The Ravenswood YMCA, of Chicago, Illinois, an early pioneer in basketball and winner of the National AAU men championship in 1901 and a power in Chicago amateur basketball in the 1890s and early 1900s.
Chicago YMCAs were experimenting with basketball as early as the late spring of 1892. Ravenswood YMCA was one of the first members of the YMCA Basketball League that formed in Chicago in 1893, joining Central YMCA, West Side YMCA, German YMCA, and Englewood YMCA. Ravenswood won the league's first two titles in 1893 and 1894. In the 1894-95 season Hull House and the University of Chicago joined league. Ravenswood tied with West Side YMCA for second place behind Central YMCA in 1895.
By 1900, the team had some of the keys in its future championship lineup, with H. Reckard at center, Bauman at left forward, Hazer at right forward, Krafterfer at right guard (called back then), and George Lorentzen at left guard. The team in early March met the National Guard Company E team, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, losing to them 17-15 in the Ravenswood's home gymnasium. Reckard, Krafterfer, and Hazer had started at Central YMCA for several years and were quality veterans.
The 1901 National AAU tournament was held in Chicago in the second week of March at the Coliseum as part of the First Annual Sportsmen’s Show, sponsored by the International Forest, Fish, and Game Association. The tournament was conducted as a round robin format, and participants beside Ravenswood YMCA and National Guard Company E, were Stevens Point, Wisconsin; West Side YMCA; Kenton; the University of Minnesota; University of Nebraska; Kenton; and a deaf mute team from New York called the Silent Five.
The Ravenswood YMCA champions got to the title game by a highly contentious and disputed path. The officials had planned on the round robin determining the championship, but on March 12 decided to finish with a playoff. The round robin series had up to that point left Ravenswood and the Company E team each with 2-1 records, and Stevens Point and Kenton each with 3-1 records. The officials ruled that in the afternoon Ravenswood and Company E would play each other and Stevens Point and Kenton would play each other, and the winners of each game would play for the championship that night.
The Kenton team refused to play the afternoon game, objecting to playing two games in one day. The Stevens Point team asserted it had not been notified. When neither team showed up at their appointed playoff time, the officials credited each with a forfeit, making the afternoon game between the Ravenswood the Company E the championship game.
The members of the Ravenswood YMCA team in the championship game were starters George Lorentzen at guard, Rowley at guard, H. Reckard at forward, Albertson at forward, and Anderson at center. Reserves included Washburn at forward and Krafterfer at center; although Krafterfer was more of an alternate center, replacing Anderson for the entire second half.