Posted 4 years ago
The early AAU Touring Teams are by some accounts considered the predecessor to the NBA which was not organized until 1946.
Non college basketball trade cards did not exist at this time so this is likely quite a scarce national basketball printed paper collectable.
Starting in 1897 only 5 AAU National tournaments were held before this 1910 top US touring team match. This particular one resulted ultimately with the 36-14 win by Portage Wisconsin’s National Guard Unit Company F against the Premier Lodge of St Louis Missouri. The Knickerbocker AC(AC=Athletic Club ?) had won 2 of the earlier years championships. This Portage Co. F team had some long acknowledged superior players on it. 2 time NCAA Division I Consensus All-America Selection Wisconsin Badger player Helmer Swenholt is pictured here , years 1908 & 1909, and another All-America Selection Badger player for 1908 Hugh Harper is also pictured. Likely their careers might have been quite different if modern era commercial big time Professional basketball had been available to them at the time.
Note that The Spalding Trophy name is miss-spelled as the Spaulding Trophy. This probably wouldn’t have gone down well with the AG Spalding & Bros. Company had they been aware of it which leads me to believe this may have been a very limited local area printing run.