Leroy Edwards
- World Professional Basketball Tournament -

| 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 |

World Professional Basketball Tournament

One event the Oshkosh All Star team participated in was the World Professional Basketball Tournament (aka World's Championship Basketball Tournament) held in Chicago beginning in the late 1930's. This was sponsored by the Chicago Herald American and organized by Arch Ward. The winning team was acknowledged to be the World Champions of Basketball.

Leroy Edwards in 1946
Oshkosh often represented the NBL (although there were often multiple league squads invited to the tournament).

The All-Stars participated in the very first tournament in 1939 and advanced to the championship game, where they lost 34-25 to the New York Rens. Leroy Edwards contributed 12 of his team's points and outscored the Rens' big men, Willie Smith who scored 6 and Tarzan Cooper who scored 5.

(Note: the Rens had been a common opponent of the All-Stars for many years leading up to the tournament in 1939, including a number of unofficial 'World Titles' being settled between the two teams. The series were competitive with the All-Stars holding the overall edge.

In a 2008 interview with former Ren John Isaacs, Isaacs remembered that Edwards played hard but clean. "He didn't talk back to the referees. He just played the game and if the officials let things get rough, he got rough."

Isaacs mentioned the constant talking between Edwards and the Rens' big men. "He and Zach Clayton and Tarzan Cooper always kept up the banter," he recalled. Isaacs related an exchange in one game where Edwards reportedly told Tarzan Cooper "you're pretty rough out there with that move" to which the Ren big man retorted, "who do you think I learned it from?")

In all, the All-Stars participated in four more championship games, winning one and losing the rest. Despite this, Edwards is the all-time leading scorer in tournament championship game history, scoring 53 points in the five games for an average of 10.6 points per game. He was also named to the All-Tournament first team three times, in 1939, 1940 and 1946.

The one victory for the All-Stars occurred in 1942 over the Detroit Eagles. The All-Stars had to defeat a team from Davenport Iowa (the Central Turner Rockets), the New York Rens and the Harlem Globetrotters just to get their chance to avenge the Detroit Eagles, who had beaten the All-Stars the prior season in the championship game by two points.

In the 1942 championship game, Edwards was injured early on and left the game. He made an attempt to come back in the second quarter and tried again late in the game. The second time, the All-Stars were in the home stretch and needed a lift against the tenacious Eagle team. Edwards hit a free throw and two quick hook shots and this helped keep the All-Stars afloat.

Below are the results of the Oshkosh All-Stars in this tournament: [note the tournament results and boxscores were found in an appendix to Robert Peterson's book Cages to Jumpshots as compiled by Bill Himmelman along with the APBR website (link)]


New York Rens

1939 Championship Game

New York Rens (34)

Pop Gates4412
Tarzan Cooper135
Willie Smith226
Puggy Bell124
Bruiser Saitch102
Zack Clayton000
Johnny Isaacs215

Oshkosh All-Stars (25)

Ray Adams000
Pete Preboski113
Ed McGroaty000
Scotty Armstrong237
Al Cafone000
Leroy Edwards3612
Frank Linskey113
Herm Witasek000
Ed Muller000

1939 All-Tournament Team

FEd DanckerSheboygan Redskins
FPuggy BellNew York Rens
CLeroy EdwardsOshkosh All-Stars
GBabe PressleyHarlem Globetrotters
GZack ClaytonNew York Rens


Newspaper clippings from before the tournament. - "The Oshkosh entry features Leroy ("Cowboy") Edwards, University of Kentucky All-American who recently clinched the National Pro League's scoring honors title for the third consecutive year."

"The Oshkosh Stars, another National League entry in "Cowboy" Edwards has probably the greatest cage player in the game today. After making cage history at Kentucky "U", he has gone on to lead the National League scorers for the third successive season, no mean accomplishment when one considers the type of players in the league."

John Duxbury Sporting News column mentioning Oshkosh vs. the House of David. - "In 1940, Leroy (Cowboy) Edwards led Oshkosh with 17 points and Swinehart and Slim Curry each scored six for the House of David."

1940 All-Tournament Team

FSonny BoswellHarlem Globetrotters
FWibs KautzChicago Bruins
CLeroy EdwardsOshkosh All-Stars
GPhil RabinWashington Heurich Brewers
GPop GatesNew York Rens


1941 Championship Game

Detroit Eagles (39)

Bob Calihan328
Jimmy Brown000
Buddy Jeannette328
Ed Sadowski3511
Jake Ahearn339
Jerry Bush113

Oshkosh All-Stars (37)

Bob Carpenter168
Lou Barle204
Scoop Putnam000
Leroy Edwards135
Charlie Shipp113
Erv Prasse204
Herm Witasek306
Connie Berry317


1942 Championship Game

Oshkosh All Stars (43)

Lou Barle215
Bill Komenich000
Erv Prasse000
Leroy Edwards215
Gene Englund7317
Eddie Riska339
Tom Nisbet000
Charlie Shipp317

Detroit Eagles (41)

Ed Parry102
Buddy Jeannette5414
Lou Kasperik102
Jake Pelkington124
Jake Ahearn5111
Jerry Bush328

Newspaper clippings (Part one and two discussing the championship game. - "Edwards Comes Through -- Edwards, who had tried his knee briefly in the second quarter, was back in now for another try. Just when Oshkosh needed his help badly, the old warhorse came through. He cashed a free throw and two hook shots in rapid succession, while Perry was making a pot shot for Detroit, and it was 38-35, Oshkosh as Edwards hobbled off the floor to the crowd's cheers."

Newspaper clippings (Part one and two) after the tournament, mentioning Edwards and the championship game. - "The Chicago Herald-American, in commenting on the championship game, said: 'For the pluckiest player in the meet we give you Leroy "Cowboy" Edwards, one of the two great centers on the new title-holding team. Injured badly on the first play of the game, he came back in the second quarter, got hurt again, went limping out only to return in the fourth quarter taped up. He proceeded to dump in five consecutive points for his team, then got hurt so badly he couldn't move . . . but the big Kentuckian had a big grin when the final gun went off and thought the result justified his injuries."


1943 Championship Game

Washington Bears (43)

Pop Gates339
Puggy Bell204
Sonny Wood113
Dolly King113
Charley Isles237
Tarzan Cooper011
Zack Clayton135
Johnny Isaacs5111

Oshkosh All Stars (31)

Connie Berry000
Bill Crossett000
Bob Carpenter002
Gene Englund113
Leroy Edwards157
Tom Nisbet204
Ralph Vaughn306
Charlie Shipp113
Dave Qualbius204
Fred Rehm102




1946 Championship Game

Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons (73)

Jake Pelkington2610
Bob Tough5010
Ed Sadowski7014
Bob Kinney113
Chick Reiser328
Bobby McDermott8420
Jerry Bush306
Charlie Shipp000
Buddy Jeannette022
Curly Armstrong000

Oshkosh All-Stars (57)

Bob Carpenter113
Clint Wager306
Gene Englund102
Leroy Edwards9624
Erv Prasse011
Bob Feerick5313
Fred Rehm124
Eddie Riska033
Bud Engdahl011

1946 All-Tournament Team

FJerry BushFort Wayne Zollner Pistons
FLeroy EdwardsOshkosh All-Stars
CGeorge MikanChicago American Gears
GBobby McDermottFort Wayne Zollner Pistons
GBob FeerickOshkosh All-Stars


Chicago Stadium: Site of the Tournament


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