Men's Basketball

1906  Brockport Normal School Basketball Team

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A photograph of the 1906 team that appeared on a postcard.

The game started at the college sometime around 1900. A clipping in a scrapbook states that

"Last fall the young men of our school realized that, if they would play their basketball team to advantage against other normal or high school teams, they must have strong suport. This led to the organization of the Brockport Normal School Association for the Playing of Basket Ball. Their first meeting was held December 1, 1902."

A league was formed in 1902 that included both high schools and other normal schools. Basketball was for many years the most popular sport at Brockport. An example of its popularity is seen in the following excerpt from a scrapbook clipping of the early 1920s,

"The biggest crowd ever assembled at the Brockport Normal stormed the gymnasium Friday evening to see the basketball game between the Cathedrals of Rochester and the Normal quint. Notwithstanding the fact that notice had been sent out that the floor and balcony were completely sold out, the entry and hall were packed to suffocation with people who had been unable to secure reserved seats... The Normals put up one of the strongest battles that has ever been fought on the home court, against opponents who claim the Rcohester city championship, and came out 21 to 19. This gives the Brockport Normals the school championship of western New York."

Photograph of Coach Nihiser

Coach Nihiser, leader of the famous "Nihisermen," 1932 Saga.

Edwin Nihiser came to Brockport in the late 1920s as an instructor in physical education, industrial arts and a coach. A former International League pitcher, he was a keen athlete and strong coach. His basketball teams were many times the champions of the Normal School league in New York. In 1948 Dr. Curtiss Gaylord became coach of the team, and for the next few years had a very strong team. The 1953 Saga, says that

"Coach Curt Gaylord's Green and Gold cage team once again posted a record which rates the Eagles with the best small colleges in the East. The cagers compiled a 14-4 record. The squad was lead in scoring by Andy Spennachio and frosh hoopster Dick Reynolds."

The team has had its ups and downs since then, but remains one of the most popular sports at Brockport, as indeed it has been for almost 100 years.

Last Updated 2/22/18

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