In past articles I’ve discussed and looked into a few of the professional basketball teams that have been hosted in the Derby City, most notably the Kentucky Colonels who, without question are the most famous.
Surely though, one couldn’t think that a city as obsessed with basketball as this one is would have only one professional team in the city’s history.
So, seeing as how so many of our collective attentions are turning to the world of basketball this time of year I thought it would be a good time to take a look at Louisville’s past professional basketball teams.
Now, the story starts in 1947 with the Louisville Colonels, everybody knows the Colonels and besides I’ve already told their story. Check it out here.
During the 1950’s professional sports were really just starting to find their footing in the United States, gaining more popularity and more revenue. This meant that several leagues in major American sports began popping up around the country.
The National Professional Basketball League was one such league, despite a strong national presence the league disbanded after only one season. However, in that season the Louisville Alumnites placed second in the league’s “Eastern Division.”
Later in 1983 the Louisville Catbirds became members of the Continental Basketball Association, a league which held a unique title- that is of the oldest professional basketball league in the United States. In fact, it is still technically in operation but has been on a hiatus since 2009.
The Catbirds remained in the “middle of the pack” so to speak until the team’s eventual move to LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
A few years later in the early 90’s Louisville housed a minor-league team in the Global Basketball Association. The Louisville Shooters proved themselves a strong franchise, however the league was forced to disband after only two seasons.
Most recently, in 2007 was the Kentucky Retros, who joined the rebuilt American Basketball Association league. The team played only a season though.
Image courtesy of the Utah Athletic Foundation