The 66ers were a national phenomenon that grew from a “small town team” to an organization of accomplished amateur athletes receiving national and world-wide attention. In 1919 Bartlesville’s local boys were returning from World War I. Some found jobs at Phillips and a few decided to form a Phillips basketball team. In 1920 the Phillips team began playing other corporate teams. By 1929, they won their first championship. In almost 50 seasons, the 66ers earned 1543 wins against 271 losses. Twelve 66ers and two coaches represented the U.S. in Olympic competition and three of them are the only amateur players to have ever played on two Olympic basketball teams. They captured 11 Amateur Athletic Union crowns. Thirty-nine 66ers were named to AAU All-American teams. Twenty-one are members of the AAU Basketball Hall of Fame. More than 50 former Big Eight ballplayers played for the 66ers.
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