Ben Reichhardt was never a star during his half-dozen- years in basketball, but he has a special  place in the history  professional basketball   As a teenager, he  joined the Northeast YMCA in the Kensington district of Philadelphia where he was quickly caught up in the excitement of the newly-minted game of basketball. By December of 1896,  YMCA officials throughout the city were fed-up with the rough and rowdy new sport. The Kensington YMCA was one of many that dropped basketball from its program. Reichhardt and his YMCA teammates re-branded themselves as the Hancock Athletic Association and moved their games to tiny Frankfort Hall where they enjoyed success for the next two seasons.

By the spring of 1898, Hancock A.A. was among the better known teams in Philadelphia and were invited to join the newly formed National Basketball League that was was scheduled to begin play in the Fall. The opening game of the new league was played between Hancock A.A and a powerhouse  team from Trenton, New Jersey at  Textile Hall in Kensington on December 1, 1898. Soon after  play began, Billy Harrison of the  Trenton team traveled with the ball and according to the rules of the time, Hancock was awarded a free throw. Reichhardt stepped up to line and sank the free throw. He had made history by scoring the first point in the first game of the first professional league in  basketball  history.


BEN REICHHARDT Height: 5:08 Weight: 145 College: None
Bernhard Edward Reichhardt Born: Sep 15, 1878 Died: Mar 23, 1943 Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
Year Team League     GA FGM  FTM   FTA  PCT.  AST  PTS   AVG
1895-96 Kensington YMCA YMCA
1896-97 Philadelphia Kensington Hancock AA Indep
1897-98 Philadelphia Hancock AA Indep
1898-99 Kensington  Hancock AA NBL 5 3 24 30 6.0
1899-00 Kensington  Hancock AA IL 2 6 4 16 8.0
1900-01 Philadelphia Wheelmen IL 2 0 0 0 0.0
Major League Totals 5 3 24 30 6.0
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