Indianapolis Olympians

The Indianapolis Olympians were a founding National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Indianapolis. They were founded in 1949 and folded in 1953. Their home arena was Butler Fieldhouse on the campus of Butler University--now known as Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Indianapolis Olympians
Indianapolis Olympians logo
Founded1949; 73 years ago (1949)
Folded1953; 69 years ago (1953)
HistoryIndianapolis Olympians
ArenaButler Fieldhouse
LocationIndianapolis, Indiana
Team colorsBlue, white, red
Division titles1 (1950)

Franchise historyEdit

The Olympians were founded in 1949 to replace the Indianapolis Jets. The Olympians were led by University of Kentucky alumni Alex Groza and Ralph Beard, both of whom were key contributors on the gold medal winning 1948 US Olympic basketball team. Olympic team members Wallace Jones and Cliff Barker (both also Kentucky alumni) also played on the team. An Olympic alternate and UK grad, Joe Holland, played forward for the Indianapolis team through the 1952 season.

After the 1951 season, Groza and Beard were suspended from the NBA for life by commissioner Maurice Podoloff when the players admitted point shaving during their college careers. The Olympians finished with a 28–43 record in 1953, and folded after that season. The Olympians compiled a 132–137 record in four seasons in the NBA.

Indianapolis would not have an NBA team until 1976 when the Indiana Pacers were one of the four teams admitted from the ABA in the ABA–NBA merger.

The Olympians still hold the distinction of being the winning team in the longest game in NBA history—they were the 75–73 victors in a six-overtime game against the Rochester Royals in a game played on January 6, 1951.[1]


NBA champions   Division champions ^ Playoff berth #
Season Division Finish[a] W[b] L[b] Win% GB Playoffs Awards Head coach
1949–50 Western ^ 1st ^ 39 25 .609 Won Division Semifinals (Red Skins) 2–1
Lost Division Finals (Packers) 1–2 [2]
Cliff Barker
1950–51 Western 4th # 31 37 .456 13 Lost Division Semifinals (Lakers) 1–2[3] Cliff Barker
Wally Jones
1951–52 Western 3rd # 34 32 .515 7 Lost Division Semifinals (Lakers) 0–2[4] Herm Schaefer
1952–53 Western 4th # 28 43 .394 20.5 Lost Division Semifinals (Lakers) 0–2[5] Herm Schaefer

Notable playersEdit

Basketball Hall of FamersEdit




  1. ^ The Finish column lists regular season results and excludes postseason play.
  2. ^ a b The Wins and Losses columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play. Regular and postseason records are combined only below the table.


  1. ^ "Olympians hold longest NBA game in history". The Indianapolis Star. January 14, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "1949-1950 Indianapolis Olympians". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  3. ^ "1950-1951 Indianapolis Olympians". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  4. ^ "1951-1952 Indianapolis Olympians". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  5. ^ "1952-1953 Indianapolis Olympians". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 16, 2014.

External linksEdit