Whitey Von Nieda was one of the pioneers of early professional Basketball
Guard 6 ft 1 inch 170 lbs Tri-Cities Blackhawks 1947-1950
Baltimore Bullets 1949-1950 of NBA. Penn State University
1940s US Military 19443-1945
Born: Ephrata PA 6/19/1922
During World War II before the start of professional basketball teams, Whitey Von Nieda was one of the top stars. He was in the United States military, serving as a gunner and he led the country in scoring in 1943, including college and military teams.
Prior to enlisting in the military Stanley Whitey Von Nieda Played basketball at Penn State, went in the military, and after Service signed to play pro ball on weekends with Lancaster of the Eastern League while attending Penn ST during the week. In 1946 Whitey Von Nieda led the Eastern League in scoring and helped Lancaster to the playoffs.
The next season, 1946-1947, Whitey Von Nieda played with the Tri Cities Blackhawks of the National Basketball League, and averaged 12.1 points per game, a total of 726 points. in 1947-48, he scored 641 points, in 64 games for a 10.0 ppg.
On August 3 1949 the National Basketball Association, NBA, comes into being and will start its inaugural season in November 1949. Whitey Von Nieda and the Tri Cities Blackhawks joined the NBA. Note: the Tri-Cities team played in various stadiums around the Chicago area. Whitey Von Nieda was traded to the Baltimore Bullets in mid-season and then quit the NBA for more money to be player/coach with Lancaster of the Eastern League. Presented by basketballhistorian.com
Chuck Connors, 6 ft 5 inches, played pro basketball for 2 years with the Boston Celtics before turning to baseball. He pinch-hit once for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1949 season. The Cubs bought him in 1951 and Connors hit .238, two homers and 18 RBI's.
Connors next landed a small part in a movie with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn - titled 'Pat & Mike'. Then in 1957 he landed the lead role in the television Western - "The Rifleman" which played until 1962. Re-runs of which are being shown now. Chuck Connors has appeared in many movies and dramas since his last major league appearance in 1951. Bio by basketballhistorian.com
Pro basketball history
US Military 1942-45
Forward 6 ft 3 inches NY Gothams 1946-47, Tri Cities
Blackhawks NBL 1947-48, Providence Steamrollers 1947-49,
Baltimore Bullets and Boston Celtics 1948-50
A hustling ballhawk John Ezersky, a star at Power Memorial High School in Washington Heights NY, started pro basketball with the New York Gothams in 1946. A master at scoring while being fouled and then sinking the free throw for a 3-point play, Johnny Ezersky played in the era when players needed jobs in the off-season to supplement their income. He drove a cab for 30 some years in New York City, and 15 years in San Francisco.
‘I started out in the NBL with Tri-Cities Blackhawks and in training all we were paid was meal money,’ recalls John Ezersky. ‘We were so broke that all the players had to chip in for one of us to get bus fare to go over to the club office to collect our meal money.’
Playing for the Boston Celtics of the NBA in the 1948-49 season, John Ezersky scored a career-best 10.3 points per game, solid numbers for this era. John Ezersky career NBA stats: 1031 points scored in 135 games spanning 5 seasons, 7.6 ppg average. Bio by basketballhistorian.com