The Oshkosh All-Stars were a professional basketball team based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Founded in 1929 by Lonnie Darling, the team was a member of the National Basketball League, a forerunner to the NBA, from 1937 until 1949.
The team began as a barnstorming team, playing loosely structured games against other Wisconsin-based teams. It did not belong to a league.
Sports editor of the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, Arthur Heywood, thought Oshkosh should have a professional basketball team to give people something to talk about over the winter months. Heywood took the idea to Lonnie Darling, a seed distributor and salesman for the G. H. Hunkel Co. Although Darling had never played a game of basketball in his life, he agreed and recruited 30 talented local players to try out.
The team had no set roster, and players could switch allegiances from night to night. Players could make from $15 to $25 per game and played almost every day of the week. The All-Stars played their games at the Recreation Gym to crowds of 800 to 1,200 people.
The rules of the game made it impossible for high scoring. After every basket, the ball went back to mid-court for a center jump, and the clock continued non-stop. Fans wanted to see action, so the officials let players scramble and hit each other without much interference. Fan involvement was direct; when a questionable call was made or an opposing player made a nasty move, fans would storm onto the court in an angry mob. In this time, there were designated shooters so that the same player would shoot for every free throw.