Possner, Lou : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Possner, Lou

Louis Possner

Possner played at DePaul University in the late 1930s and was named All-America his senior season (1940), when he led the Blue Demons to a fourth-place finish in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). After his college career, Possner played professionally in the National Basketball League (NBL) and the American Basketball League (ABL) in the 1940s.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Aug. 11, 1917 - d. March 6, 1990

Career Highlights:
After an All-State career at Marshall High School in Chicago, Possner was an outstanding forward for DePaul from 1938-1940. In his senior season, Possner was named Madison Square Garden second team All-America, leading DePaul to a 21-4 regular season record. They played in the third annual NIT (National Invitational Tournament) and faced the defending tournament champions, LIU (Long Island University) in the first round. Possner scored a team-high 11 points as DePaul upset LIU, 45-38 (quite an accomplishment, since the Blackbirds were led by Butch Schwartz and Ossie Schectman).

In the semifinals, Possner again led DePaul in scoring with 13 points, but they lost to Colorado, 52-37; Possner was praised by the New York Times as, a wizard in the pivot position. (March 14, 1940) In the consolation game, the Blue Demons played Oklahoma A&M and lost 23-22 as Possner was held to only five points. He averaged 9.7 points per game in the tournament.

After graduating from DePaul, Possner played professionally in the National Basketball League (NBL) and in the American Basketball League (ABL). At the time, there were two major professional leagues in the U.S., with the NBL based in the Midwest and the ABL in the East. Possner played sporadically in the NBL and parts of two seasons with the ABL. In 1940-41, Possner began his professional career as he played in two games for the Philadelphia Sphas (the nickname stood for the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association). The Sphas won the league championship that year.

The following season, he switched leagues and played in the NBL with the Chicago Bruins - Lou played in four games during the season and scored five points. Then, in 1944-45, Possner was a member of the ABL-affiliated Paterson Crescents (the franchise moved from Washington in the middle of the season). That season, Possner played in seven games and averaged 6.6 points per game for the last-place Crescents (3-23). Two years later, in his final professional season, he played three games for the Syracuse Nationals and scored nine points.


Career Dates:
Possner played forward at DePaul University from 1938-1940. He played in the NBL with the Chicago Bruins, 1941-42 and the Syracuse National, 1946-47; and in the ABL for the Philadelphia Sphas, 1940-41, and the Paterson Crescents in 1944-45.

Physical description:

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
Ronald Encyclopedia of Basketball, edited by William G. Mokray (Ronald Press: 1962)

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