Law School to hold talk on historic basketball league

Penn State Law will hold a panel discussion on “Legal, Economic, International, and Social Equity Aspects of Professional Basketball “on March 2, centering on "The National Basketball League: A History, 1935-1949," by Murry R. Nelson, professor emeritus at Penn State. Nelson is a sports historian whose prior work includes a history of the Boston Celtics and biographies of Bill Russell and Shaquille O’Neal. The book traces the history of a league operating primarily in the Midwest and building major franchises with hometown loyalties. The league was the first major professional basketball league to racially integrate.

Panelists include:

  • Chad Carlson, professor of kinesiology at Penn State Altoona. Carlson will address the National Baseball League (NBL) in the context of the increasing internationalization of basketball at the time.
  • James B. Stewart, professor emeritus of labor and industrial relations on the faculties of both Penn State Greater Allegheny and University Park. A former vice provost for educational equity, Stewart will address the NBL's role in racial integration.
  • Stephen F. Ross, professor of law at Penn State and director of the Institute for Sports Law, Policy, and Research. Ross will discuss why NBL owners chose to merge with the more profit-oriented Basketball Association of America to form the NBA.

Co-sponsored by the Smeal Center for Sports Business & Research, this event is open to the public and begins at 1 p.m. in room 112 of the Lewis Katz Building on Penn State's University Park campus. The talk will be simulcast to room 114 of Lewis Katz Hall in Carlisle, Pa.

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Last Updated July 22, 2015