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Apr 5, 2021

Founded as the "Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League" for its first season in post-war 1946 - and later (1970-78) known as the Eastern Basketball Association before eventually morphing into the NBA's semi-official minor-league Continental Basketball Association - the Eastern Professional Basketball League was the probably greatest pro hoops circuit you've never heard of.

The EPBL was a fast-paced and physical affair, often played in tiny, smoke-filled gyms across the northeast and featuring standout players who found themselves "boxed out" of the NBA for a variety of reasons - unspoken quotas on Black players (like Hal “King” Lear, Julius McCoy, & Wally Choice), collegiate point-shaving scandals (e.g., Sherman White, Jack Molinas, Bill Spivey), or simply the harsh math of a 1950s/60s NBA that counted less than 100 roster slots total across its 8-10 franchises.

Syl Sobel and Jay Rosenstein ("Boxed Out of the NBA: Remembering the Eastern Professional Basketball League") join the show to delve into the fascinating story of a league that, for over 30 years, was the next-best professional league in the world after the NBA.

And featured a bevy of eventual basketball luminaries - like Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim, former Temple University coach John Chaney, former Detroit Pistons player & coach Ray Scott, former NBA coach & TV analyst Hubie Brown, and former NBA player & coach Bob Weiss - who went on to make their marks upon the modern game.
If you remember teams like the Scranton Milers, Wilkes-Barre Barons, Sunbury Mercuries or Allentown Jets - this is the episode for you!

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