The Oshkosh All-Stars, a professional basketball team based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. From 1937 to 1948 they played in the National Basketball League, a professional league with teams mainly in the Midwest. The team appeared in the NBL finals five consecutive years (1938-1942), winning twice. The All-Stars were a strong enough team that they were invited nine times to participate in the World Professional Basketball Tournaments, winning it in 1942.
At the urging of Oshkosh Daily Northwestern sports editor Arthur Heywood, Lou Darling organized the All-Stars before the 1929-30 season and served as promoter, coach and general manager until they folded in 1949. Keeping them afloat was no easy task, considering the All-Stars played their home games first at Oshkosh Recreation Gym and later at two Oshkosh junior high gymnasiums, but Darling somehow managed. Moreover, he led them to two National Basketball League championships and six division titles during the league's 12 years of existence. Thanks largely to Darling's tireless efforts, the All-Stars were one of the dominant teams in professional basketball for two decades.
The All-Stars met with immediate success. They ended the 1929-30 season in style, picking up Class of 1930 stars Bud Foster (University of Wisconsin) and Branch McCracken (Indiana University), who helped the team to a 30-23 win over the Chicago Majestic, and the Midwest pro basketball championship.
National Basketball League
In the twelve year history of the NBL, the All-Stars played in the championship series six times (including the first five seasons), winning the title in 1941 and 1942.
World Professional Basketball Tournament
Oshkosh was invited to participate in nine of the ten World Professional Basketball Tournaments. With a cumulative record of 20-10, the All-Stars played in and won more tournament games than any other power of the day, including the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, the New York Rens and the Harlem Globetrotters.
The All-Stars won the tournament in 1942, defeating the Detroit Eagles, 43-41, in the championship game. They were tournament finalists in the inaugural tournament in 1939, losing only to the legendary New York Rens, 34-25. They were bridesmaids again in 1941 (losing a close one to the Detroit Eagles, 39-37), 1943 (defeated by the Rens, playing as the Washington Bears, 43-31), and 1946 (losing to the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, 73-57). In 1942 All-Star Ed Riska was named Tournament MVP.