Where Did Rice Play Its Basketball Games Before Autry Court Was Built?

I don’t know.

I had assumed that they played in the field house after it was built in 1921, but the other day I was looking at some pictures from the late 20s that I’d never seen before and a couple of pieces suddenly clicked together for me—I realized that they couldn’t have played there because there was no place to sit down. Have a look yourself:

bball nd fieldhouse

Close examination of Threshers from the late 1920s confirms that the field house was just a practice facility.

Bball nd sneakers fieldhouse

So where did they play? I now think it must have been in some sort of civic auditorium or the like. Judging by this game photo from the same era this was a multipurpose venue! Zoom in and have a look at the walls.

Bball nd where

Also, I love how beautifully the crowd is dressed.

Bonus: Tommy Lavergne sent in this image he took this morning in the fog. I’ve seen more pictures of this view than I can count and have taken my share as well. This is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

130123_Out_and_About_Fog_low 0031

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11 Responses to Where Did Rice Play Its Basketball Games Before Autry Court Was Built?

  1. The photo is of the City Auditorium. It was actually built in 1910 and (I speculate) spruced up for the 1928 convention. Photos and discussion here. http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/25613-photo-of-city-auditorium/

  2. almadenmike says:

    The Jan 23, 1925, Thresher said the Owls were soon to face the visiting Texas Aggie basektball team “at the local Y.M.C.A. court.” Next to this front page story is a sidebar headlined “Cramp, Cramp, Cramp!” that decries the small field house court on which the Owls had to practice. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth230004/m1/1/zoom/

    A week earlier, a front-page story complained about how congested in time the field house was … PE students, gym classes, intramurals, tumblers, varsity practices and slime basketball practices and games all took place there. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth230003/m1/1/zoom/

  3. marmer01 says:

    Yes, and there are several Thresher mentions of City Auditorium basketball from the texashistory.unt.edu source as well. That’s the first alternate location I’ve seen mentioned.

  4. Richard Schafer says:

    Every time I see one of Tommy Lavergne’s photos, I’m impressed. That fog picture is spectacular!

  5. effegee says:

    Tommy’s quad photo just cries out for a “the vision realized…” sort of caption.

  6. hughconnie says:

    I watched the Owls play and win 1944 and 1945 SWC championships with all-American Bill henry as the star-they played their games in the Public School fieldhouse which may have been -on U of h’s campus-I also saw U of H play there in 1946 when Guy Lewis was their star player.

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Jeppesen Field House on UH campus. They were still using that for HISD high school games when I was young. It was attached to Jeppesen Stadium which became Robertson Stadium. The field house was torn down in the ’90s. And now the stadium is gone too.

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