1943-1944 Navy Trainees - World War II
Players serving their country as Navy Trainees
College Basketball News of 1944
In 1944 Dick McGwire, basketball guard for St. John's University, became the first freshman to win the New York Basketball Writers Association Award for the Most Outstanding College Player in the metropolitan New York area.
Dick McGwire along with center Bob Gale of Cornell, forward Harry Leggart of New York University, and guard Walter Mercer of Fordham finished the season playing for Dartmouth, where they were sent to undergo military service as Navy Trainees stationed at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH. The college program came under the war-time V-12 program.
1944 - St. John's, 18-5, under coach Joe Lapchick went on to win the NIT Tourney. Dartmouth, 19-2, lost in the NCAA Championship Game to Utah. College Basketball History during World War II
Guard/Forward 5 ft 10 inch 175 lbs
Red Holzman Hall of Fame Coach
1946-1953, Milwaukee Hawks 1953-1954, Coach
Milwaukee 1953-55, St Louis Hawks 1955-57, New
York Knicks 1967-1982 Hall of Fame Coach
Served in U.S. Navy during World War II
Born August 10 1920 and raised in Brooklyn NY, William Red Holzman played basketball at City College of New York
and upon graduating, went into the Navy. After service Red Holzman played in the backcourt for the Rochester
Royals of the National Basketball League, 1946, before the NBA even existed.
Well-regarded for his ability to control the tempo of the game with his dribbling and passing Red Holzman helped the
Rochester Royals win the division in 1949 with the best record in the then NBA and at age 31 scored 23 points in the second game of the Finals in the Rochester Royals 1951 NBA Championship Title.
However, Red Holzman is best remember by hardwood fans as the head coach of the New York Knickerbockers from
1967 thru 1982, when his Knicks won two NBA Championships, 1969-1970 and 1972-1973. Red Holzman was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame for his coaching - 696-604 regular season record and 58-48 playoff record. The 1969-70 NY Knicks team went 60-22 plus 12-7 in the playoffs. The 1972-73 team was 57-25 and 12-5 in the playoffs. Red Holzman Bio by basketballhistorian.com
Guard 6 ft 3 inches Iowa Men’s Basketball 1953-1956
Carl Cain helped led Iowa resurgence to two first place and one second place finishes in the Big Ten Conference. Guided by head coach Frank Bucky O’Connor and led by Carl Cain, one of the quickest guards in the country, Iowa finished second in 1953-54 with a 11-3 record, then first with a 11-3 mark, followed with a first place with a 13-1 record.
Carl Cain averaged 20.1 points in 8 NCAA tournament games in 1955 and 1956. He was named to the two NCAA All Tournament Teams, as a junior when the Iowa Hawkeyes went to the 1955 NCAA Final Four and as a senior when they lost to San Francisco in the 1956 NCAA Championship Game. Carl Cain college stats: 1054 points, 14.2 PPG, 404 FGM, 984 FGA, .411 pct, 74 games. Hometown: Freeport Illinois.
Note: In 1955-1956 Iowa men’s basketball won 17 consecutive games before losing to a Bill Russell led San Francisco in NCAA Final.
Carl Cain was a member of the 1956 USA Olympic Team. Member of Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame
Guard 5 ft 11 inches 170 lbs Pro Basketball Player
Al Cervi US Air Force 1940-45
Guard 5 ft 11 inches 170 lbs Buffalo Bisons 1937-38, Syracuse Reds 1939-40, Rochester Royals 1945-48, Syracuse Nationals 1948-1953, US Air Force 1940-45
Al Cervi was as tough a backcourt player as there was and is ranked as one best players in pro basketball history. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Al Cervi did not attend college but after attending East High School in Buffalo NY, he later joined the Buffalo Bisons of the NBL, at age 20. Nicknamed Digger.
Al Cervi enlisted into the United States Air Force and was a star guard with military teams. After 5 years in the service, 1940-45 during World War II, he starred for the Rochester Royals, where he led the National Basketball League in 1946-47 scoring with 632 points in a 44 game schedule, averaging 14.4 ppg. His all-around play helped the Rochester Royals win the 1946 NBL Championship.
In 1948 Joe Cervi was chosen player/coach of the Syracuse Nationals of the NBA, and guided then to the NBA Crown in 1955. Joe Cervi was chosen NBL Coach of the Year in 1949. And, was coach of the winning 1954 Eastern All Stars in Madison Square Gareden. Joe Cervi also coached the Philadelphia Warriors one year, 1957. Coaching record: 366-264, with a 210-120 as player coach.
Al Cervi was well regarded as an aggressive defensive player as well as a leading scorer and was chosen All Pro honors five consecutive seasons, 1946-1950. basketballhistorian.com
Forward - Detroit Falcons of the NBL 1939-1940; Philadelphia SPHAs of the ABL 1940-41 thru 1943-44; NBA Teams - Washington 1946-47, 1947-8; Baltimore 1948-49; Philadelphia 76ers 1948-49
An accurate two-handed shooter in the days before the jump shot, Irving Torgoff was one of the leading scorers in this era. He played for 5 different teams in three different professional leagues, the NBL, ABA and NBA.
Playing with the Philadelphia Hebrew SPHAs in 1941-1942 Irv Torgoff chalked up the second most points in the American Basketball League - scored 168 points in the then-scheduled 22 games, including 67 field goals and 34 free throws for a 7.6 points per game average.
Irv Torgoff, a 6-ft 2-inch forward, started his pro career with the Detroit Falcons... then played with Philadelphia and later in the NBA.
Pro basketball history
Guard, Center and Forward - Oklahoma A&M University 1936-1939; Phillips 66 Oilers 1940s, USA Olympics Basketball Team 1948
Jesse 'Cab' Renick, a full-bllodied Choctaw American-born Indian, starred at all three basketball positions during his college days with Oklahoma A&M in the late-1930s.
John Jesse Renick's all-around play as a senior helped Oklahoma A&M finish the 1938-1939 season as co-champions of the Missouri Valley Conference. Jesse Renick was third highest in the conference in scoring and was chosen as a First Team All-Missouri Valley Player. He was also awarded a letter for the school's football team.
John (Jesse) Renick was a member of the winning United States Olympic Basketball Championship Team. Played in London, the USA defeated France 65-21.
Forward - Oshkosh All-Stars of the National Basketball League 1940-1941, 1941-1942, U.S. Military 1943-1945 During World War II
A leading player with Iowa University men's basketball team, Erv Prasse had a successful pro basketball tenure with the Oshkosh All-Stars in Wisconsin of the National Basketball League interrupted by almost three years while proudly serving in the United State Military during World War II.
An aggressive rebounder, Erwin Pressar played all 24 games of the regular 1940-41 schedule and helped Oshkosh post an 18-6 w/l record. He was a starter in all five of the NBL postseason playoff games, helping the team sweep the Akron Firestones in 2-games, and defeat the Sheboygan Redskins of Wisconsin 2-games-to 1 in a 3-game championship. Note: In 1949-1950 the NBL and the BAA mergered to form the current NBA.
Pro basketball history
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