14 thoughts on “Parks and Recreation Basketball, circa 1950

  1. Tall Firs Redux. #12 rejects the shot of the Harvester Star player. Nice clean block. I bet #12 could dunk, even back in 1950. Looks like the old Benson gym, but that’s just a guess.

  2. Yes, based on one image I believe airborne #12 got the better of his opposite number on this night.

  3. Edge Lord: #12 could probably dunk, but the the NBA gives credit for the first dunk to George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers in 1961. (Yes, I know that this is not the NBA.) Some people think that in the earlier professional basketball days that the dunk was illegal, but it never was. It was, however, banned from 1967 – 1976 in college.

    Joan: I agree with you that it looks like the old Grant HS gym, but I suppose many HS gyms looked the same back then.

  4. Looks like the old Grant gym to me. Or more correctly the girls gym when I went there ’65-’69. The new gym or boys gym was torn down last November.

  5. I went to Grant from 2002-2006 and I don’t think this is Grant. If it is showing the west corner of the old gym (as we called it) there was a door leading to the 2nd-floor track where that blank sign is in the photo. If it’s showing the east side, there should be a door to an office where all the people are sitting in the corner. There was also signage – when I went there – that looked like it was from the 30s-40s and it’s not present in this photo. Just my take. I wish it was Grant, but it must be another high school or other gym.

  6. Look at those shoes the players are wearing, not a Nike, Reebok, Adidas in sight.
    The women against the back wall on the left are all wearing the same plaid pants or they’re all sharing a long blanket across their laps. I think I see Eddie Haskell.

  7. The teams competing in this photo are the “International Harvester Stars” and the “NW School of Photography.” They were two of many company-sponsored teams organized through the Portland Parks Bureau that would attract local teens who did not qualify to sign up for varsity teams in high schools and colleges, but wanted to play basketball. There teams formed the “Portland Basketball Association,” which was the brainchild of Parks Bureau employee Charles B. Walker (1905-2001). He launched this initiative in 1934-35, and it appears to still be a going concern. Walker spearheaded the drive to convince area high schools to let their gymnasiums be used for these amateur hoop ball games. Yeah, the gym shown here also reminds me of the Grant HS (my alma mater) “old gym” with the upper level track paved with cork sheet. There must have been many such elevated tracks in rainy Portland.

  8. I believe it is Benson High School. I played intramural B Ball there in the 60’s. It’s a little smaller gym than the old gym at Grant but also has a track at the mezzanine level

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