The CLEVELAND REBELS basketball team, organized in 1946 by AL SUTPHIN, owner of the CLEVELAND ARENA, played in the newly organized Basketball Assn. of America, whose aim was to bring professional basketball to the major cities of the country. Cleveland was in the Western Division, which also had teams from St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh. Eastern Division teams were Providence, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Toronto, and Boston. Sutphin was president of the Rebels, with Roy Clifford as business manager. Coached by ex-Celtic Henry "Dutch" Dehnert, the team included Mel Riebe, Frankie Baumholtz, Clarence Hermsen, Leo Mogus, Ken Sailors, Irving Rothenberg, and Bobby Faught. The first game, played at the Arena 3 Nov. 1946, was won by the Rebels, who beat the Toronto Huskies 71-60 in front of 7,594 fans. By the spring of 1947, Roy Clifford was the coach, and fan interest had declined. The Rebels finished in 3rd place, with a record of 30-30. Cleveland was one of 4 teams that disbanded after the first season.

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