RICHARD DEIGHAN may not have been the household name in Camden that his brother Neil Deighan was, but he carved out a long and successful career as a professional basketball player, primarily with teams based outside of Camden.
His professional basketball debut came during the 1919-1920 season, with the Camden Crusaders. The Crusaders were owned by Camden veterinarian Dr. Charles B. Helm and former Camden County Sheriff W. Penn Corson. Other team members included brother Neil Deighan, Eddie Ferat, Sam Lennox, Jimmy "Soup" Campbell, Roy Steele, and Joe Hyde. The Crusaders were the 1919-1920 Eastern Basketball League champions.
Rich Deighan would play the next three seasons for the Coatesville Coats of the Eastern League. The Coats were not very good, but Deighan was one of their better players. Camden's franchise remained the dominant team in the league. Sadly, Camden's success on the court may have contributed to the league's demise. Eastern League club owners on January 18, 1923 decided to suspend the season and attempt to reorganize the following year. The suspension was due to "one-sided races, high salaries and unusual overhead expenses. When the Eastern league folded, Rich Deighan briefly played for the Elizabeth NJ team of the Metropolitan Basketball League, a New York area circuit.
Rich Deighan next played professionally as a member of the Trenton Royal Bengals in the Metropolitan League during the 1924-1925 season. He spent the next four years with the Cleveland Rosenblums of the American Basketball League, the dominant professional league of the era, before being released during the 1928-1929 season.
In 1933 John J. O'Brien, a long-time basketball executive, revived the American Basketball Lleague. The new version of the ABL didn't have the same national vision as its predecessor. The league's membership consisted of clubs from the Northeast, taking in teams from the Metropolitan Basketball League (Bronx, the Brooklyn Jewels and Brooklyn Visitations, Hoboken, and Union City) and the Eastern League (Philadelphia and Trenton) as well as Newark which featured scoring star Benny Borgmann. Trenton and Brooklyn proved the class of the league in the first half, finishing deadlocked at 22-6, well ahead of Philadelphia. Trenton defeated Brooklyn in a first half playoff to lay claim to first place. The Hoboken Thourots with a record of 0-4 moved to Camden and became the Camden Brewers on November 23, 1933. Camden won only 2 of 8 games and on January 10, 1934 moved to New Britain CT. Rich Deighan played for the Brewers during of their brief stop in the city. Grover Wearshing who would coach at Woodrow Wilson High School, was also on this team.
row, left to right: Jimmy “Soup” Campbell and Joe
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|Camden Courier-Post - July 26, 1955|
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Camden Courier-Post - January 13, 1928
MAKES BOW WITH CLEVELAND
Making his big league ‘comeback” with the Cleveland Rosenblums at the Philadelphia Arena last night. Eddie Dolin, former Camden Eastern League star, went half the distance against the Warriors, who licked the westernmen, 38-31. The veteran pivot who proved one of the main gems in that classy collection of cage sparklers that annexed many championships for Camden in the Eastern circuit, was pitted against Al Kellott, rated as the best tapper in the American League last night. The Quaker jumper tallied all five of his field goals against Dolin, who joined the ‘Roses following his showing against Hammonton for Camden Elks in the South Jersey League here Wednesday night. Dolin scored twelve from the field and made one of his four foul heaves. He was replaced by Rich Deighan when Manager Dave Kerr entered the backfield.
The game also marked the return of Jimmy “Soup" Campbell to Philadelphia in his third American League uniform tide season. He was waived Detroit by the Quakers earlier in the campaign, and then joined Cleveland when Vic Hanson quit the “Roses.
Camden Courier-Post - January 13, 1928
HAD NO TROUBLE WITH MATES SAYS KERR
By Tom Ryan
There wasn’t the least semblance of friction between Vic Hanson and the other players on the Rosenblums, and Vic left the club on friendly terms with every player on the team.”
was the reply made by Dave Kerr, local lad who Is acting in the
capacity of court leader the Cleveland Rosenblums of the
American Professional Basketball League, when asked if the
former Syracuse University three-letter man resigned because of
resentment on the part of the members of he club, which was the
gist of the story broadcast at the time of Hansons’s voluntary
together with Rich Deighan and Joe Sheehan, two other Camden
boys, and Carl Rusta, of Egg Harbor City, all members if the
Cleveland club, were subjected to undue criticism, along with
other members of the team when the cause of Hanson’s
resignation was alleged to have been because of differences with
other members of the club. However, later advices from Cleveland
that Hanson denied that any friction existed between himself and
his teammates, but would give no definite reason for his
Showered With “Berries”
The fact that Hanson would not take a determined stand in the matter by stating just what had influenced his quitting the club after a auspicious start, led fans all over the country to believe that there was more than fiction in the story that he had made to ‘look bad’ by his teammates in order to get him off the club. Quite naturally, the tale created a story with the result that the other players on the team became the target for “raspberries” from both the fans and the newspaper.
However, Hanson soon quieted the report that he had been “framed” by his teammates, stating explicitly that that was one of the last things that would have caused him a quit. Financial disagreements with the management was then advanced as the reason for his retirement from the pro game, but Vic would neither deny nor affirm that phase of the case, merely declaring that for reasons best know to himself that he was through with the game for the current season.
No Differences With Players
before Cleveland hit the floor to play the Warriors at the
Philadelphia Arena last night, the writer asked the club as a
whole if any of them had had any trouble with Hanson either on
or off the court. Every fellow on the club declared that no
differences had cropped out among the players while Hanson was a
member of the club and that they had ‘pulled’ with him front
the time he joined the club until he quit.
“He’s a dandy fellow and one of the brightest basketball prospects in the country today,” continued Kerr after the rest of the club had had their say. “Offensively, he is a wonder, but needs a little more polishing defensively in order to become a great pro player.
were just about dumbstruck when it was reported that Vie had
quit because the other player, failed to work with him and that
they were jealous of his popularity. Here’s an incident that
occurred which may set at rest the rumor that he was “in
bad” with the other fellows on the club.
Vic” in Home Town
before Hanson quit the club we played an exhibition game at
Syracuse. The day had been set said aside as Hanson Day in honor
of Vic and we played the Syracuse Independent club that night.
Well, Vic scored about 23 points in the game, which we won by a
fair margin, but what I want to impress upon the minds of the
fine is that if Vic had not been in right with the other
fellows, doesn’t it stand to reason that they would have
attempted to make him ‘look bad, in his own home town? As it
was they “fed” him in order that he might show to advantage
before his friends
quit the club shortly after that game, but I’m as much in the
dark about the affair as a rank outsider. But I can truthfully
say that no player on the club was hostile toward him and that
be received the same treatment on the floor that ii Med any
other member of the club.
admitted that he didn’t resign because of ill treatment and I
think that absolves us from any connection with the case. Yet, I
know Camden fans expected some explanation when we came east and
I’m glad of this opportunity to inform them the true facts of
still on Reserve List
“Hanson isn’t out of the game by any means. He is managing and playing with an independent club at Syracuse and also playing with the Utica, N.Y. club. He still is the property of the Cleveland club, being placed on the voluntary retired list, and if be should decide to rejoin the dub during the present season, I’ll be mighty glad to have him with us,” concluded Kerr, and the entire team voiced their approval of his statement.
the story may have been credited in some parts of the country,
few local fans believed it as the local boys supposedly involved
in “framing” Hanson are held in high esteem here. Still, the
“bugs” wanted them to clear themselves, publicly and
Kerr’s statement does that to perfection.
Gets Chance With Club
Jimmy “Soup” Campbell, another local cager, was toed to
replace Hanson. Campbell started out with the Warriors, but was
sent to Detroit via the waiver route, and when Detroit disbanded
several weeks ago, Kerr immediately tendered him a contract.
Eddie Dolin, former teammate of Campbell and Kerr during the
days of the old Eastern League, and who has been playing great
ball for the Camden Elks, joined the Rosenblums last night and
played the first half of the tilt. Whether or not he will be
retained as a regular could not be determined.
night’s game brought back fond memories of the Eastern League
as three of the players on each team during the first half waged
many stiff battles against each other on the old Armory court.
Campbell, Deighan and Dolin, erstwhile Camden dribblers, were in
action for Cleveland, while Tommy Barlow, Teddy Karns and George
Glasco, all former Trenton stars, saw service for the Warriors.
the retirement of Dolin after the first period, Kerr entered the
scrap and it still was three Camdenites against three
Trentonians during the last semester. The Warriors won, 36-26,
but the Cleveland cagers felt that they had also scored a
victory by expressing themselves in regard to the Hanson case.
It’s over with then once and for all time.
February 28, 1928
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