Premier Basketball League Adds Bloomington, Illinois Team for 2012

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The Sweeper
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Premier Basketball League Adds Bloomington, Illinois Team for 2012

Post by The Sweeper » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:00 am

CHICAGO, Sept. 23, 2011 /via — The Premier Basketball League has announced another addition to their recently acquired teams for the upcoming 2012 season. A team from Bloomington, Illinois has been approved and has established their venue, the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, which seats 7,000, located in downtown Bloomington.

League officials have agreed to ownership terms with a local Bloomington businessman and successful entrepreneur. A press conference has been scheduled for Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 3pm at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum to introduce the team owner, team name, and Head Basketball Coach.

“We are extremely excited to add a PBL team as a new tenant in our facility. Central Illinois is a hotbed for basketball and we anticipate tremendous support for the team,” commented John Butler, President of Central Illinois Arena Management.

The Bloomington expansion marks the ninth team scheduled to play in the PBL’s 2012 season. The strategic PBL regional growth model has encouraged responsible minor league basketball team ownership focused on the highest standards of the sport.

“The greater Bloomington-Normal area is a great market for minor league basketball. We are excited about having such solid ownership and a fan base for the new team, and look forward to having a strong Midwest Division in 2012,” commented Tom McGinn, Vice President of Team Development for the Premier Basketball League.

For more information on the Premier Basketball League and the 2012 season visit
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Post by robster2001 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:05 am

This would be the PBL team which apparently recruits the easy way - wait for a nearby ABA team to fold and pick up the pieces...


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Ex-Bull Guyton tabbed coach of B-N hoops team

Post by RimRockers Play2Win » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:32 pm

The Twin Cities are about to add a fourth minor-league sports team.

The Premier Basketball League will place a team at U.S. Cellular Coliseum for the upcoming season, which starts in January.

The yet-to-be named Bloomington franchise will be the ninth team in the 5-year-old league.

The team will be owned by Bloomington businessman Jim Morris, owner of the recently opened Sonic Americas Drive-In in Normal. Morris is also part-owner of the Bloomington Extreme indoor football team, Roar Food Group LLC and four other Bloomington-Normal companies.

A news conference has been set for 3 p.m. Thursday at the Coliseum, and A.J. Guyton (6'2''-G-78, college: Indiana) will be introduced as head coach along with the unveiling of the team nickname.

Guyton was a star basketball player at Peoria High School before going on to a sterling career at Indiana University where he earned All-American honors his senior year. He also played two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Im a huge basketball fan, Morris said. I think it would be an exciting thing for the community. Im a businessman first and foremost, but I think there are enough basketball fans in Central Illinois to support this, and it seems like something that might make sense for us.

Morris, 50, is son-in-law of the late Gary Egbers, who founded Commercial Packaging of Normal.

Premier Basketball League teams play a 20-game season from January through March with 10 home games and 10 on the road. Playoffs are in April.

The leagues teams have an annual salary cap of $130,000 to spend on its 12-player rosters.

Tom McGinn, the leagues vice president of team development, said teams employ players who played at the Division I, Division II and NAIA levels.

Were a run-and-gun league, he said. Its more entertaining that way.

Other league teams are located in northwestern Illinois (Sauk Valley); Chicago; Crown Point, Ind.; St. Joseph, Mich.; Charleston, W.Va.; Dayton, Ohio; Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; and Rochester, N.Y.

Bloomington is a great community; weve been recruiting Bloomington for at least four years, McGinn said. Its one of the few thriving communities in the United States.

The team will have a rental agreement to play 10 nights plus playoffs at the Coliseum, said John Butler, president of Central Illinois Arena Management, which runs the city-owned, downtown arena.

We are extremely excited to add a PBL team as a new tenant in our facility, Butler said. Central Illinois is a hotbed for basketball, and we anticipate tremendous support for the team.

Officials said one reason for bringing in the new team was the NBA lockout. If the work stoppage cancels or delays the NBA season, Morris said we expect some NBA guys will hopefully play for us.

The new basketball team will be a part of a quickly crowding minor-league sports landscape in Bloomington-Normal, joining baseballs CornBelters, hockeys Blaze and indoor footballs Extreme.

It made sense for us to take a gander at it and see if the community will support it, Morris said. We will commit to it as long as the fan support is there.

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Post by time out » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:56 pm

It made sense for us to take a gander at it and see if the community will support it, Morris said. We will commit to it as long as the fan support is there

Don't kid yourself, you'll be there til the end of the season with or without fan support or face the wrath of the PBL legal team I'm guessing.

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Post by The Sweeper » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:31 pm

BLOOMINGTON (Original Pantagraph Article)— The newest entry in Bloomington-Normal’s minor league pro sports scene was introduced Thursday as the Central Illinois Drive.

A.J. Guyton, the coach of the new Premier Basketball League franchise that will play its home games at U.S. Cellular Coliseum, promised to bring in players with plenty of drive to make their stay in the Twin Cities a short one.

“I don’t want guys who want to make a living playing minor leagues and be complacent. That means they won’t put in that extra effort in to get out of here (to the NBA),” said Guyton, a Peoria native who played three years with the Chicago Bulls.

“That’s the whole goal. You want to see a whole different team next season, and I’m talking about coaching staff and players. That means it’s been a success if that happens.”

The Drive became the PBL’s ninth team with a 10th to come next week, according to league President Brij Desai, who attended Thursday’s news conference. There are two divisions, East and Midwest. Each team plays a 20-game schedule from January until the playoffs end in mid-April.

Teams have 12-man rosters with a $130,000 salary cap.

Jim Morris, who recently opened the Twin Cities’ first Sonic America Drive-in, is the Drive’s principal owner.

“My staff and I had one goal in mind, and that was to bring a first-class family affordable sports entertainment product for Central Illinois basketball fans,” he said. “We’ll market this team like no other team has been marketed in Central Illinois and in this Coliseum. We’ll take it to another level.”

Season tickets, which include an exhibition game, cost $99. Single-game tickets start at $10.

John Butler, president of Central Illinois Arena Management which oversees the city-owned U.S. Cellular Coliseum in downtown Bloomington, said he has been in conversations with the PBL for a while to bring a franchise to the Twin Cities.

“Most recently the landscape of minor league basketball has changed,” said Butler. “The thing that excited my staff is the PBL has produced a strong business model that has focused on regional divisional play.”

Butler added that allows owners to create an affordable product for fans.

The Drive has a daily rental agreement to play 10 regular-season home games, one exhibition and any playoff contests at the downtown arena.

The Drive also announced it has signed its first player in guard Daniel Ruffin, who helped Bradley University to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen in 2006. Ruffin is Guyton’s brother.

“It’s not because he’s my brother, but because he’s one of the best point guards in this area in the last 10 years,” said Guyton, who was an All-American at Indiana University under Bob Knight and also played seven years in Europe.

Guyton, 33, will attend a PBL national tryout this weekend in Chicago. He said with Illinois State University, University of Illinois and Bradley in this area there could be players from those schools on the Drive’s roster.

“But in the end we’ll get the best players possible,” said Guyton.

That could mean an NBA player or two if the lockout continues.

Desai said he already has made offers to some big-name NBA stars, including a $1 million offer to Chicago native Dwyane Wade. The league would pay Wade’s salary, said Desai. However, Guyton has his sights set a little lower.

“I have a personal relationship with Shaun Livingston and Eddy Curry and guys I played with in Chicago,” said Guyton. “Dwyane Wade? I don’t think so. You may get lower- to middle-tier (NBA) players to come in that are just making a name for themselves or maybe just signed a good contract when the NBA locked out.”
Mean Spirited Blogger #37

Honored to have been the 13th player for the Vermont Frost Heaves game on 2-16-07 against the Maryland Nighthawks.

The ABA is the basketball equivalent of Amp'd Mobile.

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