Throwback: 1970-71 Utah Stars and their journey to the ABA championship

May 28th, 2012 | by Spencer Hall

Everybody loved seeing John Stockton and Jim Nantz in a hot tub, so I’m very excited to announce a project in collaboration with KSL sports anchor Jeremiah Jensen to digitize and upload classic basketball footage from the KSL archives.

Today’s clip is a spectacular retrospective celebrating the 1970-71 ABA Champion Utah Stars. This is probably the first video introduction most Jazz fans 50-years-old and younger will have to the team that brought the first professional championship to Utah. It’s amazing to see a young Ron Boone and get to know the mythical Willie Wise, Zelmo Beaty Red Robbins, and the rest.

The clip is narrated by longtime Utah broadcaster Bill Howard, who passed away in 1994. Howard notes that Stars owner Bill Daniels “…made a promise, made a pledge, that Salt Lake City would become the Green Bay of professional basketball.”

A full write-up is forthcoming. In the meantime, tell me what you love in the clip. Every single second is mesmerizing.

Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at
Spencer Hall
Spencer Hall

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  1. Tyler Barton says:

    Amazing footage; especially loved the Picadilly Fish and Chips ad at the end

  2. kurt says:

    This is really cool. I have been looking for clips on the Utah Stars and came across this by accident. Awesome! Brings back great memories

  3. Sharon Koval says:

    How fun! Bill Howard is my uncle. What a treat to be able to see and hear him again.

  4. Lee Nielson says:

    Great clip! I loved watching the Utah Stars. Willie Wise will always be my favorite basketball player! Is there anyway I can buy a copy of this either on dvd or vhs? Thanksfor showing this clip!

    • Spencer Hall says:

      Hey Lee, I’ll see what I can do to get a copy of the footage and make it available. KSL doesn’t have a lot of full game footage, unfortunately. They mostly have whatever aired on the news or on special broadcasts. I’d love to get my hands on the full broadcast.

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