Worcester 78s is the official ABA Basketball team of Central Massachusetts and the only professional basketball team within the Worcester sports landscape. The team launched its first season in November 2017 competing in the Northeast Division of the 100+ team American Basketball Association and finished the regular season 13-4. That record put the 78s 2nd in the division and ranked 10th overall across the entire Association along with a division playoff appearance in its first year.
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Worcester 78s Season 2017-18 Season Results
Individual Statistics 2017-18
|Jose Cruz Jr||6'7"||245||14||44.762||74.074||18.182||6.2||2.1||0.9||2.0||8.6|
About The ABA
The ABA originally existed from 1967 until 1976 when it merged with the NBA. The San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets and New York Nets (who moved to New Jersey at the time of the merger) were all ABA teams. The ABA pioneered several innovations in the game including the slam dunk and three-point shot.
Players that were transferred in the merger include hall of fame super star Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Hall of Fame shooting guard George Gervin. Larry Brown was an ABA champion in 1969 and played on three all-start teams in the league. He is now a Hall of Fame coach and the only person to win both an NCAA national championship and NBA title as a coach.
After the 1976 season the ABA no longer existed after it became part of the NBA. It was not until the turn of the millennia that the brand was licensed for use once again, and today’s American Basketball Association returned to action. In 2017 the first ABA basketball team ever began play in Worcester.
ABA Basketball Team Breaks 28 Year Hoops Drought In Worcester Sports
The last professional basketball game in central Massachusetts was played in 1989. While there are many division III basketball teams at the collegiate level, Worcester sports had not had a pro level team in 28 years until the 78s played on November 5, 2017. The 78s won that game 137-116 and went on to win its first five home games and its first nine games overall. The ABA basketball team didn’t lose until the start of the calendar year in 2018.
Pro Hoops History In Worcester Sports
The Bay State Bombardiers played in Worcester over the two seasons from 1984-86 in the Continental Basketball Association. The team was coached by former Boston Celtics forward Dave Cowens, who won MVP in 1973 and championships in 1974 and 1976. They played at the Worcester Auditorium.