The Basketball League
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|Upcoming season or competition:|
2021 TBL season
|Motto||"Where the spirit of the game lives"|
|No. of teams||34|
|Continent||FIBA Americas (Americas)|
|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). Teams operate on a budget of $125,000 to $250,000 per season with player salaries in the $1,000 to $4,000 per month range depending on the team.
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). Dr. Sev Hrywnak was 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.
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.
After the first NAPB season, Magley acquired the league as sole owner, moved the headquarters to Indiana, and named Evelyn Magley - his wife - as the new CEO. On July 14, the league was rebranded as The Basketball League (TBL). 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. 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. The league cut its season short, with the New York Court Kings and Kansas City Tornadoes either folding or ceasing operations for the season.
Prior to the third season, the league added the Columbus Condors, Dayton Flight, Dallas Skyline, Gulf Coast Lions, Indy Express, Lewisville Yellow Jackets, and the Tri-State Admirals as expansion teams. The San Diego Waves were replaced by expansion San Diego Armada while the Waves were being relocated, but neither team would make the 2020 schedule. Due to the lack of other western teams, the Yakima SunKings and the Mesquite Desert Dogs suspended operations. The third season started in January 2020, but on March 11, 2020, the league announced the season would end prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have a four-team playoff on March 18 through 22. However, the tournament was also cancelled as most events throughout the country were closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
The league then proceeded to announce several new teams for the 2021 season, expanding from 12 teams in the curtailed 2020 season to 35 teams as of January 11, 2021[update]. Several of the added teams came from the semi-professional American Basketball Association.
Hiatus for 2021
|Albany Patroons||Albany, New York||Washington Avenue Armory||2018–2020[d]||Opted out of 2021 season due to COVID-19 pandemic.|
- Originally in the Premier Basketball League for 2016, joined the North American Basketball League for 2018 after the PBL ceased operations.
- As the Rio Grande Valley Silverados in the ABA.
- 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.
- New franchise replacing the defunct team of the same name.
|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.|
|Mesquite Desert Dogs||Mesquite, Nevada||multiple||2018–2019||Withdrew prior to the 2020 season citing travel costs as the last remaining west coast team.|
|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. Change of ownership and left TBL.|
|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.|
|Yakima SunKings||Yakima, Washington||Yakima SunDome||2018–2019||Went on hiatus for 2020.|
Current teams in tan
Former teams in dark tan
Announced future teams in green
|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|
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