Not to be a creepy white guy or anything, but I’ve picked up a small habit over the last few months. I thought it would be cool to have some old team pictures of basketball squads from the years gone by, you know, to hang near the hoop in the barn for the wedding – and it turns out eBay has a few gems tucked away in the attics of America.
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The great thing about this one is not just the weirdly cute pose, not just the basketball bonnets they’re wearing, but that it was taken in goddamn 1911. This was only a few scant years after the game was invented; UNC fielded its first basketball squad that same year and played the likes of the Durham YMCA. Some scribbles on the back of the photo suggest this was taken at a high school in Iowa.
This picture was shot in 1926, so there’s a slight chance that one of these girls is actually still alive (albeit 97 or so). The basketball says “L.C. ’26,” which must have been a women’s college with a forward-thinking sports department. Dig the white Chuck Taylors – those shoes were used in the NBA clear until the late 1960s.
As suspected, this is my favorite. This is the 1913 team of either Mentor or Minford high school in Southern Ohio (even though Minford says their first team was in 1923, I think they might be wrong). A nattily-uniformed bunch of dapper young men, it looks like they were fierce on the court – and if you concentrate on the front right two guys, it seems that things were just as hot when the final horn sounded. Ah, the roaring twenties!