The sport’s leading players were distributed once again in small regional leagues such as the Eastern, Pennsylvania State, and Metropolitan Leagues. Depression realities forced performers back to the draining practice of playing with multiple teams in more than one league at a time.
In late February of 1932, with only a month to go in the basketball season, the Metropolitan League finally got underway and played a limited 12-game schedule. The seven-team league had three teams in Brooklyn, two on Long Island, and two in New Jersey. The two Brooklyn squads, the Visitation and the Jewels, and the Union City (N.J.) Reds proved to be the top teams.
The Visitation quintet that had won the final ABL competition the past season, was still at the peak of its game. The club featured excellent balance with all five starters averaging either five or six points a game. Frank Conaty, Al Kellett, and Pat Herlihy were up front while Rody Cooney and Willie Scrill handled the backcourt. The Brooklyn Jewels were the professional version of the famous St.John’s University “Wonder Five” the most highly publicized college team of the era. The Jewels featured the slick ball handling of Mac Kinsbrunner and fine shooting of Allie Schuckman, along with 6’5″ Matty Begovich at center and defensive stars Rip Gerson and Mac Posnack. The Union City Reds featured ex-Visitation star Joe Brennan at forward, and former Colgate star Howie Bollerman at center.
The Visitation defeated the Jewels 19-17 on the last day of the regular season to finish tied for first place with identical 10-2 records, while Union City finished in third place two games behind the leaders. The Jewels opened the best-of-three game playoff for the championship handicapped by the absence of starter, Mac Posnack, who was out with an injury. The Jewels also had distinct height disadvantage which they hoped to overcome with better team speed. As the series progressed, the Visitation’s superior height proved to be more important than the Jewels’ greater speed. Al Kellett and Frank Conaty effectively kept the Jewels’ only big man, center Matty Begovich, away from the basket as the Visitation took the deciding third game of series 28-25 for the championship.