skiptomylou wrote:Then in the late sixties, the New York Rens reappear as a touring opponent of Marques Hayneâ€™s Fabulous Magicians. They even play in Madison Square Garden (before a Knicks game) and get televised on ABCâ€™s Wide World of Sports. Haynes disbands the Fabulous Magicians after the â€™71-72 season but based on lack of newspaper coverage, the Rens appear to have played their last game under the New York Rens banner the prior season.
Does anyone have more information about the Goose Tatum / Marques Haynes Rens or about Felix and the Rens?
The Philadelphia 76ers tried one of those promotions Wednesday night at the Spectrum. It was called a doubleheader.
The first game brought together the Harlem Magicians and something called the New York Rens. The Rens never had a chance. In the second game, the 76ers handed the Buffalo Graves, supposedly an entry in the National Basketball Association, a 119-104 defeat.
Ray Felix finished college, playing semi-pro basketball, the professional ball for a team in the now-extinct American Basketball League.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did some very good research work, discovering that Douglas bought the name, bought the team back and tried making a go of it in the 50s. Most athletes don't even write their own copy, let alone do genuine research and digging. Many writers these days just reassemble other's writings. Very impressive.
Goose Tatum and his Harlem Roadkings tangle with Satchel Paigeâ€™s famous New York Rens led by Cleveland Harp, high scoring center from the 1961 Indianapolis Olympians of the NBA.
skiptomylou wrote:The next day, the Hartford Courant, reported that the Rens had won 107-77. The box score revealed most of the names described in the previous dayâ€™s article with one notable exception. The Rens center, last name Felix, had 23 points. Perhaps Ray Felix of future NBA fame?
Ray Felix was a star sophomore for LIU in â€™50-51. However, he was without a team in â€™51-52 after LIUâ€™s basketball program was dropped because of its own involvement in the point fixing scandal. (Note: Unlike Warner who served a prison sentence and was banded from the NBA, Felix was not involved and never accused).
Despite being without a team as a junior, Felix was invited to play in the College All Star Game vs the Lakers in Oct â€™52. He scored 11 points that night. Having to wait for his senior class to graduate in â€™53 before he could be drafted by the NBA, Felix spent the 52-53 season with the ABL champion Manchester British-Americans. His 22.0 ppg that season set the ABL record. The Baltimore Bullets chose him as the NBAâ€™s 1st overall pick in 1953. He averaged 16.5 ppg over his 9 year NBA career. He was all star selection in 1954 and also spent that summer touring with the Harlem Globetrotters.
So was Ray Felix also playing for the New York Rens in â€™53? I think itâ€™s very likely. Ray was playing for the ABLâ€™s Manchester, CT team that season. The ABL season was only 28 games long, leaving plenty of time to moonlight. Even if not on the regular Rens roster, the Rens-Hamilton game was conveniently located in nearby Hartford, CT. Two of his ABL teammates were on the opposition along fellow LIU alumni, Eddie Anderson of the Rens â€“ making Ray an easy addition to the Rens roster that night. And how many other centerâ€™s with last name Felix were in the area that day who were capable of scoring 21 points?
Spring 1951 - Playing for LIU. Led the nation in FG percentage.
October 24, 1952 - Plays in College All-Star team vs. Minneapolis Lakers (note he appears to have been a late addition, it was mentioned in Oct. 23, 1952 papers that he was to join the squad. NYT headline (Oct. 22, 1952) suggests he replaced Bob Zawoluk.
"Mikan had his hands full against the All Stars' 6-foot, 10-inch Ray Felix of Long Island University and left the game late in the third quarter with five personals. The game was played under pro rules allowing six personals."
Feb 24, 1953 - Mentions that a player (Eugene Hudgins who was a freshman at Virginia State) previously scored 61 points in a game vs. the Ray Felix All Stars but doesn't give date of game etc. (Newpaper Archive ID# 95385142)
March - April 1953 - Playing for Manchester
April 25, 1953 - Drafted by Baltimore
July 20, 1953 - Signs with Baltimore (Newpaper Archive ID# 4861899)
"The 22-year-old giant is a protege of Bullet Coach Clair Bee, having played under him at Long Island University.
Felix scored 616 points in 28 games for Manchester, Conn., for an average of 22 points per game. In four American League playoff games he tallied 147 points."
October 30, 1953 (Newpaper Archive ID# 3471371)
"Bee in making his first serious pitch at professional coaching has gathered four of the players which were on his 1950-51 LIU squad when scandal erupted. The sport then was dropped at the university and Bee was on the sidelines after 21 years during which he built the Brooklyn school into national champions of 1936, 1939 and 1941.
Back with their old coach are Ray Felix, Al Roges, Harold Uplinger and Rollen Hans. None of them was involved in the bribery blowup.
Uplinger, Hans and Roges left LIU after the scandal to enter the Navy and continued to play together. Felix stayed to get his degree and played semi-pro basketball around New York."
November 1953 - Plays with Baltimore
The Rens rose with a generation of players from the 1910s and 1920s, most of whom had retired by World War II.
Bob Douglas certainly had restocked the team with outstanding young talent by the early 1940s, i.e., Pop Gates, John Isaacs, in an attempt to stay atop the pro basketball world.
But rationing during the war killed the team. Gas was just too expensive to fill up the "Blue Goose," the team bus, and roll.
So just as many early black baseball teams called themselves the Giants, a lot of basketball teams have called themselves the Rens over the decades.
True, Douglas still had his hand in the game a bit, but his glory years were behind him.
Where I'm headed with this is you really can't use the term Rens as an institutional continuum, such as you could today with the Lakers or the Bulls. That's where a lot of people get hung up. Sometimes names, like words, can be misleading.
The Fort Wayne Pistons ran up a healthy half time lead of 36 to 26 over the New York Rens and managed to stave off a second half rally to win, 66-61.
Henry Singleton of the Rens opened the scoring in the first game with a free throw, but Mikan made a field goal and the Lakers never were behind afterward.
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