The Basketball League (TBL)
Upcoming season or competition:
Current sports event 2021 TBL season
Inaugural season2018
CEOEvelyn Magley
PresidentDave Magley
CommissionerCarlnel Wiley
Motto"Where the spirit of the game lives"
No. of teams29
CountriesUnited States
ContinentFIBA Americas (Americas)
Most recent
Albany Patroons (2019)

The Basketball League (TBL), formerly North America Premier Basketball (NAPB), is a minor league basketball organization. The league began operating in North America in 2018 with eight teams, and expanded to over 30 teams as of 2021.

The Basketball League is one of the few minor league basketball organizations providing player salaries from $1,500 to $6,500 per month,[1][2] while teams operate on a budget of $125,000 to $250,000 per season.[3]


On July 7, 2017, Dr. Sev Hrywnak and Dave Magley announced the formation of a new professional basketball league. Magley previously served as commissioner for the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC).[4] Dr. Sev Hrywnak was the owner of the Rochester Razorsharks. Teams are based throughout the United States and Western Canada. Over the course of two years, the league administration located cities that formerly hosted basketball teams in the defunct Continental Basketball Association, the Premier Basketball League, defunct NBA teams and other potential sports markets. The purpose of the league is to provide opportunities for community involvement particularly schools from the elementary to high school levels. Programs include players reading to younger children, hosting basketball camps for teens, and speaking in school-wide assemblies about substance abuse and staying in school.[5]

The league launched its inaugural 2018 season with eight teams: the Albany Patroons, Kansas City Tornados, Kentucky Thoroughbreds, Nevada Desert Dogs, Ohio Cardinals, Rochester Razorsharks, Vancouver Knights, and the Yakima SunKings. The Ohio Cardinals were replaced mid-season by the Ohio Bootleggers, a team operated by the former ownership of the Vancouver Knights.

On February 25, 2018, Dave Magley stated that there were four more approved franchises in Bellevue, Washington, Raleigh, North Carolina, Tampa, Florida, and San Diego, California, with the goal of 16 total well-funded teams, for a 2019 season.[6]

After the first NAPB season, Magley acquired the league as sole owner, moved the headquarters to Indiana, and named Evelyn Magley—his wife—as the new CEO. On July 14, the league was re-branded as The Basketball League (TBL).[7] Paul Mokeski, head coach and general manager of the Nevada Desert Dogs during the inaugural season, was then named commissioner of the league for the 2019 season.[8] During the league changes, the Ohio Bootleggers, Rochester Razorsharks, and Vancouver Knights folded while the Bellevue team never came to fruition. The league then added the existing teams, the Jamestown Jackals and New York Court Kings, in addition to the three previously announced expansion teams, the Raleigh Firebirds, San Diego Waves, and Tampa Bay Titans. Three teams also slightly re-branded with the Kansas City Tornadoes, Mesquite Desert Dogs, and Owensboro Thoroughbreds. The 2019 season commenced with ten teams.

During the second season, there were many canceled and rescheduled games.[9] The league cut its season short, with the New York Court Kings and Kansas City Tornadoes either folding or ceasing operations for the season.[10]

Prior to the third season, the league added the Columbus Condors, Dayton Flight, Dallas Skyline, Gulf Coast Lions, Indy Express, Lewisville Yellow Jackets, and the Tri-State Admirals as expansion teams.[11][12] The San Diego Waves were replaced by expansion San Diego Armada while the Waves were being relocated, but neither team would make the 2020 schedule.[13] Due to the lack of other western teams, the Yakima SunKings and the Mesquite Desert Dogs suspended operations. The third season started in January 2020, but on March 11, 2020, the league announced the season would end prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have a four-team playoff on March 18 through 22. However, the tournament was also cancelled as most events throughout the country were closed to prevent the spread of the virus.

The league then proceeded to announce several new teams for the 2021 season, expanding from 12 teams in the curtailed 2020 season to 35 teams by January 11, 2021. Several of the added teams came from the semi-professional American Basketball Association.[14][15][16][17] In March, several teams began opting out of the season due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions.


Locations of teams in The Basketball League

2021 teams

As listed at the league's standings on April 8, 2021:[18]

Conference Team City Arena Capacity Founded Joined Head coach
Central Dallas Skyline Richardson, Texas University of Texas at Dallas 7,000 2019 2020 Angela Weathers
Enid Outlaws Enid, Oklahoma Stride Bank Center 3,887 2020 2021 Ed Corporal
Lewisville Leopards Lewisville, Texas Macedonia C.A.R.E. Center 2019 2020 Mathis Crowder
Little Rock Lightning Little Rock, Arkansas West Central Complex 2019 2021 Brent Bennett
Houston Push[19] Houston, Texas Lutheran High School North 2020 2021 Moochie Norris
Midtown Prestige Wichita, Kansas Charles Koch Arena 10,506 2020 2021
Omaha's Finest Omaha, Nebraska Millard North High School 2020 2021 Eric Behrens
Shreveport Mavericks Shreveport, Louisiana multiple 1,000 2006[a] 2021 Steve Tucker
Waco Royals Waco, Texas Legends Sports Center 2020 2021 Mamadou Diene
East Atlanta Empire Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta Metropolitan State College 2020 2021 Dominique Ingram
Carolina Coyotes Columbia, South Carolina Glenforest School 2020 2021
Gulf Coast Lions Sarasota, Florida Salvation Army 2019 2020 Lazarus Sims
Jamestown Jackals Jamestown, New York Jamestown Community College 1,400 2015[b] 2019 Brandon Lesovsky
Raleigh Firebirds Raleigh, North Carolina Mount Zion Christian Academy 2018 2019 Robert Brickey
South Shore Monarchs Medfield, Massachusetts Kingsbury Club Medfield 2020 2021 Mike Babul
Syracuse Stallions Syracuse, New York Bishop Grimes High School 2017 2021 Nick Perioli
Tri-State Admirals Jersey City, New Jersey Jersey City Armory 2019 2020 Darlington Okerulu
Tampa Bay Titans Spring Hill, Florida Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School 2018 2019 Demarcus Berry
Midwest Columbus Condors Columbus, Ohio United Sports Center 2016[c] 2020 Darrell Miller
Dayton Flight Dayton, Ohio Wilberforce University 2019 2020 Gary Armstrong
Detroit Hustle Detroit, Michigan Cass Technical High School 2020 2021 Aaron McDonald
Flint United Flint, Michigan Dort Financial Center 4,421 2020 2021 Charlie Bell
Indy Express Indianapolis, Indiana Municipal Gardens 2019 2020 Andre Owens
Kokomo BobKats Kokomo, Indiana Memorial Gymnasium 2020 2021 Cliff Levingston[20]
Owensboro Thoroughbreds Owensboro, Kentucky Owensboro Sportscenter 5,000 2017 2018 Mark Anderson
West California Sea-Kings San Jose, California San Jose State University 2009 2021 Doc Holliday
San Diego Guardians San Diego, California Victory Christian Academy 2017 2021 Brandon Cheeks
Vegas Ballers Las Vegas, Nevada Tarkanian Basketball Center 2020 2021 James Robinson
West Coast Breeze San Marcos, California[21] multiple 2020 2021 Daria Carrington[22]

Future teams

Team City Arena Joining Notes
Albany Patroons Albany, New York Washington Avenue Armory 2022 Played in the league from 2018 to 2020.[d] Opted out of 2021 season due to COVID-19 pandemic.[23]
Avon Aces Avon, Indiana 2022 Opted out of 2021 season due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Beaumont Panthers Beaumont, Texas 2022 2022 expansion team[24]
Lansing Pharaohs Lansing, Michigan 2022 2022 expansion team.[25]
Reading Rebels Reading, Pennsylvania Santander Arena 2022 2022 expansion team.[26]
Rockwall 7ers Rockwall, Texas 2022 2022 expansion team.
Salem Capitals Salem, Oregon Salem Armory Auditorium 2022 Opted out of 2021 season due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Temecula Eagles Temecula, California 2022 Opted out of 2021 season due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Vancouver Volcanoes Vancouver, Washington 2022[d] As the Portland Storm, opted out of 2021 season due to COVID-19 pandemic. Relocated in May 2021.[27]
  1. ^ As the Rio Grande Valley Silverados in the ABA.
  2. ^ Originally in the Premier Basketball League for 2016, joined the North American Basketball League for 2018 after the PBL ceased operations.
  3. ^ Originally in the Central Basketball Association in 2016, relaunched as the Ohio Bootleggers in the Premier Basketball League for 2017 and the North American Basketball League for 2018 before the Bootleggers filled in for the folded NAPB Ohio Cardinals for the remainder of the 2018 NAPB season.
  4. ^ a b New franchise replacing the defunct team of the same name.

Former teams

Team City Arena Seasons Notes
Kansas City Tornadoes Kansas City, Missouri multiple 2018–2019 Reportedly backed out of participating in 2019 playoffs despite being second place; not listed on website after season ended.
Mesquite Desert Dogs Mesquite, Nevada multiple 2018–2019 Withdrew prior to the 2020 season citing travel costs as the last remaining west coast team.[28]
New York Court Kings Queens, New York Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities Center 2019 Joined from the ABA; apparently ceased operations during the 2019 season.
Ohio Bootleggers Westerville, Ohio Otterbein University Rike Center 2018 Owners of the Bootleggers had been operating the Vancouver Knights since sometime during the 2018 season. The Bootleggers' NABL team then replaced the folded Ohio Cardinals midseason, but were not listed by TBL as a 2019 member. The Bootleggers relaunched as the Columbus Condors in 2020.
Ohio Cardinals Akron, Ohio LeBron James Arena 2018 Folded during the 2018 season.
Rochester Razorsharks Rochester, New York Blue Cross Arena 2018 Played the 2018 NAPB season. Change of ownership and left TBL.
San Diego Waves San Diego, California San Diego Mesa College 2019 Team's owner was stated to be relocating the team to an undecided location. San Diego Armada was announced as a replacement team for the 2020 season under new ownership.
Vancouver Knights Richmond, British Columbia Richmond Olympic Oval 2018 The Ohio Bootleggers' ownership took over operations of the Knights during the season and the Knights became a travel team. Ownership was transferred during the 2018 season to another unidentified group once the Bootleggers took over for the Cardinals' schedule. Was not listed by TBL as a 2019 member.
Yakima SunKings Yakima, Washington Yakima SunDome 2018–2019 Went on hiatus for 2020.[29]

Team timeline

Current teams in tan
Former teams in dark tan
Announced future teams in green

Waco RoyalsSyracuse StallionsSouth Shore MonarchsShreveport MavericksSan Diego GuardiansLittle Rock LightningFlint UnitedEnid OutlawsDetroit HustleAtlanta Empire (TBL)Tri-State AdmiralsLewisville LeopardsDallas SkylineTampa Bay TitansSan Diego WavesRaleigh FirebirdsJamestown JackalsColumbus CondorsYakima SunKingsRochester RazorsharksMesquite Desert DogsOwensboro ThoroughbredsKansas City TornadoesAlbany Patroons


Season Regular season champion Regular season MVP Playoff champion Playoff runner-up Playoff MVP
2018 Yakima SunKings Edwin Ubiles (Albany) Yakima SunKings Albany Patroons Renaldo Major
2019 Yakima SunKings Robert Duncan (Yakima) Albany Patroons Yakima SunKings Shadell Millinghaus
2020 Indy Express* Corey Taite (Tri-State) Season canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

* Shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Indy Express had the best overall record at the time of cancellation.


  1. ^ "FAQ – The Basketball League". Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  2. ^ "US Basketball News, Scores, Stats, Analysis, Standings". Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  3. ^ "The Raptors Are New to Tampa's Basketball Scene. The Titans Aren't". The New York Times. January 20, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  4. ^ "KU notebook: Ex-Jayhawk David Magley leaves Canada pro league for new venture in U.S." The Kansas City Star. July 2, 2017.
  5. ^ "The North American Premier Basketball League". NAPB.
  6. ^ "State of the NAPB: Magley shares thoughts on first half of season". NAPB. February 25, 2018.
  7. ^ "Meet the First Black Female Owner of a Male Professional Basketball League (Not a Team, But a League!)". Black News. July 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Mesquite (Nevada) Desert Dogs coming back for 2019". Mesquite Local News. August 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "GOOD AND BAD NEWS FOR DESERT DOGS". Mesquite Local News. April 12, 2019.
  10. ^ "Patroons trying to make it work". Times Union. April 8, 2019.
  11. ^ "DAYTON FLIGHT TAKES OFF IN OHIO". The Basketball League. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  12. ^ "Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report". Our Sports Central. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  13. ^ "Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report". Our Sports Central. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  14. ^ "Syracuse Stallions take it up a notch, move from ABA to 'The Basketball League'". CNY Central. May 1, 2020.
  15. ^ "PORTLAND STORM TO BECOME FULL ABA TEAM". ABA Live Action. April 18, 2020.
  16. ^ "San Diego Guardians Support Local Community as New Professional Basketball Team in TBL". The Basketball League. August 3, 2020.
  17. ^ April 1, Rueben WrightPublished; 2021. "Pro Basketball Returns to Shreveport". News Radio 710 KEEL. Retrieved 2021-04-19.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "TBL Standings". Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  19. ^ "Steve Francis Announces Ownership of New Houston-Based TBL Team". PR Newswire. December 21, 2020.
  20. ^ "Professional minor league basketball team comes to Kokomo". Kokomo Perspective. August 11, 2020.
  22. ^ "West Coast Breeze, nuevo equipo sobre la duela Será dirigido por la única entrenadora en la "The Basketball League", quién será auxiliada por ex coach de Zonkeys Tijuana". El Sol de Tijana. April 7, 2021.
  23. ^ "Albany Patroons cancel 2021 season". Times Union. March 1, 2021.
  25. ^ "Lansing Pharaohs joining The Basketball League". WILX-TV. May 18, 2021.
  26. ^ "READING REBELS Se anuncia nuevo equipo profesional de baloncesto en Reading". WFMZ-TV. March 1, 2021.
  27. ^ "Vancouver WA, Portland Storm move to Vancouver and rebrand as the Volcanoes". Facebook. May 24, 2021.
  28. ^ "Mesquite Desert Dogs November 18, 2019, Facebook post". Facebook. November 18, 2019.
  29. ^ "SunKings will not be returning for a third season". KIMA TV. October 29, 2019.