Variety of Regional Leagues Give Players Opportunity to Continue Careers
Severn, MD (January 21, 2012) – Some of the big questions the Bay Area Shuckers receive wherever we go is “What are you guys? Is it minor league? Semi-pro? How do you fit in with the NBA?”
The Bay Area Shuckers are a minor league basketball team and are members of the American Professional Basketball League (APBL). Unlike professional baseball, although discussed often, there is no structured minor leagues for the NBA, other than the NBA Developmental League, or as it is known – the NBA D-League.
Minor league basketball in the United States is constructed of several, mostly regional basketball leagues. The APBL, stretches from Northern Virginia to the Hudson Valley of New York, with teams in major metropolitan areas along the eastern seaboard such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, New York and New York, New York. Now in its third season, the APBL has 16 teams. Included in the APBL are the Palmieri Jeans Destroyers, perhaps the longest running team and most successful teams at this level, having been founded in 1998 and having won four league championships (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010). They call both Wilmington and Philadelphia and after many years at the Delaware Destroyers, took the name of a sponsor in the 2011-2012 season.
Also, in the APBL are the Metropolitan (D.C.) All-Stars who were founded in 2009 and have one championship under their belt, and the Beltway Bombers, last year’s APBL champions, who are began play in 2009.
There also several main minor leagues in the U.S. including the Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL), which has teams in North and South Carolina and was founded in 2011. The TRBL features the Wilmington (N.C.) Sea Dawgs, who were founded in 2006, the Cary (N.C.) Invasion, and last season’s champions, the Prime Time Players, who are based in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Continuing through the southeast is the World Basketball Association, which was founded in 2005 and has teams primarily in South Carolina and Georgia. Last season’s champions the Gwinnett Majic, were formed in 2009. The southeast also includes the Florida Basketball Association (FBA), which was founded in 2012. Its first season included four Florida-based teams including the 2012 champions, the Tampa Bay Rebels.
The Premier Basketball League (PBL) is based primarily in the Mid-East with teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Illinois. The longest running team in the PBL is the Rochester Razorsharks, who were founded in 2005 and also includes teams in major metropolitan areas like the Chicago Muscle and St. Louis Phoenix. Last season’s winners, the Central Illinois Drive, are based in Bloomington, Illinois.
The International Basketball Association (IBA) is a team-team league with franchises in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. It’s longest running team is the Battle Creek (Michigan) Knights who were founded in 2004.
Out west is the West Coast Basketball League (WCBL), which was started in 2007, which has eight California-based teams. The most recent champions were the Santa Barbara Breakers, who were also formed in 2007.
Also out west is the International Basketball League (IBL), which includes teams along the west coast, Rocky Mountains, western Canada, and the Midwest. The IBL, which was formed in 2004, longest running teams are the Bellingham (Washington) Slam, who won the title last season and Vancouver (Canada) Volcano, both of which first took the court in 2005.
The goal of most players in all of these leagues, including the Shuckers, is to gain exposure to move up to the NBA D-League or higher level Asian, European, and South American leagues. In 2012 four Shuckers players, Adrian Bowie (Germany), Earl Jackson (Peru and Argentina), Jamarr Johnson (Indonesia), and Zac White (Australia) gained the opportunity to play overseas.
The Shuckers (5-3) return to action on Saturday January 26th at 7:00 PM when they take on the Palmieri Jeans Destroyers (9-1), in a match-up of APBL division leaders. The game will be the first of six straight home games at the Annapolis Area Christian School (AACS) in Severn, Maryland. Tip-off is 7:00 PM. For more information on the Bay Area Shuckers please visit www.BayAreaShuckers.com.