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TRBL Adds Teams, Releases Schedule

January 16, 2012 - Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) News Release

The TRBL has announced that 3 new teams have been added to play in the 2012 season. The teams include the Queen City Express from Charlotte, NC, Big Texas from Jacksonville, NC, and Team Macleem, an exhibition team sponsored by Macleem Sports Wear ( The Express ( and Big Texas ( will compete as travel squads and will play 5 games each during the season. Both are experienced teams that have played in tournaments throughout the Carolinas against existing TRBL teams.

The Express is owned and coached by Tabetha Berry, the first female owner and coach in the Tobacco Road Basketball League. Big Texas is owned and coached by Dana Pickett. The team is named in honor of a former (now deceased) player of Coach Pickett whose nickname was "Big Texas." Team Macleem ( will play preseason exhibition games against TRBL teams including the Cary Invasion and the Fayetteville Crossover.

Macleem also plans to be one of the sponsors of a national minor league invitational tournament open to qualified champions from independent minor leagues throughout the country. The TRBL will send its 2012 champion to the tournament, currently scheduled to be played at the home venues of qualifying teams starting in July 2012.

"The Tobacco Road Basketball League fits exactly into what we are trying to do at Macleem. We want to partner with minor leagues and minor league teams throughout the country to reach basketball fans at all levels. We like the TRBL business model and believe that what they are doing will be a great service to minor league basketball," says Macleem President Haneef Saleem.

The TRBL is a new independent basketball minor league with established and new teams operating throughout the Carolinas. The league currently has teams representing Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, Smithfield, Jacksonville, and the Charlotte area. The TRBL will begin play in April 2012, and the league schedule is now posted at will provide score broadcasting services for all TRBL games and technology services for all TRBL teams. League operations will be funded through existing sponsorships, and qualified member teams will be charged no league fees. For more information, please visit

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