In 1918, Passon, Hughie Black and Eddie Gottlieb organized an amateur team under the Young Men's Hebrew Association (which provided the uniforms). After the YMHA withdrew its sponsorship in 1921, they found a home at the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association. The social club provided uniforms with the acronym SPHAs across the chest in Hebrew letters.
Following the 1921 season, the uniforms had become too ragged to wear, but there was no money for new ones. In response, Passon, Black, and Gottlieb started a local sporting goods store, Passon's (which became a city landmark) in order to pay for the uniforms. Still, the club's name would be forever known as the Philadelphia Sphas! The Sphas became one of the greatest barnstorming teams in the early professional basketball and under the leadership of Gottlieb, dominated any league they entered.
Birth and Death Dates:
From 1920-1922, Passon was the head coach at the University of Science in Philadelphia and compiled a record of 15-10.
Use links below to navigate through the basketball section of Jews In Sports.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER IMAGES
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
Ellis Island to Ebbets Field, by Peter Levine (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992)