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McPherson has one of best Court Houses that you will see anywhere in the midwest.The food was great also.
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Globe Refiners Olympic Gold Medal Basketball Team

Address: 121 E. Marlin St.
McPherson, KS 67460
Telephone Number: 800.324.8022
Second Telephone Number: 620.241.3340

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Medals ceremony

The 1936 Olympic games were memorable for a number of reasons. The games were hosted by Germany, and the juxtaposition of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler and gold medal winner Jesse Owens are some of the Olympics most memorable images.  The 1936 games were the first to be broadcast on television.

The 1936 Olympic games were also the first year that basketball was included in the games.  The United States beat Canada to win the first-ever Olympic gold medal in the sport.

Kansas is often seen as the birthplace of basketball with Dr. James Naismith’s association with the University of Kansas. It’s no surprise then that seven of the 14 members of the 1936 men’s basketball team were from Kansas. In fact they were all employed by the Globe Refinery in McPherson, KS and played on its semi-pro team, the Globe Refiners, from 1934-1936.

 1936 Globe Refiners Team

The Refiners home court was at the Community Building – originally called Convention Hall.  An exhibit in the lobby, created by the McPherson Rotary Club, details the team’s path to gold at the 1936 Olympic Games and is available for public viewing. The McPherson Museum also has an exhibit of Refiner memorabilia. There is a plaque at McPherson High School commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Olympic victory.

 Plaque at High School

According to the lobby exhibit, the Globe Refiners won the AAU Missouri Valley League Championship and played the Hollywood Universal team for the national championship. Later, seven Globe Refiners players and seven Hollywood Universal players were selected for the 1936 United States Olympic Basketball Team. Because international rules limited the team to seven players, the U.S. team was divided into a Globe Refiners unit and a Hollywood Universal unit.  The Globe Refiners unit ended up playing the championship game, defeating Canada for the first-ever Olympic Gold Medal in basketball.

The Refiner’s story is a shining moment in a long history of Kansas basketball that continues today. It continues to be a source of pride for McPherson County residents, whose early introduction to basketball is said to be the cause of the strong community support for the local high school basketball programs which have produced several state championship teams for both boys and girls.

The community building is open by appointment. Call the CVB at 620.241.3340.

contact info
Anne Hassler
306 N. Main St.
McPherson, KS 67460
Phone: 800.324.8022
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