American Basketball Association (2000–present)

The American Basketball Association (ABA) is an American semi-professional men's basketball minor league that was founded in 1999.[1]

American Basketball Association (ABA)
Motto"More than just a game"
CountriesUnited States
ContinentNorth America
Most recent
Jacksonville Giants (2019)
Most titlesJacksonville Giants (6)

The ABA has teams based in the United States and previously had international teams based in Canada and Mexico. In the past, there were traveling teams from countries such as Australia and Japan who played in the ABA. Additionally, there were players from other countries that were on a U.S. team to showcase other talented athletes in the country.

The current ABA bears no relation to the original American Basketball Association (19671976) that was considered a major league, and merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976.


The current ABA was started by Joe Newman and Richard Tinkham. Tinkham was an executive with the Indiana Pacers when they were in the original ABA. They licensed the ABA name from the NBA.[2]


The league started in 2000 with eight teams. During its initial years of operation, the league focused mainly on teams in larger cities. To attract fans, the ABA encouraged its members to fill rosters with former NBA players and past college basketball stars with local ties.[3][4]

In 2002–03, the league suspended operations for reorganization. The league continued to play for the 2003–2004 season, but the focus had shifted from a few teams in large cities to numerous teams in both large and medium-sized cities. Franchise fees were lowered from $50,000 to $10,000 and the bond requirement was removed in order to attract new teams. The subsequent reduction in initial operating costs allowed the formation of several teams that might otherwise not be possible. However, it resulted in some under-financed ownership groups. Since 2004, several new teams have failed to complete their inaugural season due to financial insolvency.

Also, teams were organized into regional groups to facilitate interest and reduce travel costs starting with the 2003–2004 season.


The 2004–05 season was the first under this new format, with 37 teams playing that season. Subsequent seasons brought drastic expansion. Some teams had proved to be successful in their early years, but others did not complete their initial seasons. At times, the ABA had 50+ teams playing each season. Some of the more successful expansion franchises during this era included the Arkansas RimRockers in 2004 and the Rochester Razorsharks in 2005. Both teams won the ABA title during their first seasons in the league.


The 2006–07 season saw the nominal cost for a new expansion franchise raised to $20,000,[5] but many still sold for $10,000 – $5,000 or less. In some cases, teams were sold for as little as $1.[6][7] One notable 2006–07 expansion franchise was the Vermont Frost Heaves, owned by Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff. Also in 2006–07, former NBA player John Salley was named league commissioner, and Maryland Nighthawks owner Tom Doyle was named chief operating officer.

Following the league's first public offering in 2006, it was reported that Joe Newman was voted out of his position as league CEO.[8] The league's required Securities and Exchange Commission filings in February 2007 indicated that the ABA Board of Directors removed Newman as CEO on January 31, 2007. The filings further stated that Newman's actions as CEO would be reviewed to ensure that they were performed with the board's permission. The same filing also claimed that Newman and other shareholders plotted to remove Tom Doyle, John Salley, and David Howitt from the board and to elect Paul Riley as its director. Newman denied his removal ever occurred, and continued as acting CEO.[9] The lawsuits were settled in March 2007 with Doyle's and Salley's resignations from the league's Board of Directors.

The 2006–07 season saw many franchises fail to travel to road games or to play a full schedule. When weather-related issues did not allow defending champion Rochester Razorsharks to travel for a playoff game against the Wilmington Sea Dawgs, the league attempted to force Rochester to forfeit rather than reschedule. Instead, Rochester chose to withdraw from the league.[10] These several incidents caused some league owners to perceive instability within the league. These frustrated owners separated from the ABA to form the Premier Basketball League (PBL) in late 2007.


Nearly, twenty teams folded within the first five weeks of the 2007–08 season, and several remaining teams left the ABA to join other existing leagues. According to Our Sports Central, approximately 35% of the games scheduled for the season were played. The teams that played the highest percentage of games were Vermont, the Manchester (NH) Millrats, and the Quebec Kebs. At the conclusion of the season, all three of these teams left to join the PBL.[11][12]

Another unique franchise for the 2008–09 season was the Beijing Aoshen Olympians, which had previously been kicked out of the Chinese Basketball League and played only home games in the ABA. All Olympians' games were played in Singapore. The Beijing franchise paid $3000 and all team flight accommodations to Singapore for each 2-game home-stand.

Following the 2007–2008 season, the league's most successful franchise by attendance, the Halifax Rainmen, left the ABA. Halifax ownership cited growing frustration with teams that did not show for scheduled games, as well as a biased ranking system. Sports media began to openly criticize the league and question its ability to be taken seriously.[13]

The 2008–09 season saw the league conduct interleague play with the Continental Basketball Association.


The 2009–10 season was scheduled to have over 50 teams. The season ended with several teams folding in early December, including the entire Northwest Division. The league canceled several playoff games due to the inability of teams to afford travel.[14] The playoffs ended with Southeast Texas Mustangs defeating the Kentucky Bisons in a three-game series.

On April 25, 2010, as part of their ABA Global Initiative, the league hosted the 2010 ABA Friendship Games, in which the Philippine National Basketball Team competed against several ABA teams.[15]


The 2010–11 season was expected to field over 60 teams, including a new Canadian Division.[16] In the summer of 2010, the league announced its first Haitian professional basketball team, the Haitian Relief.[17] In total, the ABA planned to host over 800 games throughout the season.[18]

However, the 2010–2011 campaign ended similar to previous seasons, with several teams folding either before or during the season. Instead of the promised 60 teams, the league fielded fewer than 50 full-time franchises that actually played games.

The 2011 ABA All-Star Game resulted in a 123–122 Eastern Conference win over the Western Conference in front of a crowd of 4,488 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The playoffs started the following weekend, with the last four teams playing a double-elimination tournament at the home of the Southeast Texas Mavericks. The Mavericks won their second ABA title two games to none over the Gulf Coast Flash.

Despite continued instability, the league announced plans to form a new Women's American Basketball Association (WABA), unrelated to the original Women's American Basketball Association, which existed for one season in 2002. The new league's first squad was to be located in Greenville, North Carolina.


The league failed to launch the WABA in the 2011–12 season and announced new plans to launch for the 2012–2013 season. The second attempted launch was pushed back to the 2013–2014 season with nine initial teams set to play: the Philly Love, New Jersey Express, New England Stormers, Hampton Roads Lightning, Lake City Kingdom Riderettes, Fayetteville Lady Cadets, Columbus Lady Road Runners, McAllen Queens, and Chicago Lady Steam. As of February 2019, the WABA has yet to report any game results.



March 23, 2015 the ABA announced the launch of a new Media & Entertainment Division to be headed by hip hop mogul & ABA team owner Antjuan "Tjuan Benafactor" Washington.[19]

On June 22, 2015, the ABA announced a multi-year partnership with Sports Radio America.[20] "The ABA on SRA Game of the Week" will showcase some of the best matchups in the ABA.

October 9, 2015, the ABA announced online live streaming partnerships with both LiveSportsCaster and WatchIDSN, two independent live sports streaming platforms based in Louisville, Kentucky, and Chicago, Illinois, respectively.[21]

On April 9, 2016, the Jacksonville Giants won the ABA championship, their third, with a 93–90 win over the Windy City Groove. They had previously defeated the Groove 92–80 on April 8, 2016, to take the best-of-three series in straight games.


On February 10, 2017, the Hawaii Swish, owned by Geremy Robinson and a member of the Far West Division, debuted at Neal Blaisdell Arena with a game against the Yuba City Goldminers.[22]


On April 13, 2019, the Jacksonville Giants captured their fourth straight and sixth overall ABA championship title with a 116–112 win over South Florida Gold.[23]

Current clubs

Far West Region

Team Location Arena
California Seakings Monterey, California Monterey Peninsula College
Chico Super Kats Chico, California Chico High School
Contra Costa County Delta Stars Antioch, California Antioch Community Center
Fresno Flaming Sun Rays Fresno, California Ted C Wills Community Center
Hawaii Swish Honolulu, Hawaii Neal S. Blaisdell Center
Las Vegas Royals Las Vegas, Nevada
Nevada Pharaohs Las Vegas, Nevada
New Mexico Bullsnakes Rio Rancho, New Mexico The McDermott Athletic Center
Oakland TownHawks Oakland, California McClymonds High School
Oaktown Warriors Hayward, California Chabot College
Orange County Novastars Irvine, California Fullerton Community College
Phoenix Valley Outlaws
Port Angeles Rams Port Angeles, Washington Peninsula College
Quad City Flames Spanaway, Washington
San Diego Guardians San Diego, California The Salvation Army Kroc Center
San Diego Kings San Diego, California Grossmont College
San Diego Surf San Diego, California Hourglass Arena
San Francisco City Cats San Francisco, California Kezar Pavilion
San Jose Knights San Jose, California Yerba Buena High School
Seven City Knights Phoenix, Arizona The Phhacility
Shizuoka Gymrats Shizuoka, Japan Travel-only
Solano Stallions Fairfield, California Armijo High School
Team Trouble Stockton, California Stockton Arena
Tucson Buckets Tucson, Arizona Pima Community College
Vegas Valley Hawks Las Vegas, Nevada Hoop City

Mid-Atlantic Region

Team Location Arena
Baltimore Hawks Baltimore, Maryland St. Frances Academy
Buckhannon Bears Buckhannon, West Virginia Stockert Youth Center
DC Soul Washington, DC Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus
Fayetteville Flight Fayetteville, North Carolina Highland Gymnasium
Fredericksburg Grizzlies Fredericksburg, Virginia University of Mary Washington
Hub City Hogs Hagerstown, Maryland St. Maria Goretti High School
Maryland Bulldogz Poolesville, Maryland Poolesville High School
Norristown Knights King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania Aspiring Champions
PG Valor Clinton, Maryland Antioch Baptist Church
Philadelphia Cannon Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Lucien Blackwell Community Center
Philly Raiders Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pottstown Flames Pottstown, Pennsylvania
RDC Vulcans Raleigh, North Carolina
Richmond Elite Richmond, Virginia Big Ben's Home Court
Roanoke Rising Stars Roanoke, Virginia Countryside Sportsplex
Team Perseverance Panthers Sumter, South Carolina YMCA of Sumter
Virginia Veterans Chesapeake, Virginia Signet Family Life Center
Westchester Wildcats West Chester, Pennsylvania The Melton Center
West Virginia Warlocks Shinnston, West Virginia Fox's Pizza Gym
West Virginia Warriors Fairmont, West Virginia
Woodbridge Wolves Prince William County, Virginia Potomac High School
York Buccaneers York, Pennsylvania Voni Grimes Gym

North Central Region

Team Location Arena
Akron Aviators Akron, Ohio LeBron James Arena
Beaver County Indians Wampum, Pennsylvania Wampum Gym
Burning River Buckets Wheeling, West Virginia
Chicago Angels Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Fury Chicago, Illinois Salvation Army Red Shield Center
Chicago Steam South Holland, Illinois South Suburban College
Cleveland Blazers Lyndhurst, Ohio Hawken School
Henderson Stars Henderson, Kentucky
Illinois Bulldogs Chicago, Illinois Hales Franciscan High School
Illinois Panthers DeKalb, Illinois
Indiana Lyons Danville, Indiana Bosstick Gymnasium
La Crosse Showtime La Crosse, Wisconsin La Crosse Center
Lansing Legends Lansing, Michigan Alfreda Schmidt Community Center
Michigan Dare Devils Ann Arbor, Michigan Skyline High School
Ohio Kings Cincinnati, Ohio Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
South Bend Monarchs South Bend, Indiana South Bend Kroc Center
Steel City Yellow Jackets Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania A Giving Heart Community Center
Team NetWork Detroit, Michigan Romulus Athletic Center
Viper Pro Basketball Gurnee, Illinois Warren Township High School
West Michigan Lake Hawks Muskegon, Michigan Reeths Puffer High School
Wisconsin Blaze Pro Appleton, Wisconsin Holy Spirit Catholic School

Northeast Region

Team Location Arena
Atlantic Coast Cardinals Florida, New York GymRatz Performance
Binghamton Bulldogs Binghamton, New York St. Patrick's
Boston Outtatowners Somerville, Massachusetts East Somerville Community School
Bronx Holy Flames Bronx, New York Stuy Dome
Camden Monarchs Camden, New Jersey The Salvation Army Kroc Center
Central Jersey Sharks Cliffwood, New Jersey Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School
Elite King of Queens Queens, New York Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens
Elmira Eagles Elmira, New York Chemung County Family Fitness Center
Ephrata Thunder Lititz, Pennsylvania Warwick Middle School
Jersey Express Elizabeth, New Jersey Dunn Sports Center
LeHigh Valley Hunters Allentown, Pennsylvania
NEPA Stars & Stripes Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania GAR Memorial High School
New York/Harlem Underdogs New York, New York Borough of Manhattan Community College
North Shore 78s Salem, Massachusetts Salem Academy
Oneonta Octane Oneonta, New York SUNY Oneonta
Plaistow Schockers Plaistow, New Hampshire Plaistow Community YMCA
Roc City Ravens Rochester, New York Thomas P Ryan Recreation Center
Spa City Gamblers Saratoga, New York Gavin Park
Syracuse Stallions Syracuse, New York Manlius Pebble Hill School
Western Mass Zombies Springfield, Massachusetts South End Community Center
Wyoming Valley Clutch Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Wyoming Valley Catholic Youth Center

South Central Region

Team Location Arena
Alexandria Armor Alexandria, Louisiana LSUA Fitness Center
Austin Bats Austin, Texas Givens Recreation Center
Brenham Purple Reign
Dallas Impact Dallas, Texas Lakewest Family YMCA
Houston Red Storm Houston, Texas MI3 Center
Kansas City Grillerz Kansas City, Kansas Joe E. Amayo Argentine Community Center
Kyle Stallions Kyle, Texas Lehman High School
Memphis Rhythm Memphis, Tennessee
Missouri Capitals Florissant, Missouri North County Christian School
North Texas Prowlers Argyle, Texas Davis Gym
St. Louis Spirits St. Louis, Missouri Trinity Catholic High School
San Antonio Blaze San Antonio, Texas Made for Moore Fitness
Texas Nighthawks Copperas Cove, Texas Camp Triumph Gym
Texas Red Wolves San Antonio, Texas Made for Moore Fitness
Topeka Sizzlers Topeka, Kansas Topeka West High School
Tri-City Allstars Universal City, Texas Northeast Lakeview College
Twin City Jazz Monroe, Louisiana Monroe Civic Center
Wichita Falls Wranglers Wichita Falls, Texas Kay Yeager Coliseum

Southeast Region

Team Location Arena
305 Ballers Miami, Florida SLAM Miami T.1
Atlanta Aliens East Point, Georgia Jefferson Park Rec Center
Atlanta Storm Stone Mountain, Georgia Action Sports Academy
Atlanta Wildcats McDonough, Georgia Henry County High School
Belle Glade Stampede Belle Glade, Florida
Central Florida Mix Kissimmee, Florida Johnson University Florida
Central Georgia Rattlers Macon, Georgia Rosa Jackson Center
Florida All-Stars Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville Sports Complex
Georgia Gwizzlies Atlanta, Georgia C.T. Martin Recreation Center
Georgia Thunder
Heartland Racers Sebring, Florida
Jackson Showboats Jackson, Mississippi
Jacksonville Giants Jacksonville, Florida VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
Magic City Surge Birmingham, Alabama Daniel Payne Middle School
Middle Georgia Pits Dublin, Georgia East Laurens High School
Mobile Jesters Mobile, Alabama Our Lady Of Lourdes
Music City Jazz Nashville, Tennessee
Nassau Pride Yulee, Florida Yulee High School
North Alabama War Dawgs Huntsville, Alabama Jemison High School
Pensacola Lightning Pensacola, Florida Booker T. Washington High School
River Region Generals Montgomery, Alabama True Divine Baptist Church
Sowashee Apex
St. Augustine Glory St. Augustine, Florida St. Augustine High School
Sarasota Manatee Sarasota, Florida Robert L. Taylor Community Center
South Florida Gold Lake Worth, Florida Trinity Christian Academy
Southwest Warriors Atlanta, Georgia Adamsville Recreation Center
Sunrise Jewels Sunrise, Florida
St. Petersburg Tide St. Petersburg, Florida Eckerd College
Tampa Bay Fury Tampa Bay, Florida
Tri-City Blackhawks Columbus, Georgia Spirit Filled Ministries

Defunct teams

The ABA policy of awarding a franchise to anyone who is willing to pay the ABA franchise fee, with no consideration given to whether the franchisee can afford to operate the team, resulted in over 200 folded franchises as of the beginning of the 2008 season.[24] As of summer 2014, the number was over 350.[25]


Champion Runner-up Score(s) Location
2000–01 Detroit Dogs Chicago Skyliners 107–91 Cox Pavilion
2001–02 Kansas City Knights Southern California Surf 118–113 Kemper Arena
2003–04 Long Beach Jam Kansas City Knights 126–123 Walter Pyramid
2004–05 Arkansas RimRockers Bellevue Blackhawks 118–103 Alltel Arena
2005–06 Rochester Razorsharks SoCal Legends 117–114 Blue Cross Arena
2006–07 Vermont Frost Heaves Texas Tycoons 143–95 Barre Auditorium
2007–08 Vermont Frost Heaves San Diego Wildcats 87–84 Pavillon de la Jeunesse
2008–09 Kentucky Bisons Maywood Buzz 127–120 Nashville Municipal Auditorium
2009–10 Southeast Texas Mavericks Kentucky Bisons 96–99, 104–83, 85–76 Lamar State College
2010–11 Southeast Texas Mavericks Gulf Coast Flash 114–97, 109–85 Nutty Jerry's Entertainment Complex
2011–12 Jacksonville Giants South Carolina Warriors 106–101, 100–91 Eckerd College
2012–13 Jacksonville Giants North Dallas Vandals 85–84, 110–109 Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
2013–14 Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks Jacksonville Giants 136–127, 105–103 Hirsch Memorial Coliseum
2014–15 Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks Miami Midnites 109–81, 116–91 Hirsch Memorial Coliseum
2015–16 Jacksonville Giants Windy City Groove 92–80, 93–90 Laredo Energy Arena
2016–17 Jacksonville Giants Windy City Groove 120-102 Woodlawn High School
2017-18 Jacksonville Giants Austin Bats 119-114 Lehman High School
2018-19 Jacksonville Giants South Florida Gold 116-112 St. Louis College of Pharmacy

All-Star Game results


Player of the Year

Coach of the Year

Executive of the Year

MVP – Championship Game

MVP – All-Star Game

Community Service

Anti-bully program

Former CEO Joe Newman started Bully-Free ABA! after his grandchildren became victims of bullying.[26] The program features players visiting schools to share stories about their own experiences with bullying and how such issues can be solved.

Team coaches are involved as well, in 2012, Kitsap Admirals coach Chris Koebelin was an active leader in the program. Koebelin mentioned to the students during his visits that he was bullied as a child.[27] Following the visits, time is usually allowed for the students to interact with the team on the court.

See also


  1. "The ABA". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  2. Wolff, Alexander (2005-12-14), "Jumping into the ABA with the Vermont Frost Heaves", Sports Illustrated, retrieved 2010-08-17
  3. Stephens, Eric (December 27, 2000). "Stars Shine in ABA Debut Before 5,347". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  4. Rovell, Darren (August 20, 2000). "ABA 2000 plays the name game". Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  5. Iverson's mom has own ABA team, Associated Press, 2006-08-25, archived from the original on 2010-12-04, retrieved 2010-08-17
  6. Ruben, Mike (2009-01-15), Housing Authority Brings Pro Basketball to State, State Journal, archived from the original on 2010-11-28, retrieved 2010-08-17
  7. Becker, Michael (2006-07-26), "Firing Away at the ABA", Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2010-08-17
  8. Board of Directors of American Basketball Association, Inc. Votes to Remove CEO – OurSports Central – Independent and Minor League Sports News. OurSports Central (2007-02-05). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  9. – Home of the American Basketball Association
  10. George, Rachel (2007-03-24). "Sea Dawgs are unlikely hosts". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  11. "Premier Basketball League Welcomes Vermont Frost Heaves And Manchester Millrats". Our Sports Central. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  12. "Quebec Kebs Join Premier Basketball League". Our Sports Central. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  13. Walling, Alex (2008-03-28). "ABA stands for Amateur Basketball Association". Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  14. Clark, Ryan S. (2010-03-18), SETX Mavericks' playoff opponent forfeits game, Beaumont Enterprise, retrieved 2010-07-14
  15. Navarro, June (2010-04-27), Smart Gilas five nips San Diego, Philippine Daily Inquirer, archived from the original on 2010-04-29, retrieved 2010-07-14
  16. ABA Returns To Canada In 2011, American Basketball Association, 2010-08-04, archived from the original on 23 August 2010, retrieved 2010-08-17
  17. ABA Announced Haitian expansion team
  18. ABA season schedule
  20. ^ "Basketball History: ABA awards Sports Radio America Broadcast Rights". Releasewire. 2015-06-22. Retrieved 2015-06-23
  21. ^!ABA-PARTNERS-WITH-LIVESPORTSCASTER-AND-WatchIDSN/clfr/5615646e0cf27d786fdbd98b "ABA PARTNERS WITH LIVESPORTSCASTER AND WatchIDSN". 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-18
  22. "New ABA franchise, Hawaii Swish, to debut in February". KHON. Honolulu. January 16, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  23. "Jacksonville Giants Win Their 6th ABA Championship". The Coastal. April 15, 2019.
  24. "Dead Balls". December 3, 2008.
  25. "American Basketball Association: Stranger Than Fiction". North Pole Hoops. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  26. "Bully-Free ABA!". Staten Island Vipers. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  27. Mosher, Terry (November 13, 2012). "Admirals' Koebelin ready to fight bullying". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.