 NCAA championship team from the University of Kentucky. He sets his story within the context of the times and also discusses competing franchises, including the famous New York Celtics (the original Celtics) and the gifted Harlem Rens, the first all-black professional team, which John Wooden remembers as ""the greatest team I ever saw, period"".

The book is based on extensive research as well as revealing interviews with former players John Wooden, collegiate all-American Ralph Beard, Pat Malaska, Frank Baird, and others. For Hoosier basketball fans, owning a copy of Pioneers of the Hardwood will be almost as much fun as having courtsideseats at a playoff game.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Gould, senior producer for public television station WFYI in Indianapolis, spent a total of six years sifting through piles of research documentation to write this fascinating book about the history of professional basketball in Indiana--a legacy that dates back to 1913. Gould covers the Indianapolis Em-Roes, the Fort Wayne Pistons (later Detroit Pistons), the Indianapolis Kautskys, the Anderson Packers, the Whiting Ciesars, the Hammond/Calumet Buccaneers, and the Indianapolis Olympians; he also discusses competing franchises, including the New York Celtics and the Harlem Rens, the first all-Black professional team. A relatively short book, it will stimulate the professional sports fan to appreciate the colorful and turbulent history of professional basketball's pioneers, especially when compared to the financial free-for-all that makes today's National Basketball Association one of the most lucrative business ventures in all of sport. Documentation of sources is exceptionally well done and painstakingly detailed. This book is highly recommended for the professional basketball fan and certainly recommended for anyone connected with sports. H. F. Kenny Jr. Wesleyan University


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