The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

The student-run news site of Le Moyne College.

The Dolphin

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s visit at Le Moyne
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s visit at Le Moyne
Kamilla Shahzad, Staff Writer • May 17, 2024

On April 18 th , 2024, Le Moyne College had the privilege of hosting a special guest, acclaimed author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, who delighted...

Column: The Long Journey at Le Moyne
Column: The Long Journey at Le Moyne
Mary Anne Winfield, Guest Writer • May 17, 2024

I never expected to be a “senior” senior at Le Moyne College. My first introduction to the college was in the 1970’s. I was a two-year...

Theta Chi house at Colgate University
Column: Why I want to see Greek life at Le Moyne College.
Payton Hirsch, Guest Writer • May 17, 2024

At Le Moyne College there is no presence of “Greek Life,” which has left many wondering why. According to Joseph Della Posta, the school’s...

Photo courtesy of Le Moyne; Images of Officer Jensen, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Lt. Hoosock posted at memorial service.
‘A True Leader and Phenomenal Teammate’: Remembering Fallen Officer, a Le Moyne Graduate
Stephen Moore and Aidan Clark May 8, 2024

The Rev. William Dolan wants you to know what the community lost when Michael Jensen, a Syracuse police officer and a Le Moyne graduate, was...

Dr. James Carroll: The Donation that Rewrote Le Moyne  College’s History
Dr. James Carroll: The Donation that Rewrote Le Moyne College’s History
Legende McGrath, Guest Writer • May 7, 2024

In late March, Le Moyne College, specifically the College of Arts and Sciences, received a $12 million donation provided by Le Moyne alumnus...

Shot Clock, Precious Artifact of NBA History, at Le Moyne – But Out of View

Stephen Riale

Tucked away in an unsuspecting corner of Le Moyne’s Noreen Reale Falcone library is a treasure trove of basketball history.

The Syracuse Nationals were a basketball team that existed in the old National Basketball League and later the original National Basketball Association, from 1946 to 1963. During the team’s time in Syracuse, owner Dan Biasone became – with general manager Leo Ferris and scout Emil Barboni – one of the most instrumental figures in the creation of the 24-second shot clock. The creation of the clock in turn caused a major uptick in scoring, which made the game more exciting to watch and put millions of new eyes on the game of basketball. Perhaps as a direct result of the game’s newfound popularity, in 1963, the team would relocate to become the team we know today as the Philadelphia 76ers, as Syracuse no longer had the population to support a major professional sports franchise.

Upon Biasone’s passing in 1992, he donated all of his basketball memorabilia to Le Moyne College, thanks in great part to his affection for close friend Tom Niland, the late athletic director who coached Le Moyne’s men’s basketball program for 27 seasons and is the namesake for Le Moyne’s athletic center. Among Biasone’s collection was an NBA championship game ball, photos, roster lists, and one of the league’s original 24-second shot clocks. After being removed from a high-profile display in Le Moyne’s athletic center during a remodel in 2018, it was put on display in the back of the college’s Noreen Reale Falcone library, where it remains to this day.

However, when you visit the display nowadays, there is a notable exclusion from the collection of basketball artifacts: The original shot clock is missing.

After sending a more convoluted than expected series of emails to various Le Moyne officials, I would discover that the clock, along with many other pieces of Nationals memorabilia, is currently in storage within the library’s office of archives, out of view of the general campus community. The clock was put there last year after being loaned to Syracuse’s Everson Museum of Art for an exhibit. The display was re-curated to give previously in storage materials a chance to be seen. When the clock was returned, the decision was made to leave it in storage.

Christina Swendsrud, librarian for history and archives at Le Moyne, said, “It was really a matter of practicality” when asked why the clock wasn’t put back on display. With the display’s current arrangement, there wasn’t much room for the clock. In spite of this, Swendsrud said that the clock would more than likely be put back on display if another redesign to the case were to come in the future.

The college’s decision to leave the clock in storage has drawn mixed reactions.

Dave Ramsey, award-winning sports journalist in Syracuse and then Colorado, is also a longtime historian of the Nationals, and in 1995 he wrote the book “Nats: A Team, A City, An Era,” detailing the history of the franchise. When he was asked about the clock currently being in storage, he said:

“It’s a precious basketball artifact. It should be on prominent display for everyone to see. Surely, someone is wise enough at Le Moyne to figure that out”.

Others understood the College’s decision to leave the clock in storage. When I contacted the Everson to get their thoughts about the clock, Garth Johnson, curator of ceramics, said: “​​My take on it is that museums and archives can usually only display a small percentage of their holdings at one time… including the Everson. This makes it more of a special occasion when Le Moyne, the Everson, or an organization like the OHA puts it on public display.”

Regardless of how you feel about the clock’s current situation, it is nevertheless fascinating to revisit a treasure trove of artifacts at Le Moyne from a forgotten but critically important time period of basketball history.

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