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HISTORY OF THE WESTERN BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION 1974-75
Contributed by Al Kirk
WBA MEMBERSHIP CHRONOLOGY 1974-75
1974-75
In- Martinez Muirs          1974-75 [charter franchise]
    Sacramento Prospectors  1974-75 [charter franchise]
    San Jose Winchesters    1974-75 [charter franchise]
    San Mateo Suns          1974-75 [charter franchise]
    Stockton Golden Arches  1974-75 [charter franchise]
    Tri-Valley Warriors     1974-75 [charter franchise]

WBA FRANCHISES BY SEASON 1978-79
MAR - Martinez Muirs [Martinez, CA]
SAC - Sacramento Prospectors [Sacramento, CA]
SJW - San Jose Winchesters [San Jose, CA, Santa Clara, CA]
SMS - San Mateo Suns [San Mateo, CA]
STO - Stockton Golden Arches [Stockton, CA and Tracy, CA]
TVW - Tri-Valley Warriors [Livermore, CA and Plesanton, CA]
1974-75 - MAR  SAC  SJW  SMS  STO  TVW
WBA YEARLY STANDINGS 1974-75
1974-75 WBA                W   L  Pct.  GB
Stockton Golden Arches    18  19  .642  ..
Tri-Valley Warriors*      15   9  .625   1.5.5
Sacramento Prospectors    14  13  .518   3.5
San Jose Winchesters      13  15  .464   5.5
Martinez Muirs             8  19  .320   9.5
San Mateo Suns**          ..  ..  ....  ..
*Tri-Valley represented Livermore, CA and Plesanton, CA 
**missing two games, yet to verify their record (10-15 or 11-16) through other
cities newspapers
WBA PLAYOFFS
Stockton forfeits to San Jose
  (Stockton protests, as the WBA league office fails to release League financial
  statements that shows expenditures.  Stockton management questioned where and
  how team entry fees and other investments were used.)
Game 1 at Sacramento - Sacramento 96, Tri-Valley 98   
Game 2 at Sacramento - Sacramento 107, Tri-Valley 101
  Sacramento and Tri-Valley tied at 1 game a piece in best of three (Series not
  finished due to Tri-Valley having played the first two games in Sacramento were
  unable to agree on terms where the deciding game should be played.)
WBA HISTORY
The Western Basketball Association was born as a regional AAU League featuring
several teams from Sacramento and the Bay Area in the early 70's.  Sacramento's
Mel Rapton Pontiac, Martinez Don's, and Oakland were powerhouses in this four year
old AAU league had.
In 1974 the talent level in the league had grown to the point that teams were
recruiting players from back east for semi-pro pay.  The team owners voted to
reorganize and become a full-fledged professional league during the summer of 1974.
Immediately several teams contacted and met with General Managers of the five NBA
Western Division teams in Oakland about becoming farm teams to each of the clubs.
At best all that became of these meetings were agreements to allow players cut
from fall training camps to be signed by WBA teams.  Several Golden State Warriors
and a couple of other players from other western NBA teams played in the league.
Team owners selected Bill Helbush of San Jose as the acting Commissioner and George
Putnam as President of league day to day operations.  Putnam then drew up a 30 game
schedule running from November through March for the 1974-75 season.   Each team
put up a $3,400 entry fee for league administrations and officials.  Each team
negotiated individually for local High Schools or small civic centers for games.  
Average pay for players was to be $25-$50 dollars per game, with exceptional
players receiving more than that.  No salary limit was imposed of team General
Managers.  Average ticket prices were from $2 to $3.50 for all games.  A couple of
the teams had Radio broadcast all games home and away. No three-point line or shot
was used.
As the season began several games quickly came under protest as the officials
chosen by the league were not sure of professional rules.   Also, Martinez with
crowds over a 1,000 for home games, lost their home floor at Alahambra High to
fire and this resulted in a couple of games to be scratched from the schedule.
The Muirs in turn played the remainder of the schedule on the road.  Stockton
rolled to the regular season WBA title behind a potent offense featuring
Errecart, Fox, Stricker, and Foley .  No official league statistics have been
compiled yet; according to newspaper accounts Dave Lee, Johnny Skinner and Frank
Kendricks were among the leading scorers at the end of the season no final numbers
have been found.  WBA leading rebounders reported were Larry Webber, Sacramento,
and Bob Presley of Martinez tied in rebounding with 12.8 rebounds a game. 
Near the end of the regular season WBA General Managers in Stockton and Sacramento
started to question the Commissioner about putting out extra money for other
league teams to finish the season.  In fact Tom Madden, GM at Stockton, pulled the
Golden Arches out of the league at the end of the season forfeiting post season
playoffs  saying, "WBA officials haven't been honest with us.  They have been
using our money and not collecting from some of the rest of teams."  Also, teams
complained of unpaid officials and unpaid insurance and asked for financial
statements to be produced by league Presidents George Putnam to verify
administrative finances.   
Sacramento owners reported a $5,000-$10,000 loss for the season, and even
contacted the NBA for financial help if a second season was to be played.
The plan called for each WBA team to receive $7,500 from the NBA for player
development while allowing individual NBA teams to place their 13th and 14th
player on their rosters on WBA teams.
Overall, attendance actually increased in Sacramento from 300 a game to over 800
fans a game at season end.  Martinez and Stockton also drew well at the gate all
season long.  At this date there is no detailed record found from the NBA's June
meeting which as to rule on helping the WBA (along with the EBA) in providing
financial assistance for minor league teams. 
Meanwhile Tri-Valley was unable to find a home court for the playoffs and
initially agreed to play all three games if necessary in Sacramento.  In the first
game the Warriors knocked off the Prospectors with former Prospector Dennis
Dickens tossing in a 46 footer from near mid court at the buzzer to pull out a
98-96 win.  In Game two the Prospectors came from behind led by Frank Kendricks'
27 points for a 107-101 win to even the series.   However game three was not
played as Commissioner Helbush could not get Tri-Valley to agree to playing a
deciding third game in Sacramento.  "Tri-Valley has refused to play Saturday's
finale against the Prospectors at Memorial Auditorium because of poor officiating.
We either Play on a neutral court or we don't play at all," commented Tri-Valley
team officials.  This further incensed Stockton management as Tom Madden claimed,
" There's just a total lack of credibility with the WBA right now.  The league is
going deeper and deeper into debt and we don't feel like pumping any money into
it."   Also, "When you've paid your money but can't see how it's spent you begin
to have doubts," as WBA officials Helbush and Putnam still hadn't produce
financial statements.   The remainder (if any) of the playoffs is yet to be
determined as further research is needed to see if the season was finished or a
official champion recognized.All the team owners concluded reorganization was
needed immediately if a second season was to be considered, including even
starting another league.  As of now, no record of a new WBA for the '75-'76 has
been found.
         
WBA ROSTERS AND TEAM INFORMATION
STOCKTON GOLDEN ARCHES (18-10)
  G.M./Pres.: Pete Otteson and Tom Madden
  Coach: Bill Stricker (Pacific)
  Arena: Stagg H.S., Stockton, CA. Average attendance 600-800. 
         Also played some games in Tracy, CA.
Name                    Hgt.   College           Known Pro Experience
John Errecart           6-3    Pacific (CA)      GSW - NBA (training camp)
Pat Foley               6-6    Pacific (CA)
Dave Fox                       Pacific (CA)
Bill Stricker           6-9    Pacific (CA)      POR - NBA
Louie Small                    Nevada-Las Vegas
Richard Stallworth             St. Louis U.
George White            6-3
Jim McCargo             6-7    Pacific (CA)
Bucky Snyder                   Pacific (CA)
Bob Thomason            6-2    Pacific (CA)
Dave Gainza                    San Jose St. (CA)
  Salch
Gary Dean
James Smith             6-4
TRI VALLEY WARRIORS (15-9)
  G.M./Pres.:
  Coach: John Phillips (Drake)
  Arena: Plesanton H.S., Plesanton, CA. 
         Alameda Fairgrounds, Livermore, CA.
Name                    Hgt.   College           Known Pro Experience
Willie Wise             6-6    Drake             UTS - ABA,  GSW - NBA
Larry Gray              6-8    Long Beach St.    SEA - NBA
Don Griffin                    Stanford
Girod Chatman
Paul Loveday            6-10   California
Duane Reed                     Portland St.
John Burks              6-7    San Francisco     GSW - NBA (training camp)
Mark Jamieson           6-1
Dennis Dickens          6-6                      PHX - NBA (training camp)
  Thrasher
  Woodford
  Brooks  
  Ray    
SACRAMENTO PROSPECTORS (PROS) (14-13)
  G.M./Pres: Rick Worsley, Hal Wehmerer
  Coach: Fred Lewis (Syracuse)
  Arena: Memorial Auditorium (4,000), Sacramento, CA. Average attendance per game
         around 490.  
Name                    Hgt.   College           Known Pro Experience
Frank Kendrick          6-6    Purdue            GSW - NBA  
Maurice Woodward        6-3
Issac Fontaine          6-3    Cal-Poly
Lloyd Behrens           6-6    Sacramento St.
Larry Webber            6-7    Oregon State U.
Mike LaRoche            6-4    Cal-Poly
Gordy Newton            6-6    Sacramento St.
John Mulligan           6-10   New Mexico
Seymour Reed            6-8    Bradley           LAL - NBA (training camp)
Byron Jones                    Los Angeles St.
Dennis Dickens          6-8    Azuza Pacific
Steve Smith             6-9    Loyola (CA)       GSW - NBA (training camp)
George Putnam           6-0    Santa Clara
Norman Knowles
Donovan Hunter          6-9    Monmouth College  BOS - NBA (training camp)
  Kelley
Bill Bridges            6-6    Kansas            STL/ATL/PHI/LAL/GST - NBA, 
                                                 KCS - ABL (signed - DNP)
SAN JOSE WINCHESTERS (13-15)
  G.M./Pres.: Pete Newell (San Jose St.)
  Coach: Pete Newell, along with Player-Coach Bob Scotlan(d)
  Arena: San Jose City C.C., San Jose, CA.
         Santa Clara H.S., Santa Clara, CA.   
Name                    Hgt.   College           Known Pro Experience
Bob Scotlan                    Portland U.
Clarence "Tree" Johnson 6-6    California        GSW - NBA (training Camp),
                                                 Martinez - WBA
Johnny Skinner          6-1    San Jose St.
Frank Mixon                    Denver U.
Herman Brown            6-8    St. Mary's (CA)
Leon Beauchman                 San Jose St.
Roy Brown               6-5    St. Mary's (CA)          (Indiana - AABA 1977), NABL/CBL
                                                 in the Midwest)
Vince Lombard                  St. Mary's (CA)
Eric Saulney            6-0    San Jose St.
David Payne             6-8    Long Beach St (CA)
Don Orndorff            6-6    San Jose St.
Bob Johnson             6-3    California
Dave Lattin             6-7    Texas Western
(Ben?) Hill            (6-8)   (Fresno St.)
  Sipp
  Perkins
  Perry
Dave Dockery            6-6    San Jose St.
SAN MATEO SUNS (TBD 10-15 or 11-16)
  G.M./Pres.:
  Coach:Russ "Rusty"  Critchfield (California)
  Arena: ??
Name                    Hgt.   College           Known Pro Experience
Gary Bradford           6-3    San Francisco St.
Bob Heaney              6-7    Santa Clara       GSW - NBA (training camp)
Norman Knowles          6-9    Nevada-Las Vegas
Wilbert Miles           6-3    Santa Clara
Vance DeVost                   San Francisco St.
Mel Lee
  Bouton      
  Pandiani
  Carey
Kevin Eagleson          5-10   Santa Clara
Roy Rogers                     Texas
David Brent             7-1    Jacksonville
Willard Rance
MARTINEZ MUIRS (8-17)
  G.M./ Pres.:
  Coach:
  Arena: Alahambra H.S., Martinez, CA (Fire destroys gym near the end of season,
         forced to play all road games) Reported attendances for home games
         average around 1,000.
Name                    Hgt.   College           Known Pro Experience
Dave Lee                6-7    San Francisco     NOR - NBA
Harry Brown                    St. Marys (CA)
Mike Stewart            6-10   Santa Clara
Stanford Williams    
  Cohrs
Louis Wright                   Sacramento St.
Bob Presley             7-0    California
Charlie Lowery          6-3    U. Puget Sound    MIL - NBA
Clarence "Tree" Johnson 6-6    California        San Jose - WBA
Pete McKinney
Pat Douglas                    Pacific (CA)
  Correll
  Robinson
  Sharrock