The Basketball League

The Basketball League (TBL) is a minor professional basketball league operating in North America that began play in 2018 as North American Premier Basketball (NAPB).

The Basketball League (TBL)
Upcoming season or competition:
2020 TBL season
Inaugural season2018
CEOEvelyn Magley
PresidentDave Magley
CommissionerPaul Mokeski
Motto"Where the spirit of the game lives"
No. of teams12
CountriesUnited States
ContinentFIBA Americas (Americas)
Most recent
Albany Patroons (2019)


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).[1] Dr. Sev Hrywnak is 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.[2]

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 midseason 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.[3]

After the first NAPB season, Magley acquired the league as sole owner, moved the headquarters to Indiana, and named Evelyn Magley as the new CEO. On July 14, the league was rebranded as The Basketball League (TBL).[4] 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.[5] 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 rebranded 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.[6] The league apparently cut its season short, with the New York Court Kings and Kansas City Tornadoes either folding or ceasing operations for the season.[7]


Locations of teams in The Basketball League

2020 teams

TeamCityArenaCapacityFoundedJoinedHead coach
Albany PatroonsAlbany, New YorkWashington Avenue Armory3,600–4,3002017[lower-alpha 1]2018Derrick Rowland
Columbus CondorsColumbus, OhioOtterbein University4,0002016[lower-alpha 2]2020Darrell Miller
Dallas SkylineAddison, TexasAlfred J. Loos Fieldhouse7,00020192020Chris Terrell
Dayton FlightDayton, OhioSinclair Community College20192020
Gulf Coast Lions[8]Sarasota, FloridaBooker High School20192020Ed Corporal
Indy ExpressIndianapolis, Indiana20192020Lee McDuffey
Jamestown JackalsJamestown, New YorkJamestown Community College1,4002015[lower-alpha 3]2019
Lewisville Yellow JacketsLewisville, Texas20192020
Owensboro ThoroughbredsOwensboro, KentuckyOwensboro Sportscenter5,00020172018Mark Anderson
Raleigh FirebirdsRaleigh, North CarolinaSoutheast Raleigh Magnet High School2,00020182019Robert Brickey
Tampa Bay TitansNew Port Richey, FloridaPasco–Hernando State College20182019
Tri-State AdmiralsJersey City, New JerseyJersey City Armory20192020
  1. New franchise replacing the defunct team of the same name.
  2. 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.
  3. Originally in the Premier Basketball League for 2016, joined the North American Basketball League for 2018 after the PBL ceased operations.

Future teams

TeamCityArenaCapacityFoundedJoiningHead coach
Little Rock LightningLittle Rock, Arkansas20192021

Former teams

Kansas City TornadoesKansas City, Missourimultiple2018–2019Reportedly backed out of participating in 2019 playoffs despite being second place; not listed on website after season ended.
Mesquite Desert DogsMesquite, Nevadamultiple2018–2019Withdrew prior to the 2020 season citing travel costs as the last remaining west coast team.[9]
New York Court KingsQueens, New YorkElmcor Youth and Adult Activities Center2019Joined from the ABA; apparently ceased operations during the 2019 season.
Ohio BootleggersWesterville, OhioOtterbein University Rike Center2018Owners 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 CardinalsAkron, OhioLeBron James Arena2018Folded during the 2018 season.
Rochester RazorsharksRochester, New YorkBlue Cross Arena2018Played the 2018 NAPB season and was among the teams listed as members in the TBL; removed as listed members upon 2019 schedule release.
San Diego WavesSan Diego, CaliforniaSan Diego Mesa College2019Team'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 KnightsRichmond, British ColumbiaRichmond Olympic Oval2018The 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 SunKingsYakima, WashingtonYakima SunDome2018–2019Not listed as a member for the 2020 season.[10]

Team timeline

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


SeasonRegular season championRegular season MVPPlayoff championPlayoff runner-upPlayoff MVP
2018Yakima SunKingsEdwin Ubiles (Albany)Yakima SunKingsAlbany PatroonsRenaldo Major
2019Yakima SunKingsRobert Duncan (Yakima)Albany PatroonsYakima SunKingsShadell Millinghaus


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