Little Three Basketball

Little Three Basketball was made up of St. Bonaventure University, Niagara University and Canisius College. The name “Little Three” referred to all intercollegiate competition between the three schools, but basketball was the focus.

The heyday for Little Three Basketball was in the 1950’s and then again in the late 1960’s when Bob Lanier played for Bonaventure, Calvin Murphy for Niagara and Tony Masiello for Canisius.

little three basketball

Bob Lanier

little three basketball

Tony Masiello

little three basketball

Calvin Murphy

The fierce rivalry between the three schools filled Memorial Auditorium on Saturday nights as the schools would schedule double headers against each other and a fourth team. The interest in the series between the teams began to drop off after the graduation of Lanier, Murphy and Masiello and the creation of the Buffalo Braves in the NBA.