The Sheboygan Redskins - The Other One Season NBA Team
Credit: NBA Hoops Online
Yes... you read that right. The Sheboygan Redskins are one of the NINE teams that have only played one season in the NBA. However, previous to being an NBA team, the Sheboygan Redskins played in the National Basketball League (NBL) for eleven seasons. In addition, after one season in the NBA, the team would still play one more season in the National Professional Basketball League (NPBL).
Before discussing the Sheboygan Redskins one season in the NBA, let's go over their origins and the teams' performance when they were a part of the NBL.
National Basketball League and Redskin's Origin
First off, what even was the National Basketball League?
The NBL was a professional basketball league that was established in 1937. Throughout its twelve-year history, the NBL had thirty-eight different teams. The NBL was quite lenient on the playing schedule for each NBL team. As long as the team played at least ten games, with four of them on the road, they were fine. By the 1949 NBL season, the NBL would merge with the Basketball Association of America (BAA) to create the NBA.
Hopefully, now that you know a bit about the NBL, we can now delve into the origins of the Sheboygan Redkins and their success in the NBL throughout their eleven-year lifespan.
As the name suggests, the Redskins were based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Before joining the NBL, the team had already found success as a professional basketball team, but under a different name, the Ballhorns. They were considered one of the best teams in the Midwest.
Interestingly, the teams' name would change constantly depending on who sponsored the team. In 1933, the team was known as the Ballhorns because a furniture store and funeral parlor sponsored them. Two years later, the teams' name would change to the Enzo Jels as the team was sponsored by gelatin producer, Enzo Pac.
Here is where we face a problem. According to Wikipedia, the Enzo Jels played in the 1937-38 NBL season. Still, since they weren't recognized as a professional NBL team, they are not included in Basketball Reference, so I can't find their Win/Loss record or player stats.
They were only admitted as an official NBL team in the following 1938-39 NBL season. Once they were admitted as an official NBL team, the Jels would be taken over by a group of local business leaders that would change the team name to the Sheboygan Redskins!
Since the team was a part of the NBL for ELEVEN years, I won't be going over each season. I'll go over what I think are the most important seasons and go over the teams' best players along the way!
The Eleven Year Journey: 1938-49
In the Sheboygan Redskins' first season in the NBL, under head coach Edwin Shuttle, they would go 11-17. A disappointing start to their eleven-year journey. Of the eight NBL teams, the team had the second-worst record.