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Bessemer Whiz Kids logo Association for Professional Basketball Research

Team and League History


December 27, 1947
Southern Professional Basketball League commissioner Raymond Johnson announces in Nashville that Bessemer has replaced Gadsden as home city for the Whiz Kids franchise.

No reasons were given for the move, but an 0-8 record and low fan interest no doubt played a large role in the move.

Plans are for the team to split their games at the Bessemer High School gym and Birmingham's National Guard Armory.

The three Spitzer brothers, Raymond, Lloyd, and Herbert, will follow the club to Bessemer and Clifford Kyle will remain as head coach.

Birmingham is already home to another SPBL team, the Birmingham Vulcans.
 
1947-48
  Southern Professional Basketball League   
   Birmingham Vulcans
   Gadsden Whiz Kids / Bessemer Whiz Kids
   Houston Mavericks
   Jackson Senators 
   Memphis Legionnaires
   Montgomery Rebels
   Nashville Vols
 
January 12, 1948
The SPBL announces the Memphis Legionnaires franchise will move to Mobile and become the Mobile Bears. Games will be played in Mobile's Recreation Center.

March 2, 1948
Johnson announces that Birmingham, Montgomery, and Nashville will form the playoff teams after Jackson withdraws due to injuries to three of their players.

The three teams will play one another until a team has lost three games. Then, the remaining two teams will play a best three out of five series for the championship.

Epilogue
The Bessemer Whiz Kids decide to fold after the season completes. The city's other Southern Professional Basketball League team also folds. However, the SPBL does play again in 1948-49 and it will have another local team as a member, the Birmingham Steelers.
 
 
 
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Last update: August 17, 2018