125 Years of Basketball at Bloomsburg University
The sport of basketball was inaugurated at a YMCA in Massachusetts in December 1891. It came to the Bloomsburg State Normal School in February 1894 as an exhibition game held during the dedication of the new gymnasium. Brought to Bloomsburg by the first Director of Physical Education, Albert Aldinger, who had led YMCAs in West Philadelphia and Oil City, he organized a varsity team to begin play that fall. The first game was played on December 13, 1894, and with the exception of 1918-1919 due to the First World War, it has been played ever since. Bloomsburg University celebrates its 125th season of basketball in 2019-2020, tied with four other institutions in the NCAA (Allegheny College, Bucknell University, the University of Minnesota, and Yale University) for the longest running programs in the country. The other four schools, however, began playing the year after Bloomsburg’s began.
This exhibit commemorates the first 124 years of basketball at Bloomsburg and highlights six coaches, six teams, and six players who had a significant impact on the development of the sport, but also covers other individuals who contributed. Special aspects of the history include two coaches, one before and one after his time at Bloomsburg, who also led the basketball program at Duke University; the 1898-99 team that retroactively was judged the second best in the country behind Yale; and a player from the 1910s whose scoring records were finally broken in 1956-57 by three different players. In addition, the display mentions the beginning of basketball for women and the three campus gyms where the sport has been played.
The exhibit includes photographs, yearbooks, media guides, programs, scorebooks, posters, newspaper clippings, jerseys from the 1950s and 1990s, a Detroit Pistons hat and figurine of Chuck Daly, basketballs, and trophies. It can be found in the flat cases in front of the University Archives and wall cases to the left of the doors on the third floor of Andruss Library. It will be on display until March 6, 2020.
The University Archives periodically creates online or 'virtual' exhibits to highlight the Archives' collections and the history of Bloomsburg University.
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