The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division and plays its home games at Little Caesars Arena; the team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945. The Pistons joined the Basketball Association of America in 1948; the NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA in 1949, the Pistons became part of the merged league. Since moving to Detroit in 1957, the Pistons have won three NBA championships: in 1989, 1990 and 2004; the Detroit Pistons franchise was founded as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, a National Basketball League team, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Owner Fred Zollner's Zollner Corporation was a foundry that manufactured pistons for car and locomotive engines; the Zollner Pistons were NBL champions in 1944 and 1945.
They won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1944, 1945 and 1946. In 1948, the team became the Fort Wayne Pistons. In 1949, Fred Zollner brokered the formation of the National Basketball Association from the BAA and the NBL at his kitchen table. There are suggestions that Pistons players conspired with gamblers to shave points and throw various games during the 1953–54 and 1954–55 seasons. In particular, there are accusations that the team may have intentionally lost the 1955 NBA Finals to the Syracuse Nationals. In the decisive Game 7, the Pistons led 41–24 early in the second quarter before the Nationals rallied to win the game; the Nationals won on a free throw by George King with twelve seconds left in the game. The closing moments included a palming turnover by the Pistons' George Yardley with 18 seconds left, a foul by Frank Brian with 12 seconds left that enabled King's winning free throw, a turnover by the Pistons' Andy Phillip in the final seconds which cost them a chance to attempt the game winning shot.
Though the Pistons enjoyed a solid local following, Fort Wayne's small size made it difficult for them to be profitable as other early NBA teams based in smaller cities started folding or relocating to larger markets. After the 1956–57 season, Zollner decided that Fort Wayne was too small to support an NBA team and announced the team would be playing elsewhere in the coming season, he settled on Detroit. Although it was the fifth largest city in the United States at the time, Detroit had not seen professional basketball in a decade, they lost the Detroit Eagles due to World War II, both the Detroit Gems of the NBL and the Detroit Falcons of the BAA in 1947, the Detroit Vagabond Kings in 1949. Zollner decided to keep the Pistons name, believing it made sense given Detroit's status as the center of the automobile industry; the Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons moved to Cobo Arena. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Pistons were characterized by strong individuals and weak teams.
Some of the superstars who played for the team included Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Bob Lanier. At one point, DeBusschere was the youngest player-coach in the history of the NBA. A trade during the 1968–69 season sent DeBusschere to the New York Knicks for Howard Komives and Walt Bellamy, both of whom were in the stages of their careers. DeBusschere became a key player in leading the Knicks to two NBA titles. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to glass magnate Bill Davidson, who remained the team's principal owner until his death in 2009. While the Pistons did qualify for the postseason in four straight seasons from 1974 to 1977, they never had any real sustained success. In 1978, Davidson became displeased with Cobo Arena, but opted not to follow the Red Wings to the under-construction Joe Louis Arena. Instead, he moved the team to the suburb of Pontiac, where they played in the 82,000 capacity Silverdome, a structure built for professional football; the Pistons stumbled their way out of the 1970s and into the 1980s, beginning with a 16–66 record in 1979–80 and following up with a 21–61 record in 1980–81.
The 1979–80 team lost its last 14 games of the season which, when coupled with the seven losses at the start of the 1980–81 season, comprised a then-NBA record losing streak of 21 games. The franchise's fortunes began to turn in 1981, when they drafted point guard Isiah Thomas from Indiana University. In November 1981, the Pistons acquired Vinnie Johnson in a trade with the Seattle SuperSonics, they would acquire center Bill Laimbeer in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in February 1982. Another key move by the Pistons was the hiring of head coach Chuck Daly in 1983; the Pistons had a tough time moving up the NBA ladder. In 1984, the Pistons lost a tough five-game series to the underdog New York Knicks, 3–2. In the 1985 playoffs, Detroit won its first-round series and faced the defending champion Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals. Though Boston would prevail in six games, Detroit's surprise performance promised that a rivalry had begun. In the 1985 NBA draft, the team selected Joe Dumars 18th overall, a selection that would prove to be wise.
They acquired Rick Mahorn in a trade with the Washington Bullets. However, the team took a step backwards, losing in the first round of the 1986 playoffs to the more athletic Atlanta Hawks. After the series, changes were made in order to make the team more defensive-minded. Prior to the 1986–87 season, the Pistons acquired more key players: John Salley (
Power forward (basketball)
The power forward known as the four, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. It has been referred to as the "post" position. Power forwards play a role similar to that of center, they play offensively with their backs towards the basket and position themselves defensively under the basket in a zone defense or against the opposing power forward in man-to-man defense. The power forward position entails a variety of responsibilities, one of, rebounding. Many power forwards are noted for their mid-range jump-shot, several players have become accurate from 12 to 18 feet. Earlier, these skills were more exhibited in the European style of play; some power forwards, known as stretch fours, have since extended their shooting range to three-point field goals. In the NBA, power forwards range from 6' 8" to 7' 0" while in the WNBA, power forwards are between 6' 1" and 6' 4". Despite the averages, a variety of players fit "tweener" roles which finds them in the small forward or center position depending on matchups and coaching decisions.
Some power forwards play the center position and have the skills, but lack the height, associated with that position
Jonathan Clay "JJ" Redick is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. He was selected 11th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2006 NBA draft, he played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils. In college, Redick was known for his good free throw shooting, he set ACC records during his career for most points and most career ACC tournament points, though his ACC career points record was subsequently broken by UNC's Tyler Hansbrough in 2009. Redick is the all-time leading scorer for Duke.< He set several other Duke records, including most points in a single season. Redick's jersey was retired by Duke on February 4, 2007. After being drafted by the Magic, he played for seven seasons in Orlando, followed by a short spell with the Milwaukee Bucks four seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. In 2017 he signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers. In addition to his basketball career, Redick is a podcaster, hosts a basketball and entertainment podcast for The Ringer.
Redick was a McDonald's All-American at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke, winning the 2002 McDonald's All-American Game MVP. He scored 43 points as a senior in the Virginia state championship game, a game in which the Knights defeated George Wythe High School of Richmond. Considered a five-star recruit by Scout.com, Redick was recruited and listed as the No. 2 shooting guard and the No. 13 player in the nation in 2002. In his freshman year at Duke University, he led his team with 30 points in their victory over North Carolina State in the ACC Tournament championship game, he put up 26 points against Central Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. However, he struggled in Duke's Sweet Sixteen loss to the Kansas Jayhawks, hitting only two of 16 shots. Redick served as co-captain in his junior year, along with senior point guard Daniel Ewing, he served as captain his senior year, along with fellow seniors Shelden Williams, Sean Dockery and Lee Melchionni. In the 2004–05 season, Redick led Duke in scoring with 21.8 points per game.
He won the ACC Player of the Year award, the Adolph F. Rupp Trophy for national player of the year. Redick's victory in the Rupp voting spoiled the consensus for Utah's Andrew Bogut, who won every other major player of the year award. In 2006, after facing close competition all year from Gonzaga player Adam Morrison, Redick won the major player of the year awards. Redick set a record for the most consecutive free throws made in the ACC with 54; this record began on March 20, 2003 and ended on January 15, 2004. It was broken on January 2012 by Scott Wood from NC State. Redick entered his final post-season with a chance to go down as the NCAA's all-time leading free-throw shooter; the record, 91.3%, was held at the time by Gary Buchanan of Villanova. In an otherwise triumphant visit to Greensboro Coliseum for the 2006 ACC Tournament and early NCAA Tournament games, Redick struggled at the line, lowering his career free-throw percentage by about 0.5% and finishing his career with 91.16%. On February 14, 2006, in the first half of a game against Wake Forest, Redick broke Virginia alumnus Curtis Staples's NCAA record of 413 career three-pointers made.
Keydren Clark of Saint Peter's College subsequently surpassed Redick's mark in the MAAC Tournament. However, Redick returned the favor by hitting 15 three-pointers in the ACC Tournament and 12 in the NCAA Tournament to finish ahead of Clark. Redick finished his career with an NCAA-record 457 three-point field goals shooting 40.4% from three-point range. His career three-pointers record was broken on February 2, 2014, by Oakland University's Travis Bader. In the game after breaking Staples' record, Redick scored 30 points on February 19, 2006, against Miami to become the all-time leading scorer at Duke, with 2,557 points scored in his career. On February 25, 2006, in a game at Temple University, Redick passed Dickie Hemric's 51-year-old ACC scoring record of 2,587 points with a pair of free throws in the waning minutes of the game, his record was topped in one of the opening round games of the 2009 NCAA tournament by North Carolina Tar Heel Tyler Hansbrough. Redick finished his career with 2,769 points.
On March 10, 2006, in an ACC Tournament quarterfinal against Miami, Redick scored 25 points, setting a Duke record for points in a season with 858. Redick ended the season with 964 points. Redick came up just short of the ACC record for points scored in a season, set by Dennis Scott with 970 points in 1990. Redick finished his career as the leading scorer in ACC tournament history, his total of 225 points eclipsed Wake Forest's Len Chappell, who scored 220 points in the tournament from 1960 to 1962. As the marquee player of the Blue Devils, Redick was the target of abuse by fans. Clay Travis, of CBS Sports, called him the "most hated current athlete in America." After students from rivals Maryland and North Carolina discovered his cell phone number, Redick estimated that he received 50 to 75 hate calls per day from opposing fans. He was the target of obscenity-laced tirades from fans, he had 36 double-figure scoring games in a single season, tied as of March 28, 2010, for 5th-most in Duke history with Jon Scheyer, Shane Battier, Jason Williams.
On February 4, 2007, Redick's #4 jersey was retired at Cameron Indoor Stadium at a special halftime ceremony. Redick became the thirteenth Duke player to have his jersey retired. Redick was selected with the 11th pick in the 2006 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic. Pre-draft scouting reports praised Redick's perimeter shooting and basketball intelligence, but questioned his defensive ability and speculated that he might not be tall or athletic enough to create his own shots in the NBA; this scouting repo
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, more referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference; the team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, an arena they share with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City. Alongside the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in its original city; the team, established by Ned Irish in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America, which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League in 1949. The Knicks were successful during their early years and were constant playoff contenders under the franchise's first head coach Joe Lapchick. Beginning in 1950, the Knicks made three consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, all of which were losing efforts.
Lapchick resigned in 1956 and the team subsequently began to falter. It was not until the late 1960s when Red Holzman became head coach that the Knicks began to regain their former dominance. Holzman guided the Knicks to two NBA championships, in 1970 and 1973; the Knicks of the 1980s had mixed success. The playoff-level Knicks of the 1990s were led by future Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing. During this time, they were known for playing tough defense under head coaches Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, making two appearances in the NBA Finals, in 1994 and 1999. However, they were unable to win an NBA championship during this era. Since 2000, the Knicks have struggled to regain their former glory, but won its first division title in 19 years in 2012–13, led by a core of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Indiana Pacers, have failed to make the playoffs since. In 1946, basketball college basketball, was a growing and profitable sport in New York City.
Hockey generated considerable profits. Max Kase, a New York sportswriter, became the sports editor at the Boston American in the 1930s, when he met Boston Garden owner Walter A. Brown. Kase developed the idea of an organized professional league to showcase college players upon their graduation and felt it could become profitable if properly assembled. Brown, intrigued by the opportunity to attain additional income when the hockey teams were not playing or on the road, contacted several arena owners. On June 6, 1946, Kase and Brown and a group of seventeen others assembled at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, as the Basketball Association of America, where charter franchises were granted to major cities throughout the country. Ned Irish, a college basketball promoter, retired sportswriter and president of Madison Square Garden, was in attendance. Kase planned to own and operate the New York franchise himself and approached Irish with a proposal to lease the Garden. Irish explained that the rules of the Arena Managers Association of America stated that Madison Square Garden was required to own any professional teams that played in the arena.
On the day of the meeting, Kase made his proposal to the panel of owners. Irish wanted a distinct name for his franchise, representative of the city of New York, he called together members of his staff for a meeting to cast their votes in a hat. After tallying the votes, the franchise was named the Knickerbockers; the "Knickerbocker" name comes from the pseudonym used by Washington Irving in his book A History of New York, a name that became applied to the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of what became New York, by extension, to New Yorkers in general. In search of a head coach, Irish approached successful St. John's University coach Joe Lapchick in May 1946. Lapchick accepted after Irish promised to make him the highest paid coach in the league. Irish obliged, hiring former Manhattan College coach Neil Cohalan as interim coach for the first year. With no college draft in the league's initial year, there was no guarantee that the Knicks or the league itself would thrive. Teams focused on signing college players from their respective cities as a way to promote the professional league.
The Knicks held their first training camp in the Catskill Mountains at the Nevele Country Club. Twenty-five players were invited to attend the three-week session. Players worked out twice a day and the chemistry between the New York natives was instant. With a roster assembled, the Knicks faced the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on November 1, 1946, in what would be the franchise's first game—as well as the first in league history. In a low-scoring affair presented in front of 7,090 spectators, the Knicks defeated the Huskies 68–66 with Leo Gottlieb leading the Knicks in scoring with 14 points. With Madison Square Garden's crowded schedule, the Knicks were forced to play many of their home games at the 69th Regiment Armory during the team's early years; the Knicks went on to finish their inaugural campaign with a 33–27 record and achieved a playoff berth under Cohalan despite a dismal shooting percentage of 28 perce
The Philadelphia 76ers are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at Wells Fargo Center. Founded in 1946 and known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, one of only eight to survive the league's first decade; the 76ers have had a rich history, with many of the greatest players in NBA history having played for the organization, including Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson. They have won three NBA championships, with their first coming as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955; the second title came in 1967, a team, led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983, won by a team led by Malone; the 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
In 1946, Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone sent a $5,000 check to the National Basketball League offices in Chicago, the Syracuse Nationals became the Midwest-based league's easternmost team, based in the Upstate New York city of Syracuse. The Syracuse Nationals began play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America, based in large cities like New York and Philadelphia. While in the NBL with teams consisting of small Midwestern towns, the Nationals put together a 21–23 record, finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs, the Nationals would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals in four games. In their second season, 1947–48, the Nationals would struggle, finishing in fifth place with a 24–36 record. Despite their struggles, the Nationals would make the playoffs, getting swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in 3 straight games. Several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA; the Nationals "recipe for success" began by recruiting Leo Ferris.
Staying in the NBL, Ferris signed Al Cervi to be player coach and outbid the New York Knicks for the services of Dolph Schayes who made his professional debut, leading the Nationals to a winning record for the first time with a record of 41–22. In the playoffs the Nationals would make quick work of the Hammond Calumet Buccaneers, winning the series in 2 straight games. However, in the semifinals the Nationals would fall to the Anderson Duffey Packers for the second straight season in four games. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that were absorbed by the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA; the Nationals were an instant success in the NBA, winning the Eastern Division in the 1949–50 season, with a league best record of 51–13. In the playoffs the Nationals continued to play solid basketball, beating the Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight. Moving on to the Eastern Finals, the Nationals battled the New York Knickerbockers, beating their big city rivals in a 3-game series.
In the NBA Finals, the Nationals faced. In Game 1 of the Finals the Nationals lost just their second home game of the season 68–66; the Nationals did not recover. Despite several teams leaving the NBA for the National Professional Basketball League before the 1950–51 season, the Nationals decided to stay put. In their second NBA season, 1950–51, the Nationals played mediocre basketball all season, finishing in fourth place with a record of 32–34. However, in the playoffs the Nationals played their best basketball of the season as they stunned the first place Warriors in two straight, taking Game 1 on the road in overtime 91–89. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals were beaten by the New York Knickerbockers in a hard-fought 5-game series, losing the finale by just 2 points. Cervi, playing less and coaching more, emphasized a patient offense and a scrappy defense, which led the league in the 1951–52 season by yielding a stingy 79.5 points per game as the Nationals won the Eastern Division with a solid 40–26 record.
In the playoffs the Nationals knocked off the Warriors again in a 3-game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nationals fell to the Knickerbockers again, dropping the series in four games; the Nationals would finish in second place in a hard-fought 3-way battle for first place in the Eastern Division for the 1952–53 season, with a record of 47–24. In the playoffs the Nationals would face the Boston Celtics dropping Game 1 at home 87–81. Needing a win in Boston to keep their hopes alive, the Nationals would take the Celtics deep into overtime before losing in quadruple OT 111–105, in what remains the longest playoff game in NBA history; the Nationals acquired Alex Groza, Ralph Beard as the Indianapolis Olympians folded leaving the NBA with just 9 teams for the 1953–54 season. Once again the Nationals would battle for the Division title falling two games short with a 42–30 record. In the playoffs the Nationals would win all four games of a round robin tournament involving the three playoff teams from the East.
In the Eastern Finals the Nationals would stay hot beating the Celtics in 2 straight games. However, in the NBA Finals the Nationals would lose to the Lakers in a hard-fought 7-game series where the 2 teams alternated wins throughout. With the NBA struggling financially and down to just 8 teams Nationals owner during the 1954–55 season, Biasone suggested the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot thus speeding up a game that ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball and playing keep away. Biasone and Nationals' general manager
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
Portage is a borough with home rule status in Cambria County, United States. It is 10 miles southeast of Ebensburg and 22 miles southwest of Altoona, it is part of Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,638 at the 2010 US census. Portage's name comes from the practice of portage or portaging, the process of carrying a water craft or cargo over land between two bodies of water; the "portaging" that occurred in this area was due to the Allegheny Portage Railroad which ran from Hollidaysburg westward to Johnstown over the Allegheny Front, the height of land separating the Eastern Seaboard of the United States from the Ohio River Valley. The line opened in 1834 and Portage was situated on the #2 plane of the Allegheny Portage Railroad system. Pennsylvania Route 53 follows the route of the railroad through Portage; the unloading spot for the railroad in Portage was the Washington House, located where Portage Auto Wreckers is currently. By 1854, the Allegheny Portage Railroad was considered obsolete due to the Pennsylvania Railroad which traveled over the Alleghenys faster and safer.
At the same time, another company, the New Portage Railroad, was attempting to do the same, but in 1857, the Pennsylvania Railroad bought the New Portage railroad and abandoned it. Within a few years after the opening of the Pennsylvania Railroad, a station was constructed for locomotives to stop to take on water and pick up wood to fire the boiler; this lasted. All of the lumber and coal industries in Portage caused a population boom, by the 1860s a passenger station was built by the railroad along the mainline, which at the time traveled through the center of town on what is now the Sonman Branch Line. Portage Township was cut from Washington and Summerhill Townships on March 4, 1874. On October 7, 1890, the borough of Portage was cut from Portage Township; the Pennsylvania Railroad re-aligned the mainline from Lilly to Summerhill in the 1890s, a new station was built on Washington Avenue. The station remained open until 1926; the town continued to grow in size into the 1920s. On July 15, 1940, at the Sonman Shaft Coal Co. near Portage, 63 miners died when a methane gas explosion occurred.
In 1960, a memorial to the miners who died in the explosion, located in Jamestown, but was relocated to Crichton-McCormick Park in Portage. The Portage Station Museum offers a documentary about the disaster titled "63 Men Down: The Story of the Sonman Mine Explosion", along with coal mine and railroad artifacts and exhibits. In November 1953, the Pennsylvania Railroad closed the passenger station, it was used a few months after that to just hold freight but was shut down altogether by mid-1954. The population in Portage stayed steady around 4,000 until the late 1970s; the steep drop in population since was due to all the coal mines in the region closing and much of the steel industry slowing down in nearby Johnstown, due to the 1977 Johnstown Flood. To celebrate the town's centennial, Summerfest was organized, it has since been celebrated every year in mid-August. The festival has many traditions including many ethnic foods and a mass service in the morning of Sunday that weekend. Another event held every year in Portage is the annual community yard sale, organized by the Portage Area Historical Society and held in mid-June.
The Portage Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Portage adopted a home rule charter on May 10, 1994, that took effect on January 1, 1996. Although the community kept "Borough of Portage" as its official name, it is no longer governed under the state's Borough Code; the Portage Volunteer Fire Company was chartered in 1906. At this time it was a one-bay-door barn with a horse-drawn engine. In 1936 the company updated their fleet with a new American LaFrance engine, they were one of the first companies to have purchased a fire engine, they began to run mutual aid to other departments. Many years they got more apparatus, realized the single garage building was too small, so in 1977, they constructed the municipal building/fire station that houses the Portage Boro Police Department. In 2009, the Cassandra Volunteer Fire Company and Portage Volunteer Fire Company merged to better serve the community and eliminate duplication of services in the area. In 2015, members from the Wilmore Volunteer Fire Company and Portage Volunteer Fire Company accepted a merger to better serve their communities.
Today, the Portage Volunteer Fire Company operates out of two stations and has a fleet of one 75-foot Quint, one rescue engine, one engine, one tanker, one ATV/brush unit, two support vehicles. In late 2015, PVFC will be receiving a new 3,000-gallon 4 Guys Tanker and in 2016 a new Sutphen Rescue-Engine to replace retired Rescue 83. Len Chappell, professional basketball player Portage is located in southeastern Cambria County at 40°23′13″N 78°40′25″W, in the valley of the Little Conemaugh River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.66 square miles, all of it land. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,837 people, 1,232 households, 756 families residing in the borough; the population density was 4,262.7 people per square mile. There were 1,367 housing units at an average density of 2,054.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the borough was 99.47% White, 0.07% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.04% from other races, 0.32% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49%