|Anchorage Northern Knights|
|Arena||West Anchorage High School Gymnasium|
|Team colors||purple, gold|
|Division titles||1979, 1980|
The Anchorage Northern Knights were a professional basketball team based in Anchorage, Alaska from 1977 to 1982. The team played in the Eastern Basketball Association (EBA) during the 1977–78 season. The next season, the league changed its name to the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). The Northern Knights were their division champions two years in a row (1979–1980) and won the 1980 CBA Finals. Throughout their history, the Northern Knights played their home games at West Anchorage High School Gymnasium.
When the Northern Knights joined the league, then known as the Eastern Basketball Association (EBA), it attracted national attention for being perhaps the most misplaced franchise in the history of professional sports. Playing in Anchorage, Alaska, the team was 5,000 miles away from its nearest competitor, as all the other teams were based in the eastern Pennsylvania–New York–New Jersey area. League officials "began to see the publicity value a team in Alaska would have for the EBA, which, with an enlarged talent pool since the ABA folded, had been trying to upgrade its image from that of a nickel-and-dime Pennsylvania mill-town circuit—which is mostly what it had been—to something on the order of baseball's Triple-A leagues," John Papnek in Sports Illustrated.
During the team's first two seasons, the Knights began their regular schedule with an extended homestand; then endured a mid-season bus trip to every CBA team in the league; then finished out the season with another homestand. The Northern Knights had the longest recorded road trip in professional sports history during the 1979–1980 season as the team traveled by bus around the contiguous United States—playing 16 games in 31 days.
The Knights experienced success in the 1977–78 season, leading the league in attendance and often playing before sellout crowds. They won the Western Division with a 24–7 record in 1977-78. The team advanced to the CBA Finals the following year, where they were swept in four games by the Rochester Zeniths, with whom they had begun to develop an impassioned rivalry. In 1979-80, the Northern Knights captured the CBA Championship by defeating Rochester in seven games. It was the first professional sports championship won by an Alaskan team.
Brad Davis played for the Northern Knights in the 1978–79 and 1979–80 seasons, capturing the CBA Newcomer of the Year Award in 1978–79. Davis then embarked on a long NBA career, highlighted by twelve seasons with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, where he became the first player to have his jersey number retired by the NBA franchise. Ron Davis was a two-time CBA scoring leader; in 1979–80, he was CBA Most Valuable Player for the Anchorage squad.
Notable Northern Knights players included Freeman Blade, Tico Brown, Steve Hawes, Arvid Kramer, Steve Hayes, Brad Branson, and Al Fleming. The Knights were coached by Bill Klucas, who won the 1980 CBA Coach of the Year award. Dick Lobdell, who was the voice of the Alaska Baseball League, served as the Northern Knights play-by-play commentator.
|W||Cumulative season wins|
|L||Cumulative season losses|
|Win%||Season winning percentage|
|GB||Games behind in the season standings|
|Pnts||Season standings points|
|1st||Western||Semifinals: Lost to the Lancaster Red Roses, 3–2||Bill Klucas|
|2nd||Northern||Semifinals: Defeated the Wilkes-Barre Barons, 3–1||Bill Klucas|
|CBA Finals: Lost to the Rochester Zeniths, 4–0|
|2nd||Northern||Semifinals: Defeated the Hawaii Volcanos, 3–1||Bill Klucas|
|CBA Finals: Defeated the Rochester Zeniths, 4–3|
|2nd||Western||Semifinals: Lost to the Billings Volcanos, 2–1||Bill Klucas|
|Freeman Blade (6–13)|
|Clair Markey (8–19)|
- Nate Barnett
- Greg Bell
- Freeman Blade
- Brad Branson
- Tico Brown
- Roger Burkman
- Brad Davis
- Melvin Davis
- Ron Davis
- Paul Dawkins
- Craig Finberg
- Pat Flanigin
- Lucious Foster
- Tony Fuller
- Curt Gilstrap
- James Hardy
- Steve Hayes
- Tony Jackson
- Clarence Kea
- Andre Keys
- Rob King
- Larry Knight
- Arvid Kramer
- Edmund Lawrence
- Rickey Lee
- Jim Perryman
- Keith McCord
- Dick Miller
- Purvis Miller
- Charles Mitchell
- Stan Pietkiewicz
- John Ramsay
- Clarence Ruffen
- John Smith
- Dean Tolson
- Tony Turner
- Jeff Tyson
- Bernard Vaughan
- Slick Watts
- Dave Wear
- Tom Wheeler
- Connie White
- Rudy White
- Papanek, John (February 27, 1978). "North for sure but also east; The Anchorage Northern Knights are getting along just fine in the Eastern Basketball Association. Strike you as odd? Check it out in your atlas". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Tomasson, Chris (February 17, 2001). "CBA fading into a memory, and other notes". Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. Cleveland, Ohio.
- Rogers, Carroll (May 31, 2006). "Kelly Cup Finals: Aces just chillin': Win or lose, team planning to take it easy". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia. p. J1.
- "Untitled". United Press International. Dallas, Texas. June 23, 1983. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Townsend, Brad (December 20, 2017). "Which former Maverick should have their jersey retired next? Mark Cuban is interested to hear from you". Dallas News. Dallas, Texas. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "Untitled". United Press International. Seattle, Washington. October 7, 1980.
- "Detroit Dazzlers sign Dick Harter as coach for Liberty Basketball Association world premiere at The Palace February 18". PR Newswire. PR Newswire Association LLC. January 22, 1991.
- "Broadcasting Legend Dick Lobdell Passes". alaskabaseballleague.org. Alaska Baseball League. February 17, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "1978-79 Anchorage Northern Knights Roster". statscrew.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- "1979-80 Anchorage Northern Knights Roster". statscrew.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- "1980-81 Anchorage Northern Knights Roster". statscrew.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- "1981-82 Anchorage Northern Knights Roster". statscrew.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- 1977-1982 Anchorage Northern Knights via FunWhileitLasted.com