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1992-1993 Hamilton Skyhawks

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1992 Hamilton SkyhawksWorld Basketball League (1992)
National Basketball League (1993)

Born: 1991 – WBL expansion franchise.
Died: 1993 – The Skyhawks relocate to Edmonton in midseason.

Arena: Copps Coliseum

Team Colors:

Owners:

 

The Hamilton Skyhawks were an Ontario-based minor league basketball team that played for parts of two seasons in the early 1990’s, failing to complete either campaign.

The Skyhawks’ first go around was in the World Basketball League, a circuit which only allowed players 6′ 5″ or shorter.  The WBL featured four franchises in Canada, all of which had some semblance of a following.  The league’s U.S.-based teams were considerably less popular and the whole enterprise fell apart  in July 1992 when it was revealed that the league’s primary patron was funding operations with embezzled money.  The WBL folded in midseason on August 1, 1992.

The group of four Canadian franchises decided to form a new Canada-only league and re-group in 1993.  Well, sort of.  Skyhawks founder Ron Foxcroft was dubious and bailed out of the new effort, dubbed the “National Basketball League“.  But new owners took over the team and kept the Skyhawks going in Hamilton.  The NBL debuted in the spring of 1993.

The new Skyhawks ownership group ran out of momentum as the season wore on.  The Skyhawks qualified for the 1993 NBL playoffs with a 24-22, but abruptly moved to Edmonton just before the playoffs got underway.  Playing as the “Edmonton Skyhawks”, the team lost in the semi-finals to the Cape Breton Breakers.  The team was never heard from again, in either Hamilton or Edmonton.

The rest of the NBL went out of business a year later, midway through the 1994 season.

 

==Downloads & Links==

2012 interview with former WBL Director of Public Relations Jimmy Oldham

 

==Links==

World Basketball League Media Guides

World Basketball League Programs

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1991-1994 Halifax Windjammers

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World Basketball League (1991-1992)
National Basketball League (1993-1994)

Born: 1991 – WBL expansion franchise.
Folded: July 9, 1994

Arena: Halifax Metro Centre (9,851)

Team Colors: Blue & Gold

Owner:

 

World Basketball League Championships: None
National Basketball League Championships: None

 

The Halifax Windjammers were a popular minor league basketball franchise that played parts of four seasons in two different leagues at the Halifax Metro Centre.

The Windjammers started out as a 1991 expansion entry in the World Basketball League, a high-scoring circuit that restricted rosters to players 6′ 5″ tall and under.  Halifax’s WBL opponents included three Canadians teams – the Calgary 88’s, Hamilton Skyhawks, Saskatchewan Storm and Winnipeg Thunder – as well as team scattered across the United States and foreign clubs imported from Europe.

Attendance was strong in Halifax, especially by the standards of the struggling WBL.  The Windjammers were tabbed to host the league All-Star Game during their expansion season.  Heading into the All-Star break, Halifax led the league with average attendance of 5,601 per game, which was more than double the league-wide midseason average of 2,623.  The All-Star Game itself drew 9,160 to the Metro Centre on July 10th, 1991.  The Windjammers finished 1991 at 21 wins and 30 losses and out of playoff contention.

On-court results picked up in 1992 and Halifax sat 4th place in the league with a 19-14 record with a month to go.  But then an accounting scandal sunk the World Basketball League when it was revealed that league coffers were being propped up with funds embezzled by Youngstown Pride owner Mickey Monus from Phar-Mor, his discount pharmacy chain in the United States.  The WBL folded in mid-season on August 1, 1992 and Monus later went to federal prison.

The Windjammers regrouped in 1993 to join the start-up National Basketball League.  The NBL was an All-Canadian minor league, which included fellow WBL refugees the Hamilton Skyhawks and Winnipeg Thunder, along with new clubs in Cape Breton, Montreal and Saskatoon.  If anything, the NBL was even more unstable than the World Basketball League had been.  Montreal folded midway through the 1993 schedule and Hamilton pulled up stakes and moved to Edmonton before the season ended.  In July 1994, the entire league folded without managing to complete it second campaign.  Halifax was in first place at the time with a 15-6 record.

One notable player on the Windjammers roster in 1991 was former University of Indiana star Keith Smart who hit the famous winning shot in the 1987 NCAA title game to lift  IU over Syracuse.

 

==Downloads==

2012 interview with former WBL Director of Public Relations Director Jimmy Oldham

 

 

==Links==

World Basketball League Media Guides

World Basketball League Programs

 

==Additional Sources==

Newcomers Halifax Windjammers Leading WBL in Attendance“, Linda Deckard, Amusement Business, July 22, 1991

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