Scranton Professional Basketball

Scranton has a long history in the EBL and CBA
Scranton Miners (1954-1970)
Scranton Apollos (1970-1977)
Pennsylvania Barons (1979-1980)
Scranton Aces (1980-1981)

Scranton competed in the old Eastern Basketball League. They won championships in 1957, 1971 and 1977. Scranton had many notable players throughout the years including Willie Somersett, Bill Spivey, Charlie Criss, Rory Sparrow and Jim Boeheim. Penn State great Jesse Arnelle played for the Hazelton Mountaineers. Jack Molinas, Bill Spivey, Bob McDonald all were unofficially banned from the NBA (for point shaving or in Spivey’s case refusing to testify) but thrived in the EBL. Bill Spivey played for both the Wilkes Barre and Scranton franchises.

The Eastern League was a weekend only league. The players played the games in high school gym or whatever was available. The Scranton franchise played at the Old Scranton Catholic Youth Center. It is currently being used by Lackawanna College. It was capable of seating approximately 2500 fans.



  1. I am trying to obtain statistics and other data onthe Scranton Apollos during the time I played with then under Stan Novak in 1976-77

    • Roscoe,

      I remember you, Bubba Gary, Richie Cornwall, Charlie Criss, Mac Daugherty, Phil Brown, Al Henry, Hugo (I do not remember his last name), Bernie Harris, and I am sure other players whose names escape me now playing at the CYC while I was a student at the University of Scranton. I was there the night you guys won the championship. I was one of the fans who mobbed you guys after you won. I was also in the locker room toasting your championship with some other fans they let in.

      It was so sweet because you won 2 games in a row without Charlie Criss who I believe was in Europe playing basketball. I remember Richie Cornwall scoring 40 some points in a game against Allentown at Allentown during the championship series.

      I also saw you guys play the previous season when Charlie scored 72 points in a double overtime win over Hazelton. The team also included Jeff Rusch from Monmouth College and Cyril Baptiste.

      I enjoyed the Apollos very much and was sad when they left the Scranton area.

      • Roscoe Wilson
        Thanks for you reply! It was a pleasant surprise. I have been trying to catch up with some of those guys like Charlie Criss, Bubba Gary, Phil Brown, Cyril Baptiste. I also was trying to find some old articles from that time to show my daughter, and son. If you come up on some of that stuff or know where I can find it, please let me know. Do you know what happened to the coach at that time, Stan Novak? I hope all is well with you?

  2. 1976-77 EBA W L Pct. GB
    Allentown Jets 21 5 .808 ..
    Scranton Apollos 20 6 .769 1
    Lancaster Red Roses 12 10 .545 7
    Brooklyn Pros/Wilkes-Barre Barons 8 10 .444 9
    Hartford Downtowners 5 19 .208 15
    Hazleton Bullets/Shore Bullets 3 18 .143 15.5
    Syracuse Centennials* 8 9 .471 ..

    *Syracuse disbanded during the season

    Allentown 124, Scranton 123
    Scranton 139, Allentown 128
    Scranton 127, Allentown 123
    Scranton 102, Allentown 101

    • You can call me Rich. Thanks for responding. I had a lot of fun at the Apollos games. I remember how happy the owner, Art Packter (I am not sure of the spelling) was when you guys won. He spent a lot of time talking with the fans who congratulated him on the championship after the game.

      A few years ago I ran into a former EBA player named Carmichael. I was in a CVS and wearing a University of Scranton shirt. He started talking to me about playing in the EBA. Unfortunately at that moment I did not remember having seen him play against the Apollos at Scranton.

      As far as getting articles are concerned, the Scranton Times covered your games. Perhaps an e mail to the sports department may help you there. The Allentown team was covered by the Morning Call, that could be another source for you.

      I will also try and come up with some other sources for you.

      nice to hear from you,


  3. Pingback: Catholic Air Force Chaplain Nominated for Induction to Alma Mater’s Athletic Hall of Fame - Archdiocese for the Military, USAArchdiocese for the Military, USA

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