Once Upon a Time–Eastern Iowa Had a Team in the NBA
A number of years ago we had a story about eastern Iowa's former NBA team. Let's expand on that piece of Iowa sports history.
The Waterloo Hawks of the NBA were the only professional sports franchise ever in the Hawkeye State to be a member of the major professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL). The Hawks were founded in 1948 and owned by P.L. "Pinkie" George.
According to nbahoopsonline.com, the team was named after Chief Blackhawk, "who led a long-standing war against the US Government in the area in the 19th century."
Though the Hawks were in the NBA just one season, they can claim they are one on a very short list of basketball teams to play in three separate leagues in three different years.
The site continues:
The Hawks started out in the National Basketball League, and when the NBL merged with the BAA they moved to the NBA. After one season in the NBA they and several other former NBL teams were forced out and formed the NPBL. The NPBL didn't last a full season before it and the Hawks disbanded.
Their coach, Charley Shipp, clearly wasn't elite at his profession. He probably didn't have much talent to help him, either.
Here's a list of some of the 'best' players in the team's brief history -- with very minimal stats to go off of. This is according to en.hispanosnba.com:
The team played in the McElroy Auditorium in Waterloo, which was built in 1919. It housed just, 5,155 people. Now referred to as the Hippodrome where the Waterloo Blackhawks play, it has a capacity of 7,000.
The overall worth of the franchise was $105,000. The average value for an organization in the NBA today is $2.2 BILLION DOLLARS.
You can blame inflation, or you blame the awful product basketball was in the '40s and '50s.
Look at this:
I mean, I'm 5'9, am an average athlete at best, and didn't play varsity basketball in high school. I would wipe the floor with these guys.