May 11, 2010 - World Basketball Association (WBA)
The World Basketball Association Exposure League (WBA) - which starts its seventh season tonight in Kissimmee, Fla. - is pleased to welcome its newest addition, the Birmingham (Ala.) Steel.
The Steel - formerly a member of the Continental Basketball League - are owned by Richard Ashmon, who played professional basketball in Europe and the U.S. minor leagues. He has also coached in the WBA and ABA as well. He serves as the Steel's head coach and general manager and his assistants are Jonathan Threatt and Charles Judkins.
The addition of Birmingham to the league keeps the WBA membership at seven teams in four states after the league suspended operations of the Tupelo (Miss.) Rock & Rollers for the 2010 season. Even though Tupelo won't be playing in the WBA this season, league commissioner William Slaton is hopeful that the Rock & Rollers will return to the league in 2011.
"The Tupelo franchise didn't meet league standards for the 2010 season," said Slaton. "However, we're working towards them being back in the league next year." Birmingham will now assume the Tupelo franchise's schedule, with one exception. Tupelo was scheduled to travel to Marietta, Ga., to take on the Marietta Storm Thursday in both teams' season openers, but that game has been moved to May 28. Instead, the Steel will open their WBA campaign Saturday against the Florida Flight at Leeds High School in Leeds, Ala. at 7 p.m.
Birmingham will play a pair of home games (Saturday against Florida, May 21 versus the Decatur Court Kings) before hitting the road for its first away game May 22 in Franklin, Tenn. against the Franklin Knights.
The revised opening weekend schedule now has Jacksonville at Florida (at the Kissimmee Civic Center) tonight at 7 p.m. and a pair of games Friday with Franklin versus the Gwinnett (Ga.) Majic at Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Ga. and Jacksonville going to Decatur to face the Court Kings at Agnes Scott College in a pair of 7 p.m. contests.
There are three games set for Saturday, with Jacksonville hosting Marietta at Edward Waters College at 2 p.m., Decatur going to Gwinnett to take on the Majic at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross at 6 and Birmingham hosting Florida. The WBA's first weekend of action closes out Sunday with a 5 p.m. game between Florida and Franklin at the A-Game Sportsplex in Franklin.
Each team will play 16 regular-season games before the playoffs, which are scheduled to start in mid-July. For more information about the WBA Exposure League and the complete 2010 schedule, go to the league's Web site at www.wbaball.net. The schedule is located on the site's main page under the "Schedule" header.
The WBA Exposure League serves as a training ground to develop players on and off
the court. Emphasis is placed on exposure, development, community involvement, and
most importantly providing an exciting brand of basketball and entertainment.
Hundreds of former WBA players have gone on to play professional basketball all over
the world including the D-League and NBA.