Detroit Panthers (PBL)

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Detroit Panthers
Founded 2000
League ABA (2000–2006)
PBL (2008–2009)
Team history Detroit Dogs: (2000–2002)
Detroit Wheels: (2004–2006)
Detroit Panthers: (2006–2009)
Based in Beverly Hills, Michigan
Arena Groves High School (2,500)
Colors Teal, black, white, burgundy
Championships 1
Division titles 1
Dancers Lady Panthers
Mascot PeeTee the Panther

The Detroit Panthers were an American minor-league basketball team in the Premier Basketball League. Formerly a member of the American Basketball Association, the team was previously known as the Detroit Dogs and the Detroit Wheels. The Panthers were one of the charter franchises of the ABA and won the league's first championship as the Detroit Dogs.


2000–2002: Detroit Dogs[edit]

Initially founded in 2000 as one of the new ABA's charter franchises, the Detroit Dogs quickly became one of the league's better teams. Their first coach was Detroit's own George Gervin, a star with the original ABA in the 1970s. The Dogs finished with a 24–20 record and the best record in the Eastern Division, facing the Tampa Bay ThunderDawgs in the first round of the playoffs. After trailing for most of the game, Detroit rallied and won 117–112, moving to the second round. In the semifinals, Detroit handled the Indiana Legends 119–105, and advanced to the new ABA's first championship game against the heavily favored Chicago Skyliners, owners of a 31-12 record. Detroit would get off to a fast start and easily defeat the Skyliners, 107v91. Gee Gervin (George's son), who led the team during the regular season, won the first-ever ABA Championship Game MVP Award.

During their second season, 2001–02, the Detroit Dogs struggled as a team, losing five games in a row at one point. A late-season rally gave the Dogs an 11–17 record, good enough for fourth place and a playoff spot. The Phoenix Eclipse promptly eliminated Detroit, 112–97.

2003–2006: Detroit Wheels[edit]

For the 2002–03 season, the ABA took the year off, but returned in the 2003–04 season. In an effort to rebrand themselves, the Detroit Dogs renamed themselves the Detroit Wheels, as a reference to the car-building industry that made the city famous. The Wheels struggled both on and off the court, with several games cancelled due to an inability to secure arena dates (a common problem in the ABA). Detroit managed to play just 12 games and finished with a losing record at 4–8. In 2004–05, they finished with the same record, missing the playoffs for two consecutive years.

In 2005–2006, the "wheels" officially came off for Detroit, as they endured the worst season in their history, thanks to various injuries to key players. A long losing streak deposited the Wheels into last place in the Freddie Lewis Division with a 6–17 record. After another losing season and no playoffs, the Wheels were ready to reinvent themselves yet again.

2006–2007: Detroit Panthers[edit]

As the Detroit Panthers, the team turned things around as they went on a six-game winning streak during the 2006–07 regular season. The Panthers, led by 6'6" guard, Tyrone Mack, finished with a 16–10 record, taking the North Division title, and gearing up for a championship run.[1] In the playoffs, they were slated to face the Peoria Kings in Detroit on March 14, 2007.[2] In a press release, the league stated that Detroit was one of five teams that qualified for the playoffs but chose not to compete[3] for what league CEO Joe Newman called "valid acceptable reasons. The "Detroit Panthers" official Disc Jockey was Chip Pepitone, better known as "DJ Gemini"

2007: Off year[edit]

After giving up their playoff season, the Detroit Panthers suspended operations for the 2007–08 season, and eventually dropped out of the ABA

2008–2009: Welcome to the PBL[edit]

In the spring of 2008, the team joined the Premier Basketball League for the 2009 season.[4] The Panthers went 6–14. In October 2009, the Panthers announced they'd be sitting out the 2010 PBL season. They would not return.[5]

Season-by-season records[edit]


  • 2000–2001: 24–20, W 1st rd. Tampa Bay 117–112, W 2nd rd. Indiana 119–105, W Finals Chicago 107–91
  • 2001–2002: 11–17, L 1st round Phoenix 112–97
  • 2002–2003: did not play
  • 2003–2004: 4–8, missed playoffs
  • 2004–2005: 4–8, missed playoffs
  • 2005–2006: 6–17, missed playoffs
  • 2006–2007: 16–10, did not participate in playoffs
  • 2007–2008: did not play


  • 2008–2009: 6–14

Final roster[edit]

Head Coach: Terry Sare

# Pos. Ht. Player Acquired College
1 United States PG 5'11 Giovanni Riley 2008 Wisconsin-Whitewater
3 United States PG 6'0 Brian Woodland 2008 Henderson State
5 United States PF 6'8 Willie Mitchell 2008 Alabama-Birmingham
10 United States SF 6'7 David Myers 2008 Michigan
11 United States PG 6'2 Reginald Riley 2008 Newman
14 United States SF 6'6 Tyrone Mack 2008 Northwestern
22 United States SG 6'3 Kyle Johnson 2008 Wisconsin
23 United States SF 6'5 Jasen Hunt 2008 Central State
30 United States SG 6'4 Micah Kirstein 2008 St. Francis (IL)
33 United States SG 6'5 Stane's Bufford 2008 Western Michigan
44 United States C 6'6 Corey Gupton 2008 Park
45 United States C 6'9 Justin Fiori 2008 Schoolcraft

2009 season schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Home/Away Score High points High rebounds High assists Location/Attendance Record
January 3 Mid-Michigan Destroyers Home 109-114 Brian Woodland (27) Brian Woodland & David Myers (7) Reginald Riley (5) Groves High School 1-0
January 4 Chicago Throwbacks Home 110-106 Corey Gupton (22) Stane's Bufford (9) Brian Woodland & Micah Kirstein (5) Groves High School 1-1
January 10 Mid-Michigan Destroyers Away 107-102 Stane's Bufford (26) Willie Mitchell (8) Brian Woodland (7) Bay City Western High School 2-1
January 17 Battle Creek Knights Away 101-109 Stane's Bufford (26) Willie Mitchell (10) Brian Woodland (4) Kellogg Arena 2-2
January 18 Chicago Throwbacks Away 107-119 James Head (17) James Head (10) Giovanni Riley (3) Attack Athletics 2-3
January 24 Augusta Groove Home 131-115 Stane's Bufford (27) Willie Mitchell (10) Giovanni Riley (9) Groves High School 2-4
January 31 Battle Creek Knights Home 119-106 Brian Woodland (20) James Head (9) Brian Woodland (8) Groves High School 2-5
February 8 Chicago Throwbacks Home 114-113 Stane's Bufford (28) Chuck Bailey (8) Randy Gill (7) Groves High School 2-6
February 13 Halifax Rainmen Away 89-100 Stane's Bufford (22) Chuck Bailey (13) Randy Gill (11) Halifax Metro Centre 2-7
February 15 Wilmington Sea Dawgs Away 95-101 Stane's Bufford (27) Chuck Bailey (13) Randy Gill (3) Schwartz Center 2-8
February 20 Battle Creek Knights Away 133-143 Randy Gill (35) Chuck Bailey (14) Randy Gill (5) Kellogg Arena 2-9
February 22 Mid-Michigan Destroyers Away 118-103 Chuck Bailey (30) Walter Waters (17) Brian Woodland (10) Western High School 3-9
February 28 Battle Creek Knights Home 108-110 Randy Gill (35) Chuck Bailey (15) Randy Gill (14) Groves High School 4-9
March 6 Chicago Throwbacks Away 123-116 Brian Woodland (30) Randy Gill (5) Randy Gill (3) Attack Athletics 5-9
March 8 Montreal Sasquatch Home 115-119 Stane's Bufford (26) Michael Manciel & Walter Waters (13) Stane's Bufford (6) Groves High School 6-9
March 15 Augusta Groove Home 136-132 Walter Waters (28) Walter Waters (15) Brian Woodland & Randy Gill (7) Groves High School 6-10
March 21 Augusta Groove Away 119-123 Brian Woodland (45) Michael Manciel (12) Oscar Sanders (5) Richmond Academy 6-11
March 22 Wilmington Sea Dawgs Home* 110-91 Stane's Bufford (29) Walter Waters (12) Michael Manciel & Brian Woodland (3) Brunswick Community College 6-12
March 28 Wilmington Sea Dawgs Home 107-103 Stane's Bufford (31) Walter Waters (11) Brian Woodland (6) Groves High School 6-13
March 29 Wilmington Sea Dawgs Home 121-104 Brian Woodland (41) Walter Waters (16) Stane's Bufford (9) Groves High School 6-14

* Both Wilmington and Detroit need to make up a game, so Detroit is home for the game although it will be played very near Wilmington's home gym.


External links[edit]