Chicago’s Showcase of Basketball
by John Schleppi
The World Tournament of Champions was the forerunner of the era of professional basketball as we know it today. Begun as one of the All-Star tournaments that Chicago newspapers promoted in baseball and football, it provided a national stage for this regional, basically barnstorming sport, to show the potential that was to end with the domination of the sport as we know it today.
The Tournament lasted from 1939 until 1949 when the National Basketball League merged with the Basketball Association of America to form the National Basketball Association. From the teams and players of the tournament came the future of the NBA.
John Schleppi has meticulously researched this early era of American sports history; an era that was indeed the professional version of our current collegiate March Madness. The book includes complete box scores of all games and illustrations from the collection of Bill Himmelman.