Knickerbocker Athletic Club
Knickerbocker Athletic Club, of New York City, was a pioneer in the early years of amateur basketball, winning a number of basketball titles, including the 1899 and 1900 national AAU tournaments, before the club closed down in 1902.
The Knickerbocker Athletic Club (KAC) was established in 1896 at a large imposing facility at 45th Street and Madison in midtown Manhattan, and soon gain a name for itself in the sponsorship of many athletic teams—football, track, swimming, water polo, and notably basketball. The team’s emblem was a cherry-colored diamond. The first season of basketball, 1896-97, the team starters were D. Reuss (center), J. M. Kinney (right forward), B. Keown (left forward), B. I. Kinney (right guard), and C M. Carbonell (left guard). Their coach was G. A. Salmon.
The following year, an AAU championship, presumably of the Metropolitan AAU, was held in April of 1898 at the clubhouse, and the Knickbocker team played such competitors as the 1897 national champs, the 23rd Street YMCA, and the 4th Separate Company from Yonkers. In this 1897-98 season, the team garnered a 21 and 7 record. Players in 1898 were Stripple, Meyerhoff, Cornish, D. Reuss, Ficke, Waters, Captain J. M. Kinney, and B. Keown.
In a round-robin competition, the Knickerbockers won the 1899 national AAU championship, held at the Knickerbocker Athletic Club on Manhattan. The players that year included Weiss, Stripple, Cornish, Dietrich, and veterans B. Keown and D. Reuss. The tournament field consisted of six teams, KAC coming out on top with a 5-0 record. Other teams competing were the Cleveland Basket Ball Team, Bay Ridge Athletic Club, Nassau Wheelmen, Manhattan Basket Ball Team, and the Washington Heights YMCA.
In 1900, the Knickerbockers repeated in a round-robin championship held at the Knickerbocker club building. The players that year included holdovers from the previous year, Stripple, B. Keown, Linder, and D. Reuss; plus Grennhall, Quigg, Brocker, and Patterson.
After 1900, the club began falling into financial difficulty and it closed its doors in 1902. Another Knickerbocker team in New York was formed a few years later, but it had nothing to do with the old Knickerbocker Athletic Club.