The Basketball League

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The Basketball League (TBL)
Upcoming season or competition:
Current sports event 2019 TBL season
TheBasketBallLeague Logo.jpeg
Inaugural season2018
CEOEvelyn Magley
PresidentDave Magley
CommissionerPaul Mokeski
Motto"Where the spirit of the game lives"
No. of teams14
CountriesUnited States
ContinentFIBA Americas (Americas)
Most recent
Albany Patroons (2019)

The Basketball League (TBL) is a minor professional basketball league operating in North America that began play in 2018 as North American Premier Basketball (NAPB).


On July 7, 2017, Dr. Sev Hrywnak and Dave Magley announced the formation of a new professional basketball league. Magley previously served as commissioner for the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC).[1] Dr. Sev Hrywnak is the owner of the Rochester Razorsharks. Teams are based throughout the United States and Western Canada. Over the course of two years, the league administration located cities that formerly hosted basketball teams in the defunct Continental Basketball Association, the Premier Basketball League, defunct NBA teams and other potential sports markets. The purpose of the league is to provide opportunities for community involvement particularly schools from the elementary to high school levels. Programs include players reading to younger children, hosting basketball camps for teens, and speaking in school-wide assemblies about substance abuse and staying in school.[2]

The league launched its inaugural 2018 season with eight teams: the Albany Patroons, Kansas City Tornados, Kentucky Thoroughbreds, Nevada Desert Dogs, Ohio Cardinals, Rochester Razorsharks, Vancouver Knights, and the Yakima SunKings. The Ohio Cardinals were replaced midseason by the Ohio Bootleggers, a team operated by the former ownership of the Vancouver Knights.

On February 25, 2018, Dave Magley stated that there were four more approved franchises in Bellevue, Washington, Raleigh, North Carolina, Tampa, Florida, and San Diego, California, with the goal of 16 total well-funded teams, for a 2019 season.[3]

After the first NAPB season, Magley acquired the league as sole owner, moved the headquarters to Indiana, and named Evelyn Magley as the new CEO. On July 14, the league was rebranded as The Basketball League (TBL).[4] Paul Mokeski, head coach and general manager of the Nevada Desert Dogs during the inaugural season, was then named commissioner of the league for the 2019 season.[5] During the league changes, the Ohio Bootleggers, Rochester Razorsharks, and Vancouver Knights folded while the Bellevue team never came to fruition. The league then added the existing teams, the Jamestown Jackals and New York Court Kings, in addition to the three previously announced expansion teams, the Raleigh Firebirds, San Diego Waves, and Tampa Bay Titans. Three teams also slightly rebranded with the Kansas City Tornadoes, Mesquite Desert Dogs, and Owensboro Thoroughbreds. The 2019 season commenced with ten teams.

During the second season, there were many canceled and rescheduled games.[6] The league apparently cut its season short, with the New York Court Kings and Kansas City Tornadoes either folding or ceasing operations for the season.[7]


2020 teams[edit]

Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joined Head coach
Albany Patroons Albany, New York Washington Avenue Armory 3,600–4,300 2017[a] 2018 Derrick Rowland
Columbus Condors Columbus, Ohio 2016[b] 2020 Darrell Miller
Dallas Skyline Addison, Texas Alfred J. Loos Fieldhouse 7,000 2019 2020 Chris Terrell
Dayton Flight Dayton, Ohio 2019 2020
Gulf Coast Lions[8] Sarasota, Florida 2019 2020 Ed Corporal
Jamestown Jackals Jamestown, New York Jamestown Community College 1,400 2015[c] 2019 Mark Anderson
Lewisville Yellow Jackets Lewisville, Texas 2019 2020
Mesquite Desert Dogs Mesquite, Nevada Virgin Valley High School 2017 2018 Carlnel Wiley
Owensboro Thoroughbreds Owensboro, Kentucky Owensboro Sportscenter 5,000 2017 2018 Adam Chrisco
Raleigh Firebirds Raleigh, North Carolina Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School 2,000 2018 2019 Robert Brickey
San Diego Armada San Diego, California 2019 2020
Tampa Bay Titans Tampa, Florida Memorial Middle School 1,500 2018 2019
Tri-State Admirals Newark, New Jersey 2019 2020
Yakima SunKings Yakima, Washington Yakima SunDome 6,159 2017[a] 2018
  1. ^ a b New franchise replacing the defunct team of the same name.
  2. ^ Originally in the Central Basketball Association in 2016, relaunched as the Ohio Bootleggers in the Premier Basketball League for 2017 and the North American Basketball League for 2018 before the Bootleggers filled in for the folded NAPB Ohio Cardinals for the remainder of the 2018 NAPB season.
  3. ^ Originally in the Premier Basketball League for 2016, joined the North American Basketball League for 2018 after the PBL ceased operations.

Future teams[edit]

Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joining Head coach
Little Rock Lightning Little Rock, Arkansas 2019 2021

Former teams[edit]

Team City Arena Seasons Notes
Kansas City Tornadoes Kansas City, Missouri multiple 2018–2019 Reportedly backed out of participating in 2019 playoffs despite being second place; not listed on website after season ended.
New York Court Kings Queens, New York Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities Center 2019 Joined from the ABA; apparently ceased operations during the 2019 season.
Ohio Bootleggers Westerville, Ohio Otterbein University Rike Center 2018 Owners of the Bootleggers had been operating the Vancouver Knights since sometime during the 2018 season. The Bootleggers' NABL team then replaced the folded Ohio Cardinals midseason, but were not listed by TBL as a 2019 member. The Bootleggers relaunched as the Columbus Condors in 2020.
Ohio Cardinals Akron, Ohio LeBron James Arena 2018 Folded during the 2018 season.
Rochester Razorsharks Rochester, New York Blue Cross Arena 2018 Played the 2018 NAPB season and was among the teams listed as members in the TBL; removed as listed members upon 2019 schedule release.
San Diego Waves San Diego, California San Diego Mesa College 2019 Team's owner was stated to be relocating the team to an undecided location. San Diego Armada was announced as a replacement team for the 2020 season under new ownership.
Vancouver Knights Richmond, British Columbia Richmond Olympic Oval 2018 The Ohio Bootleggers' ownership took over operations of the Knights during the season and the Knights became a travel team. Ownership was transferred during the 2018 season to another unidentified group once the Bootleggers took over for the Cardinals' schedule. Was not listed by TBL as a 2019 member.

Team timeline[edit]

Current teams in tan
Former teams in dark tan
Announced future teams in green

Tri-State AdmiralsDallas SkylineTampa Bay TitansSan Diego WavesRaleigh FirebirdsJamestown JackalsColumbus CondorsYakima SunKingsRochester RazorsharksMesquite Desert DogsOwensboro ThoroughbredsKansas City TornadoesAlbany Patroons


Season Regular season champion Regular season MVP Playoff champion Playoff runner-up Playoff MVP
2018 Yakima SunKings Edwin Ubiles (Albany) Yakima SunKings Albany Patroons Renaldo Major
2019 Yakima SunKings Robert Duncan (Yakima) Albany Patroons Yakima SunKings Shadell Millinghaus


  1. ^ "KU notebook: Ex-Jayhawk David Magley leaves Canada pro league for new venture in U.S." The Kansas City Star. July 2, 2017.
  2. ^ "The North American Premier Basketball League". NAPB. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "State of the NAPB: Magley shares thoughts on first half of season". NAPB. February 25, 2018.
  4. ^ "Meet the First Black Female Owner of a Male Professional Basketball League (Not a Team, But a League!)". Black News. July 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "Mesquite (Nevada) Desert Dogs coming back for 2019". Mesquite Local News. August 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "GOOD AND BAD NEWS FOR DESERT DOGS". Mesquite Local News. April 12, 2019.
  7. ^ "Patroons trying to make it work". Times Union. April 8, 2019.
  8. ^ "September 6, 2019 TBL Instagram post". Instagram. September 6, 2019.

External links[edit]