American Basketball Association (2000–present)
|Motto||"More than just a game"|
|Jacksonville Giants (2019)|
|Most titles||Jacksonville 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 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.
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, but many still sold for $10,000 – $5,000 or less. In some cases, teams were sold for as little as $1. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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. The playoffs ended with Southeast Texas Mustangs defeating the Kentucky Bisons in a three-game series.
The 2010–11 season was expected to field over 60 teams, including a new Canadian Division. In the summer of 2010, the league announced its first Haitian professional basketball team, the Haitian Relief. In total, the ABA planned to host over 800 games throughout the season.
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.
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.
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.
Far West Region
|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
|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|
|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
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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. As of summer 2014, the number was over 350.
All-Star Game results
- 2002 ABA All-Star Game – Kansas City Knights defeated ABA All-Stars, 161–138 (Kemper Arena)
- 2005 ABA All-Star Game – West defeated East, 163–149 (Las Vegas Sports Center)
- 2006 ABA All-Star Game – East defeated West, 129–127 (BankAtlantic Center)
- 2007 ABA All-Star Game – West defeated East, 138–123 (Halifax Metro Centre)
- 2008 ABA All-Star Game – East defeated West, 161–140 (Barre Auditorium)
- 2011 ABA All-Star Game – East defeated West, 123–122 (Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena)
- 2013 ABA All-Star Game – East defeated West, 198–141 (South Suburban College)
- 2016 ABA All-Star Game – Team Dr. J vs. Team Gervin (St. Frances Academy)
- 2017 ABA All-Star Game – (Big Ben's Home Court)
- 2018 ABA All-Star Game – (A Giving Heart Community Center)
- 2019 ABA All-Star Game – (A Giving Heart Community Center)
Player of the Year
- 2001–02 – Pete Mickeal, Kansas City Knights
- 2003–04 – Joe Crispin, Kansas City Knights
- 2004–05 – Kareem Reid, Arkansas RimRockers
- 2005–06 – Chris Carrawell, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2006–07 – James Marrow
- 2008–09 – DeRon Rutledge, Southeast Texas Mavericks
- 2017–18 – Maurice Mickens, Jacksonville Giants
Coach of the Year
Executive of the Year
MVP – Championship Game
- 2000–01 – Gee Gervin and Ndongo N'Diaye, Detroit Dogs
- 2001–02 – Pete Mickeal, Kansas City Knights
- 2004–05 – Kareem Reid, Arkansas RimRockers
- 2005–06 – Chris Carrawell, Rochester Razorsharks
- 2008–09 – Michael James, Kentucky Bisons
- 2011–12 – Jermaine Bell, Jacksonville Giants
- 2015–16 – Maurice Mickens, Jacksonville Giants
- 2017–18 – Benard Nugent, Jacksonville Giants
- 2018–19 – Maurice Mickens, Jacksonville Giants
MVP – All-Star Game
Former CEO Joe Newman started Bully-Free ABA! after his grandchildren became victims of bullying. 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. Following the visits, time is usually allowed for the students to interact with the team on the court.
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- Rovell, Darren (August 20, 2000). "ABA 2000 plays the name game". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
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- ABAlive.com – Home of the American Basketball Association
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- "Premier Basketball League Welcomes Vermont Frost Heaves And Manchester Millrats". Our Sports Central. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
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- ABA season schedule
- ^ "Basketball History: ABA awards Sports Radio America Broadcast Rights". Releasewire. 2015-06-22. Retrieved 2015-06-23
- ^ http://www.americanbasketballassociation.org/#!ABA-PARTNERS-WITH-LIVESPORTSCASTER-AND-WatchIDSN/clfr/5615646e0cf27d786fdbd98b "ABA PARTNERS WITH LIVESPORTSCASTER AND WatchIDSN". AmericanBasketballAssociation.com. 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-18
- "New ABA franchise, Hawaii Swish, to debut in February". KHON. Honolulu. January 16, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- "Jacksonville Giants Win Their 6th ABA Championship". The Coastal. April 15, 2019.
- "Dead Balls". December 3, 2008.
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- "Bully-Free ABA!". Staten Island Vipers. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Mosher, Terry (November 13, 2012). "Admirals' Koebelin ready to fight bullying". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Pilon, Mary (April 13, 2013). "The New A.B.A Is a Quirky, Chaotic League". New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2014.