The Cleveland Pipers played in the National Industrial Basketball League (NIBL) and the American Basketball League (ABL) during the early 1960s. The Pipers won the NIBL title in 1959 with an undefeated season. As the new ABL started up as a pro league competitor, they made the jump and won the ABL championship in 1960-61, which was the only full season the league would complete. The team played in various gyms around Cleveland, never landing in a formal home. The Pipers signed Jerry Lucas in 1962, and tried to make the jump to the NBA. But a deal never materialized and the financially insolvent Pipers would be no more.