From the archives: March 8, 1927: Jim Thorpe visits area: Indian cage players oppose ‘Burg ‘Y’

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A baketball team composed of Indians and headed by the great Jim Thorpe, greatest of all Indian athletes, will entertain the cage fans in Hollidaysburg this evening. Manager Floyd Hoenstine of the ‘Burg Y Trojans booked the visitors for a game in the Y at 8:30 o’clock.

The Indians, under the management of Chick Skelly, are making a tour of the country, meeting only the fastest five in the various cities they visit.

The Indians came out victorious over Punxsutawney Friday night and the Clearfield Tornadoes Saturday night. They have won 39 out of 46 games played in five states, and now have a record of 15 straight wins.

The Indians do not play the usual kind of ball exhibited by so-called professional teams traveling about the country but adhere to the college style of play, which most of the Indian youths learned while attending Haskell University, at Lawrence, Kan. It is a much faster game, but the Indians, noted for their speed, take to it like a duck does to water. They never seem to tire and are just as fresh at the end of a game as at the start.

Thorpe, a graduate of Carlisle Indian School and developed under Pop Warner, has been prominent in athletics for a dozen years. He was the greatest grid player of his time and was with the New York Giants in baseball. Thorpe is a member of the Arrapho tribe of Indians.

Others in the lineup are Dennis Hildebrand (Eagle Feather), who captained the Haskell Indian team in 1925. He is a member of the Cherokee tribe of North Carolina. He is a native of Oklahoma. Jesse Parton (Swift Deer) was with Haskell in 1924 and 1925. He is a member of the Delaware tribe.

Raymond West (Lightfoot) is a full-blooded Cheyenne being captain and forward for the Haskell Indians last year. The other member of the team is from the reservation at Mayette, Kan., being from the Pottawotomi tribe.

The visiting team, known as “World Famous Indians,” is making its initial tour and promises a real game against the county seat tonight.


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