The Battle for the Title of the Home of Basketball: Springfield vs. Herkimer

By Colleen Large

In a rematch of epic proportions, on February 11, 2023, the 413 Elite took on the Herkimer Originals at Herkimer College in Herkimer, NY. The two rivals not only compete on the scoreboard and in the American Basketball Association (ABA) rankings, they have their titles on the line: both Springfield, MA and Herkimer, NY claim to be the Birthplaces of Basketball. 

The two teams came head-to-head in November 2022 for The Naismith Memorial Basketball Game in Springfield. After a close game, the Originals took home the win beating the Elite, 100 to 97. 

With renewed motivation, the 413 Elite headed on a roadtrip to Herkimer, NY only a few months later to take on their rivals and reclaim their hometown’s title. 

The 413 Elite did what they came to do and returned home to Massachusetts on top. Like in their first meeting, the score remained close for the majority of the game, ending the third quarter 83 to 80 in favor of the Elite. But, due to outstanding play, the Elite outscored and dominated the Originals 41 to 25 in the fourth quarter leaving the final score 124 to 105. 

Not only did the 413 Elite defend their hometown title, standout Player of the Week, Jerry “J-Buckets” Buchanan scored 48 points, a franchise scoring record, and had six assists, four rebounds, and six steals to top off an excellent show for the whole team. 

The 413 Elite went into their next game with an 11-5 record and looked forward to potentially seeing the Herkimer Originals again in the playoffs.