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American Basketball League Suspends Operations

Jan. 1, 1963 - With all clubs operating in the red, the American Basketball League has suspended operations and thrown some 100 players on the market as free agents. “Not a single club was operating in the black,” said Commissioner Abe Saperstein (pictured with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1951). He announced the decision yesterday after telephone conferences with club directors. One ABL innovation was the 3-point field goal initiated for shots made 25 feet or more from the basket. It is unclear if the NBA is considering adopting the three-point field goal. Several NBA clubs are in touch with ABL players to whom they have rights through draft and trade procedure. The prize catch may be the former Ohio State All-American Jerry Lucas. The rights to Lucas are held by the Cleveland Pipers. That franchise withdrew from the ABL and sought an NBA franchise without avail. Lucas has not played a pro game so far. He was a draft choice of the Cincinnati Royals.


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