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The high number of outstanding college basketball players who do not hear their names called during the annual NBA Draft has spawned a “post‐college” league that will play during the summer months. The Basketball Alumni Legends League (“The‐BALL”) today announced plans to launch in 2013 with teams located in college basketball hotbed markets along the East Coast. The new league’s teams will feature former college standouts from the local universities, giving the teams instant star power and a built‐in fan base. The‐BALL’s season will run from June to August filling a void for basketball fans and giving top players a high‐quality professional hoops alternative during their off‐season break from the NBA D‐League or international competition.
The‐BALL teams will be truly local, featuring star alumni from the popular college programs in the surrounding region. The Washington D.C. team, for example, will feature players from Georgetown, Maryland, George Mason, George Washington, and American. The Philadelphia team will have former stars from Villanova, Temple, St. Joseph’s, La Salle, Penn and Drexel.
The‐BALL will begin play in the summer of 2013 with a four‐team sneak preview of the league to come. In 2014, the league expects to expand to eight teams playing a 20‐game schedule. Markets under consideration include Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, Syracuse, Charlotte, Raleigh‐Durham, Richmond (Va.), and Hartford (Conn.), among others.
I was wondering what happened to Phil Evans. He apparently is in charge of this league.
So if they only allow players who attended college for at least three years to play, does this mean only those who attended college for three years or more are allowed to watch?
Sounds like the basketball version of the AAFL....
That was the first thing that crossed my mind too. With the three year requirement, it will largely be a mid-major/small conference stars league. The identifiable names will be the ones from the little guys, any of the big names from the big schools for the most part won't have the three years of play to qualify.
I assume since this is a pro league, anyone with college eligibility left would have had to declared for the NBA Draft and then gone undrafted to play. I also wonder whether the league would try and attract players who qualify that have gone to Europe and are 10 year pros or NBA players who are nearing retirement and want to play for a little extra cash like Rodman and Kemp did with the IBL? If those are the players who they are bringing in, this will be more like the Senior Professional Baseball League that they tried in Florida in the early 90s than the AAFL concept.
Also, I wonder what kind of footprint the league wants? If it is thinking including teams in the ACC, Big East, Big 10, Pac 12 and SEC, I hope the league has owners with deep pockets. For this to succeed as anything more than simply a summer pro league and actually try and replicate the NCAA experience, it would have to be a big time league. The biggest thing this league would need to do if replicating the NCAA experience is their big goal is to figure out how to get "student section" type of fans to come to their games. It seems the only sport at the pro level that gets even some of this is football. NBA games don't seem to have large sections of crazy fans who have organized cheers and whatnot.
If they can't replicate that, the games will resemble the NCAA holiday season tournaments like the Anaheim/76 Classic. I went to the final day of the 76 Classic this year when I was in LA. Being from Canada, I was hoping for the NCAA experience with the fans, bands etc. What I got, especially for the first game which was UC Riverside/Washington State, was about 50 fans and a high school band that kept forgetting to quit playing when the stoppages were done. The only people who came to see a specific school were families and alumni from the Southern California area. So I guess it depends what the league actually does. The thing that the ABA has shown us, is that no matter what the idea for the league is, it will probably play at least part of a season unlike the AAFL which required huge capital to get going.
The one thing I hope this league doesn't do is call them Team Michigan or Team Texas. Give them some sort of nickname like the Texas Cattlemen (or something that resembles a college nickname of the team(s) they are representing) and colours that are similar to one of the other teams.