Today in Sports History: December 31

In 1962, the American Basketball League (ABL) played its last game. The league lasted through the 1961 season and finished part of the 1962 season before folding. The Cleveland Pipers won the league’s first and only championship.

The ABL was the first league to allow three-point shots. The league was known for its 30-second shooting clock and wider 18-foot (versus 12-foot) free throw lane.

Abe Saperstein, the owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, founded the league after the NBA did not award him an NBA franchise team. Saperstein teamed up with Bob Short, owner of the Minneapolis Lakers, and convinced Paul Choen of the National Alliance of Basketball Leagues (NABL) to help create the short-lived ABL.

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