The  history Of 
Saint Bonaventure Basketball

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 This picture was taken in 1915 during the digging of the foundation for Butler Gymnasium.  Basketball at St. Bonaventure was in dire need of a court.  This court was built to start a program of basketball in the Bonaventure community.  Basketball continued from 1907 to 1916 in the form of intramurals.  In late 1916 an intercollegiate basketball team was created for the first time.  The first recorded intercollegiate game in St. Bonaventure's basketball history was on March 11, 1916.  Bonaventure played against the University at Buffalo in the Olean Armory gym and they were decisively defeated 51-18.  The reason for using the Armory was that the Butler project was not completed on time. The shortage of building materials due to the war effort caused the basketball season to be cancelled entirely in 1917.


Butler Gym was started June 16, 1915 and completed on February 12, 1918.  The basement contained bowling alleys, a college store, toilets, showers, locker rooms, and a large swimming pool.  The main floor of the building contained the basketball court, and the north side of the main floor had two rooms for physical examinations, trophies, and the physical directors office.

When Butler's size became a major negative factor, the program moved to the Olean Armory.  Many games also took place at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.  The program moved back on campus in December 1966 when the University Center opened.  This later became Reilly Center.

  For more on the history of Butler Gym see The Buildings of St. Bonaventure

Last updated:  02/09/12