|Team history||Jacksonville Giants (2010–present)|
|Based in||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Arena||Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena|
|Colors||Navy Blue, Orange|
|Championships||3 (2012, 2013, 2016)|
The Jacksonville Giants are a professional minor league basketball team based in Jacksonville, Florida. They are currently the 2012, 2013, & 2016 National Champions of the new American Basketball Association (ABA), which they joined as an expansion team for the 2010–2011 season. They play most home games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. In addition to their three national championships, the Giants have won regional titles in 2011, 2012, & 2013. In 2014, the team was recognized for their off the court achievements with the ABA National Charity Award for their work in the Jacksonville community.
In May 2010 the American Basketball Association announced a new franchise based in Jacksonville would join the league for the 2010–2011 season. The name was announced as the Jacksonville Giants in November. The owner was Jacksonville attorney Ron Sholes, while the head coach and general manager was Kevin Waters, who previously owned and coached the Jacksonville Bluewaves of the World Basketball Association.
Jacksonville was home to an earlier ABA team, the Jacksonville Jam. The Jam played in the ABA for the 2006–2007 season before moving to the rival Premier Basketball League in 2008, but folded by the end of the season.
In 2010 owner Sholes stated that he hoped to avoid the fate of the Jam and other minor league basketball teams that have failed in Jacksonville with a more professional marketing strategy. He signed a contract with the city's major indoor venue, the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, to use for home games, and contracted with television and radio stations to broadcast games. The Giants debuted on December 4, 2010, defeating the San Francisco Rumble 182–124. They excelled on the court, going 23–0 in the regular season and advancing to the league playoffs, but were ultimately knocked out. They claimed an average attendance of 2000 in their inaugural season.
The Giants had their 2011–2012 opener on December 3, 2011, defeating the Gulf Coast Flash by 1 point on a buzzer beating 3-pointer by Shooting Guard Currye Todd on an inbound pass from former National Basketball Association player and 1992 US Dream Teamer Christian Laettner. Laettner joined the Giants for all 11 of their home games that season. The Giants played two home games at UNF Arena at the University of North Florida, and played the remaining nine at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The Giants won the 2012 ABA Championship, defeating the South Carolina Warriors 2–0 in a best-of-three series.
Giants finished the season with a 29–1 regular season record and hosted the ABA Final Four tournament. Giants won second ABA Championship in a row, defeating the North Dallas Vandals, who they received their only loss of the regular season from, 2–0 in a best-of-three series.
Giants finish season with 29–1 record for the second straight season and advanced through the playoffs to the ABA National Championship game for the third straight season. The Giants fell to the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks 2–0 in a best-of-three series. The first game was lost in overtime and the second was lost on a botched inbound attempt that sealed the game for the Mavericks. The 2013–2014 season saw a lot of positives for the Giants as they broke the ABA Regular Season Attendance record with 8,345 fans in attendance on February 2nd.
Giants Dance Team
The Jacksonville Giants have the largest ABA dance team. Over 40 girls, ages 13 through 25, dance in two separate teams. The teenage dance team is titled the Gems, and the adult dance team is named the Jewels.
All Jacksonville Giants home games played in the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena are televised on CW17 in high-definition. Broadcaster and sports talk radio host Richard Miller has hosted these Giants broadcasts since Season One in 2010.
All Jacksonville Giants home games can be heard LIVE on 1010XL Sports talk Radio. 1010XL Sports talk host Spencer Luthin (aka Spencer "Balls" Davis) has hosted Giants radio since December 6, 2013.
Records and recognition
February 7, 2014 – "Most Points Scored in Basketball History – 222 points"
February 5, 2012 – "Most Points Scored in Basketball History – 211 points"
February 1, 2014 – "Highest Regular Season Attendance in ABA History" – 8,354 in attendance.
June 1, 2014 – Received the 2014 National ABA Charity Award for Outstanding Service to the Community.
Jacksonville Giants Season Two 2011–2012 roster
Jacksonville Giants Season Three 2012–2013 roster
Jacksonville Giants Season Three 2012–2013 roster
- Gurbal, Ashley (November 19, 2010). "Starting Jacksonville Giants a local lawyer's hoop dream". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
- Elliott, Jeff (October 20, 2010). "ABA pro basketball team coming to Jacksonville". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
- Richardson, Darcy G. (December 2, 2010). "Pro-Basketball in Jacksonville a 'Giant' Challenge". Jacksonville Observer. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
- Zima, Mike (December 5, 2010). "Jacksonville Giants romp in overwhelming debut". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
- Ledman, Gary (December 5, 2010). "Jacksonville Giants want to take it one step further in second season". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- Gurbal, Ashley (February 25, 2011). "Giants on the court; not at the gate". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- "Jacksonville Giants win ABA championship". The Florida Times-Union. April 15, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.