Premier Basketball League
|No. of teams||10|
|Country||USA / CAN|
|Continent||FIBA Americas (Americas)|
|Most recent champion(s)||Bloomington Flex|
|Most titles||Rochester Razorsharks (3 titles)|
The Premier Basketball League, often abbreviated to the PBL, is a professional men's basketball minor league in the United States and Canada that began play in January 2008. The league had ten teams for the 2008 season and thirteen teams for the 2009 season. Nine teams from Canada and the United States participated in the 2010 season while only eight started the 2011 season.
- 1 History
- 2 Clubs
- 3 Awards
- 4 Championship Game/Series results
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The PBL was formed after a number of disagreements between several former member teams of the modern American Basketball Association (ABA) and ABA CEO Joe Newman. Eight of the initial ten PBL teams either played in or were slated to play in the ABA.
In early 2007, Newman was voted out of his position as CEO of the ABA by the board of directors, which included Maryland Nighthawks owner and then-ABA COO Tom Doyle (who was later a commissioner of the PBL), citing dissatisfaction with how Newman executed his duties as CEO. Newman responded by using his and other shares that formed a controlling interest to remove the entire board of directors.
Newman then refused to reschedule a weather-delayed playoff game between the Rochester Razorsharks and Wilmington Sea Dawgs although the two teams agreed to a make up date, wanting instead to force Rochester to accept a forfeit. It was on the heels of these two incidents that the Nighthawks and Razorsharks ownership groups decided to found the PBL.
During the 2008 off season, six more former ABA teams decided to move to the PBL. First, on May 9, the Manchester Millrats and the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 ABA champion Vermont Frost Heaves moved. Then on May 20, the inactive Detroit Panthers re-activated and joined the league. And on May 21, the Quebec Kebs joined. On June 5 another team with an ABA history, the Augusta Groove, joined the league, but from the Continental Basketball Association. On June 23, the Halifax Rainmen, an ABA team the previous year, announced they were also joining the PBL after a bid to join the NBA Development League fell short. The first International Basketball League defection came on July 31 when the Battle Creek Knights joined the league.The Rochester Razorsharks went on to win their second straight PBL title after beating the Battle Creek Knights.
On February 5, 2009, the league removed the original ownership of the Montreal Sasquatch for non-payment of players and removed the team from the league. Montreal's four best players were drafted by other teams and all of the other players were given unconditional releases. However, on February 11, the league announced new ownership for the team and the team was reinstated for the remainder of the year.
Two thirds of the way through their inaugural season, there was a split among the members of the ownership group of the Mid-Michigan Destroyers and the team suspended operations for the remainder of 2009. The league also said the remaining Mid-Michigan games on the schedule would be filled by the remaining teams in the league.
The Rochester Razorsharks had to delay the third game of their semi-final series. By the time the finals would have taken place, there were concerns about date availability at Kellogg Arena (home of the Battle Creek Knights) and the ability of the league to honor a commitment to broadcast the games overseas due to limited broadcast capability from Kellogg Arena. Rather than the scheduled best of three finals series a single game final was played at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
The Battle Creek Knights, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs and the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry would not return for the 2010 season.  The Maryland Nighthawks changed the name of their franchise to the Maryland GreenHawks. The Puerto Rico Capitanes joined the league, performing concurrently in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.
At the end of the season, the league officially severed ties with the Buffalo Stampede, citing a failure by the team to adhere to league standards. The Maryland GreenHawks were also dropped from the league. The Bluegrass Stallions, another ABA team, joined. The league also added the expansion Dayton Air Strikers.
In January, the Vermont Frost Heaves abruptly announced the cessation of operations and their players were dispersed via a draft. The Rochester Razorsharks won the league championship after several controversial games where the impartiality of officiating was called into question by other league members. In addition, the Lawton Constitution reported that Micheal Ray Richardson, the coach of the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry, stated they will not return to the PBL.
On May 24, 2011, the league filed a lawsuit against the Our Sports Central website and one poster over posts on the message boards claiming some of the league games were fixed.
The league approved expansion teams in Chicago and Scranton, PA for the 2012 PBL season. Also, Chattanooga, TN, Hershey, PA, and Madison, WI were named as cities pending approval for expansion teams.
On July 18, 2011, the PBL announced the Dayton Air Strikers were returning to the league for the 2012 season. In addition, the Northwestern Illinois-based Sauk Valley Predators began their inaugural season in the PBL for 2012. On August 22, 2011, it was announced the Charleston Gunners would be the PBL's sixth team for the 2012 season. On September 15, 2011, it was announced the Northwest Indiana Stars were leaving the ABA to be the PBL's seventh team for the 2012 season. On September 21, 2011 it was announced the Lake Michigan Admirals were also leaving the ABA to be the PBL's eighth team for the 2012 season. On September 23, 2011 it was announced that the PBL's ninth team for the 2012 season would be the Central Illinois Drive based in Bloomington, Illinois. On October 12, 2011, it was announced that the Indiana Diesels were also leaving the ABA to be the PBL's tenth team for the 2012 season. On October 14, 2011, it was announced that the St. Louis Pioneers were also leaving the ABA to join the PBL, changing their name to the St. Louis Phoenix.
The Central Illinois Drive won the PBL championship for 2012, defeating the Rochester RazorSharks, 101-80. The Drive was 18-1 in regular season and 22-1 total.
The 2013 season began in March 2013. During the off season the league announced it would be merging with the Independent Basketball Association to form the IBA-PBL. Prior to the start of the season, the defending champions, the Central Illinois Drive, ceased operations, but were then rebooted as the Bloomington Flex.
On May 24, 2013, the six PBL teams announced that the two leagues would cease interleague play, and that the leagues would hold separate playoffs. In the first round of the PBL playoffs, the Bloomington Flex beat the Indiana Diesels two games to none, and the Rochester Razorsharks beat the Sauk Valley Predators two games to none. In the finals, the Flex beat the RazorSharks two games to none to win their second consecutive title.
On September 21, 2013, the PBL announced the first of what is expected to be up to six expansion teams, with the Lima (Ohio) Express signing to play for the 2014 season, which will begin in January.
On November 12, the PBL announced the addition of the Pee Dee Vipers, an expansion team based in Florence, SC. Three days later, the league announced that the Lake Michigan Admirals would return for 2014. On November 25, the PBL announced the addition of the Buffalo 716ers and the Erie (PA) Hurricane. As of November 25, 2013, the league stands at 11 teams for the 2014 season. In later November the Chicago Tide joined the league.
|Buffalo 716ers||Buffalo, New York||Tapestry Charter School|
|Erie Hurricane||Erie, Pennsylvania||East High School|
|Lynchburg Titans||Lynchburg, Virginia||Lynchburg City Armory|
|Pee Dee Vipers||Florence, South Carolina||Florence Civic Center|
|Rochester Razorsharks||Rochester, New York||Blue Cross Arena|
|Bloomington Flex ||Bloomington, Illinois||U.S. Cellular Coliseum|
|Chicago Tide||Markham, Illinois||Rosener Field House|
|Indianapolis Diesels||Indianapolis, Indiana||Indy South Sports Academy|
|Lake Michigan Admirals||St. Joseph, Michigan||Lake Michigan Catholic High School|
|Lima Express||Lima, Ohio||Lima Central Catholic High School|
|Grand Rapids Cyclones||Grand Rapids, Michigan||DeltaPlex Arena|
History of Teams
|Team||Win||Loss||Total||Year(s) Won||Year(s) Lost|
|Rochester RazorSharks||3||3||6||2008, 2009, 2011||2010, 2012, 2013|
|Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry||1||1||2||2010||2011|
|Central Illinois Drive||1||0||1||2012||-|
|Battle Creek Knights||0||1||1||-||2009|
- 2008: Jeremy Bell, Arkansas Impact
- 2009: Keith Friel, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2010: DeAnthony Bowden, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry
- 2011: Quinnel Brown, Quebec Kebs
- 2012: Perry Petty, Central Illinois Drive (now Bloomington Flex)
- 2013: Jemal Farmer, Bloomington Flex
- 2008: Keith Friel, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2009: Keith Friel, Rochester Razorsharks and Sammy Monroe, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2010: Elvin Mims, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry
- 2011: Melvin Council, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2012: Perry Petty, Central Illinois Drive (now Bloomington Flex)
- 2013: Jemal Farmer, Bloomington Flex
Coach of the Year
- 2008: Rod Baker, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2009: Terry Sare, Battle Creek Knights and Rod Baker, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2010: Micheal Ray Richardson, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry
- 2011: Rob Spon, Quebec Kebs
- 2012: A.J. Guyton, Central Illinois Drive (now Bloomington Flex)
- 2013: A.J. Guyton, Bloomington Flex
Sixth Man of the Year
- 2009: Alex Harper, Wilmington Sea Dawgs
- 2010: Melvin Council, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2011: Eddie Smith, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry
- 2012: Rodney Edgerson, Central Illinois Drive (now Bloomington Flex)
- 2013: Darin Mency, Rochester Razorsharks
Defensive Player of the Year
- 2009: Jonas Pierre, Quebec Kebs and Al Stewart, Manchester Millrats
- 2010: Eric Crookshank, Halifax Rainmen
- 2011: Eric Crookshank, Halifax Rainmen
- 2012: Marcel Anderson, Chicago Muscle
- 2013: Nate Fuqua, Bloomington Flex
Rookie of the Year
- 2010: Eric Gilchrese, Manchester Millrats & Halifax Rainmen
- 2011: Todd McCoy, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2013: Josiah Whitehead, Bloomington Flex
Newcomer of the Year
- 2009: A.J. Millien, Augusta Groove & Halifax Rainmen
- 2010: Scooter Sherrill, Maryland GreenHawks
- 2011: Kenny Jones, Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions
Championship Game/Series results
- 2008: Rochester Razorsharks defeated Arkansas Impact, 142-112 (Blue Cross Arena)
- 2009: Rochester Razorsharks defeated Battle Creek Knights, 152-115 (Blue Cross Arena)
- 2010: Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry defeated Rochester Razorsharks two games to one
- 2011: Rochester Razorsharks defeated Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry two games to one
- 2012: Central Illinois Drive defeated Rochester Razorsharks two games to none
- 2013: Bloomington Flex defeated Rochester Razorsharks two games to none
- Rao, Chay (2008-01-02), Nighthawks prep for New Year, new league, Gazette.Net, retrieved 2008-01-15
- United States Securities And Exchange Commission Form 8-K, 2007-01-31, retrieved 2008-05-21
- George, Rachel (2007-03-24), Sea Dawgs are unlikely hosts, Wilmington Star News, retrieved 2008-05-21
- Premier Basketball League Welcomes Vermont Frost Heaves And Manchester Millrats, Our Sports Central, 2008-05-09, retrieved 2008-05-09
- Detroit Panthers Join Premier Basketball League, Our Sports Central, 2008-05-20, retrieved 2008-05-20
- Quebec Kebs Join Premier Basketball League, Our Sports Central, 2008-05-21, retrieved 2008-05-21
- Premier Basketball League Welcomes Augusta Groove, Our Sports Central, 2008-06-05, retrieved 2008-06-05
- Rainmen to join Premier Basketball League, Halifax Metro.Ca, 2008-06-23, retrieved 2008-06-23
- Premier Basketball League Welcomes Battle Creek Knights, Our Sports Central, 2008-07-31, retrieved 2008-07-31
- PBL Makes Decision to Remove Montreal, Our Sports Central, 2009-02-05, retrieved 2009-02-05
- Team Montreal (formerly Montreal Sasquat'ch), retrieved 2010-05-28
- Premier Basketball League Continues in Montreal this Season, Our Sports Central, 2009-02-11, retrieved 2009-02-12
- PBL Grants Mid-Michigan a Suspension of Operations, Our Sports Central, 2009-02-25, retrieved 2009-02-25
- Van Horn, Chris (2009-04-19), Rochester RazorSharks staying home to defend title, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, retrieved 2009-04-20
- PBL in China, 2009-05-14, retrieved 2010-05-28
- 2009 PBL Championship Game Announced, razorsharks.com, 2009-04-15, retrieved 2010-05-28
- Krieger, Dan (2009-08-24), Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report, Our Sports Central, retrieved 2009-10-18
- GoGreenhawks.com:Home, 2009-10-26, retrieved 2009-10-26
- Premier Basketball League Reorganizes, Our Sports Central, 2010-05-24, retrieved 2010-05-24
- Freeman, Brian (2010-07-03), PBL looking to add Puerto Rican teams to league, Halifax Chronicle Herald, retrieved 2010-07-13
- Matthews, Bob (2010-08-10), Mike Ryba also an amazing Red Wing, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, retrieved 2010-08-10
- PBL Welcomes New Team, Our Sports Central, 2010-09-15, retrieved 2010-09-15
- Vermont Frost Heaves hoops team folds, Burlington Free Press, 2011-01-26, retrieved 2011-01-26
- Ducharme, Jeff (2011-04-13), Mill Rats to return next season - but in what league?, Saint John Telegraph Journal, retrieved 2011-04-19
- Premier Basketball League, Inc. v. Reeths et al, justia.com, 2011-05-25, retrieved 2011-05-25
- Mandelaro, Jim (2011-04-20), Razorsharks' league announces changes for 2012, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, retrieved 2011-04-23
- Foltz, Chris (2011-07-18), Dayton Air Strikers return for the Premier Basketball League’s 2012 Season, Premier Basketball League, retrieved 2011-09-16
- Foltz, Chris (2011-07-25), Premier Basketball League Welcomes the Sauk Valley Predators to the 2012 Season, Premier Basketball League, retrieved 2011-09-16
- Charleston Gunners Join Premier Basketball League for 2012 Season, Our Sports Central, 2011-08-23, retrieved 2011-09-16
- Northwest Indiana Stars Leave the American Basketball Association to Join the Premier Basketball League for Their Upcoming 2012 Season, PR Newswire, 2011-09-15, retrieved 2011-09-16
- Lake Michigan Admirals and Fans Excited About Joining the Premier Basketball League in 2012, Premier Basketball League, 2011-09-21, retrieved 2011-09-23
- The Premier Basketball League Adds Bloomington, Illinois Team for 2012, Premier Basketball League, 2011-09-23, retrieved 2011-09-23
- Indiana Diesels Join the Premier Basketball League (PBL) for Their Upcoming 2012 Season, Premier Basketball League, 2011-10-12, retrieved 2011-10-12
- The Premier Basketball League Welcomes the St. Louis Phoenix for the 2012 Season, Premier Basketball League, 2011-10-14, retrieved 2011-10-14
- [dead link]
- "IBA-PBL Merger Has Ended". Iba-pbl.net. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- ((cite web|url=http://woodtv.com/2014/02/06/gr-gets-new-professional-basketball-team |title=GR gets new professional basketball team |publisher=WOOD-TB |date=2013-02-06
- Teams, thepbl.com, retrieved 2010-05-28