Lucania Undertakers, one of the top amateur men's teams in Chicago during the 1930s, winning a number of local championships in the city, notably the American Tournament in 1936 and the Windy City League title in 1937.
The Lucania Undertakers first made an impact on the Chicago basketball scene in the 1935-36 season, when it won the American Tournament, the local AAU tournament sponsored by the Chicago American newspaper. That year, the team included forwards Peter “Red” Kraus, Gene Godina, and Emanuel "Gugs" Guagliardo; guards Joe Canizzo, Joe Desiderato, and Frank Bryski; and center Joe Frivaldsky, as well as Joe Behoff, Fred Scheible, and Tony Skszynta. The team edged the Montgomery V-8, 29 to 26, for the Men’s Major title.
In the Central AAU tournament that followed, the Lucania Undertakers again made it to the championship game, but was edged out for the title by the Western Austins of Aurora, 24 to 23. The Lucanias had earlier beaten the Illinois College of Optometry in the semi-finals by a similarly close score, 19-18, to advance. Selected for the All-Tournament team for the Central Tournament, was Lucania guard Peter “Red” Kraus.
In the 1936-37 season, the Lucania Undertakers changed sponsorship and competed as the Lucania Owl Indians. Throughout the season the team competed primarily in the Windy City League. The team’s starting lineup was forwards Joe Canizzo and Gene Godina, guards Peter “Red” Kraus and Red Hayes, and center Joe Frivaldsky. League games were played Tuesday and Thursday nights at St. Philip High gymanasium on the city’s west side, the Owl Indians competed against Maywood Sports, Rival Dog Foods, Brandt Florals Magic Chefs (Harvey), Collegians and Homer Gwinns. The end of the season saw Lucania win the title, beating the Rival Dog Foods 2-1 in a three-game playoff between the first round winner (Lucania) and the second season winner (Rivals). The final game in the St. Philip gym saw the team beat the Rivals 28-25.
The Owl Indians also competed in 1936-37 as the St. Cyr Council team in the Knights of Columbus Basketball League.
In the 1937-38 season, the Lucania Owl Indians became the Representative Petrones and competed in the Windy City League. The Petrones were eliminated in the semi-finals of the league tournament by the Cicero Merchants. The Petrones were the first-round winners in the 1938-39 season, but lost the finals playoffs to the Frankie Harmons.
The Lucania Undertakers were revived in the 1938-39 season, when the company sponsored an age-group team for boys under 18. That team competed in the American Tournament and won the Boys Under 18 championship, by defeating the Circle Squares 36 to 27 in the title game. The game featured a spectacular performance by Lucania player and former Lane Tech High School star, Melvin Frailey, who tossed in ten baskets and five free throws to score 25 of the team’s 36 points.