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Basketball Heroes
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Edward C Christi
Army Basketball 1941-1944 Killed in War

Center and Team Captain of Army Men’s Basketball 1941-1944 Died in Austria during World War II Military Battle the next year


A true American Hero Edward Christi was also the team leader of the undefeated Number 1 ranked Army basketball team of 1943-1945. Defensively Ed Christi excelled in the center post and was an solid passer and accurate shooter offensively, compiling the 3rd highest points per game average, 8.3, for the 15 wins and no loss Army basketball team. Edward Christi scored a season high 16 points in an Army 66-32 win over Pittsburgh during this unforgettable season.


The US Military Army Basketball Arena is named to honor Edward C. Christi, a first Lieutenant, who was killed in action in Austria the very next year.


Bio by Basketball Historian author John R Balazs.

Dale Hall
Forward 5 ft 10 inches Army Basketball 1942-1945

The main stalwart of the 1943-1944 undefeated Army Military Academy basketball team, Dale Hall was a consensus All American two straight seasons 1944 and 1945.


Dale Hall scored a team-high 18.23 points per game average for the unbeaten, 15-0, Army team ranked Number 1 by both the Converse Dunkel Ratings and the Premo Power Poll. That season Dale Hall was the leading Army scorer in 11 of the 15 games Army played, including a career high of 32 in a 85-22 rout over Maryland in the second to the last game of the season. Dale Hall also won a football letter for his play with the Army team. Dale Hall college stats: 579 points, 13.8 ppg average, in 42 games.


Gus Broberg
Dartmouth 1938-1941 Lost his right arm in War Service

Considered one of the best floor leaders during this era, Gus Broberg was the first men’s basketball player to win three straight Ivy League scoring titles. He averaged 13.8 points per game in 1938-39, then 14.5, and 14.9.


Guard Forward 6 ft 1 inch Dartmouth 1938-1941 Served in US Mariners during World War II and lost his right arm.


Gus Broberg was selected a NCAA consensus first team In 1940 and 1941. Played in two NCAA Tournament games and averaged 19.1 points per game.


After graduating from Dartmouth, Gus Broberg played minor league baseball for a short time before enlisting in the US Mariners prior to the start of World War II.  Serving as an aviator during the war, Gus Broberg plane crashed and he lost his right arm. None-the-less, he later became a lawyer and later a well regarded judge in Florida.


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Vince Boryla
Forward Notre Dame and Denver U 1940s

An excellent all around athlete Vince Boryla was constantly hounding opponents on defense, and was a fine shooting forward during the time of World War II. Vince Boryla started his college career with Notre Dame and played two seasons before proudly serving in the US Army. He averaged a solid 16.1 points per game in 1944-45 and 15.3 the next season.


Forward 6 ft 5 inches Notre Dame 1944-1946, Denver University 1948-1949, US Army 1947-1948 USA Olympics 1948.


Upon returning from military service Vince Boryla played for the University of Denver and was an All American for

the 1948-49 season. Playing for collegiate teams with losing records Vince Boryla never played in postseason tournaments.

He placed in the nation’s top ten in scoring with 18.9 points per Game with Denver U. Vince Boryla college stats 1267 points,

17.1 points in 74 games. Hometown East Chicago Indiana.


Leading Pro Players... Early 1940s
Professional basketball history in the years just prior to World War II

Many of the basketball players listed below were drafted or joined the U. S. Military at the onset of World War II in 1942... hence their professional basketball careers were short-lived. A few of the taller players were deemed too tall for military service and instead worked in war-manufactoring plants.

We honor the pro basketball players who left for Military Services:

National Basketball League, NBL

Jack Ozburn, Toledo Jeeps... Bob Carpenter, Oshkosh All-Stars... Bob Calihan, Fort Wayne  Zollner Pistons... Herm Witasek, Oshkosh All-Stars... Bill Hapac, Chicago Bruins... Stan Szukala, Chicago Bruins... Bob Dietz, Indianapolis Kautskys... Ernie Adams, Indianapolis Kautskys

American Baskertball League, ABL

Lou Rabin, Philadelphia SPHAs... Moe Dubilier, Washington Brewers... Inky Lautman, Philadelphia SPHAs... Bernie Fleigel, Wilmington Blue Bombers...Sam Kaplan, Troy Celtics... Allie Esposito, Baltimore Clippers... Clarlie 'Dutch' Hoefer, Washington Brewers... Irv Torgoff, Philadelphia SPHAs... Inky Lautman, Philadelphia SPHAs... Art Zahn, Washington Heurichs Brewers... Joe Polcher, Troy Haymakers... Carl Johnson, New York Celtics... Mike Bloom, Trenton Tigers... Cy Kasellan, Philadelphia Hebrew SPHAs

High Scorers include Leroy Edwards, center NBL Oshkosh All-Stars of Wisconsin... Bob Carpenter, forward NBL Oshkosh All-Stars... Moe Spahn ABL New York Jewels... Petey Rosenberg, ABLPhiladelphia SPHAs... Ace Goldstein, ABL New York  Jewels... Mickey Kupperberg, Troy-Brooklyn Celtics... Bobby McDermott, Baltimore Clippers... Lou Rabin, Jersey Reds...  Nat Frankel, Washington Brewers

Highlight Notes:

At the height of the War, George Halas, owner of the Chicago Bears football team, folded his NBL team, the Chicago Bruins.

Yesterday - 1942-1945 - World War II Rages
100s of profressional basketball players were drafted or enlisted into the U. S. Military during World War II

The following words from a pamphlet issued during World War II: Conserve Materials to win the war - Nothing Counts But Victory: By John Miller...

Edited by Albert Perry... Copyright by Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc. Chicago... Printed in the U.S.A.

'On every front troops of the United Nations are fighting the well-armed enemy with less than adequate weapons. They must be supplied. It will mean giving up much, it will mean learning to do without. But better privations than 'Too little and too late.'

Rubber, Aluminum, Cotton

Basically, to the civilian, rubber means tires. Not so to the army. The fastest modern tanks travel on rubber. Rubber seals airplane gas tanks against enemy bullets. Rubber hose fights fires in bombed cities. Signal Corps men crawl into battlefields, trailing behind them long lines of copper telephone wire sheathed with rubber. Without these wires, the generals do not know what is happening.

Submarine mines, connected to the shore by rubber-insulated cables, guard our harbors. Parachute harnesses are padded with rubber to protect the jumper against the devastating jerk when the chute opens. rubber floats pontoons, rubber live jackets protect sailors when they are victims of the treacherous torpedo.

Aluminum - and Your Lights

For every 700 cars we are not making, we are saving enough aluminum to build one fighter plane. Modern airplanes can soar to 30,000 feet because they are made of aluminum, one of the lightest known metals.

Bauxite, the ore from which aluminum is made, is procurable. But electricity is used to separate the rest of the ore. Electricity is cheap to the user. It is just as easy to let a light burn as not. Next time, remember first-rate fighter planes use up aluminum. Turn the lights off when you leave the room.

Cotton, more than half the weight of smokeless powder is made of cotton. In the last war, we used almost two and one-half million pounds of cotton in munitions. Right now there is a cotton surplus. But there is no surplus of the machines that make cotton into tent materials, gas-masks bags, guncotton. Even this common plant is vital. Cotton, too, is fighting in the front lines.

Presented by sportshistorian.com

John Dick
Forward - Oregon University 1936-7 thrue 1938-1939, U. S. Navy Admiral World War II Hero

A standout college basketball player for the Orgeon Ducks college basketball team, John Dick is the only player in NCAA basketball history to be a leading scorer in a NCAA Championship Final Game and to later serve as a United States Admiral in the Navy.

Upon Further Review:

John Dick led both college teams with 15 points in a Oregon University 46-33 win over Ohio State in the 1938-1939 NCAA Final Championship played in Evanston, Illinois.

Admiral John Dick commanded the aircraft carrier Saratoga for two years and served as Chief of Staff of all carrier forces in the Western Pacific during the heat of World War II.

Sports historian John R Balazs contrubited to this basketball profile

Bob Calkins
An American Hero - Robert Calkins died serving his country

Bob 'Ace' Calkins was the captain and leading scorer on the UCLA basketball team of the Pacific Coast Conference in 1938-1939. While proudly serving his country as a navigator on the Flying Fortress, his airplane was gunned down and Bob Calkins later died in an Italian prison camp from wounds suffered in the plane crash.

Ernie Andrews
Guard - Indianapolis of the NBL 1939-40, 1945-46 thru 1947-48; U. S. Military 1941-1944 World War II

Ernie Andrews was a NCAA Consensus First Team All-American as a senior in 1938-1939 with the Indiana University men's basketball team. He played a major role in the Hoosiers' hardcourt successes during his college years, helping them to a sterling 17-3 record and a 6th place ranking in the NCAA Premo Power Poll in 1938-39.

As a rookie with the Indianapolis Kautskys of the NBL, a major professional league in this time-frame, Ernest Andrews led the league in field goals made with 130 in a 27-game schedule, and led with a 10.8 points per game average.

Ernie Andrews proudly served in the US Military, 1941-1944, then returned to the Indianapolis and helped the Kautskys reach the playoffs two straight seasons, 1946-47 and 1947-48.

Petey Rosenberg
Guard - Philadelphia SPHAs of the ABL 1939-1940 thru 1941-1942; U.S. Military during World War II; Philadelphia 76ers 1946-1947

Old Philadelphia newspaper clippings write of Petey Rosenberg as "an exciting play-starter and basketball high-scorer". In 1940-1941 Pete Rosenberg led the American Basketball League, ABL, in scoring with 275 points in the then regular scheduled 31 games, for a league leading 8.9 points per game average. He was generally regarded as the best player on the Philadelphia team prior to entering service during World War II.

Note: the ABL merged with the NBL to form the NBA in 1949-50.

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