The Akron Goodyear Wingfoots are one of the oldest basketball teams in the United States. They were founded in 1918, by the workers at the Goodyear Tire Company, in Akron, Ohio. The teams, while giving workers recreation, also helped to promote one of the first canvas/rubber based shoes made specifically for athletics, the wingfoot.
The Wingfoots joined the National Basketball League for the 1932–1933 season, playing against strong teams like Indianapolis Kautskys and Akron Firestones (the latter were crowned champions). They moved to the Midwest Basketball Conference in 1936 (Chicago Duffy Florals were the reigning champions), facing teams such as: the Indianapolis Kautskys, Harlem Globetrotters, Sheboygan Red Skins, and the New York Renaissance. They won the league title in 1937, after defeating Fort Wayne, in a best of three games series sweep.
In the late 1930s, Goodyear, Firestone, General Electric, and other companies with similar Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Elite teams, decided to form the National Basketball League (NBL) to showcase their teams (it was actually that the MBC changed its name to the NBL). The Wingfoots won the first NBL title in 1938. During the 1938–1939 season, the Akron Goodyear Wingfoots finished second in the National Basketball League's Eastern Division. The team finished behind the Akron Firestone Non-Skids, another team from Akron, each season. However, the Wingfoots did capture the league's first championship, after an impressive playoff run. During the 1939–1940 season, the Wingfoots finished third in the Eastern Division, winning exactly fifty percent of the team's games. During the next season, the squad finished next to last in the National Basketball League. During the 1941–1942 season, the Akron Goodyear Wingfoots experienced a turnaround, finishing third in the National Basketball League. The team, however, lost in the first round of the playoffs. The team began the 1942–1943 season, but a poor performance on the court, and a declining number of men available to play due, to World War II, caused the Akron Goodyear Wingfoots to cease operation before the season's end.