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We had some pretty big crowds back then." Despite its unusual look, Boozer, who later enjoyed an 11-year NBA career, including a three-season stint with the Chicago Bulls (1966-69), said the Field House was a fun place to play and watch games.
"They called it the old World War II Quonset hut," said Boozer, who currently lives in Kansas City and had his Kansas State jersey retired at halftime of a game on Feb. "But it was fun to play on because it had a lot of bounce to it. "I made friends with (Bradley players) Bobby Joe Mason and Joe Billy Mc Dade, and I enjoyed watching a lot of their games there.
"I developed a network that helped me," Womble said of his quest for talent.
Womble then became the architect for Peoria's championship teams, blazing a recruiting trail throughout the Midwest.
After playing the 1948-49 season, Womble expressed a desire to Caterpillar executives to move back to Oklahoma to pursue a coaching career.
That's when Cat plant manager Jim Monroe made easily the best move in Peoria's AAU program.
The Cats swept a nine-game exhibition tour of Moscow in 1958.
"It was a unique experience, that's for sure," Born said. We'd go for walks from our hotel and after a while we would notice about 40 or 50 people following us.