|Semi-Pro, Minor Leagues
Semi-Pro & Regional Minor League Associations
The International Basketball Association (no website yet--but check out the The Winnipeg Cyclone site)--The new International Basketball Association, the IBA (not to be confused with the UBAm which formerly tried to call itself the IBA), is a relatively new, but functional league, with teams, players under contract and coaches. The league is scheduled to start play again on 12/8/97.
The league plays in eight cities in the great frozen North: The Wisconsin Blast in Green Bay, the St. Paul Slam, the Des Moines Dragons, the Winnipeg Cyclone, the Dakota Wizards in Bismarck, the F-M Beez in Fargo, the Black Hills Posse in Rapid City, SD and the Magic City Snowbears in Minot, ND. Lynn A. Hesson, IBA Director of Expansion, has plans to expand the IBA across North America.
The IBA has also hired one of the NBA's all-time leading scorers to be its next commissioner. Eight-time NBA all-star Alex English has been hired for the post. English, 43, is the Denver Nuggets all-time leading scorer with 211,645 points. A product of South Carolina, he became just the sixth player in NBA history to record 25,000 points, and was actually the league's leading scorer through the 1980's.
English replaces former Winnipeg Blue Bomber's [an apparently now-defunct team] Gerald Wilcox, who formerly served as IBA commissioner for two years. The Winnipeg Cyclone's current owner believes English is "the perfect person to move us down the road that I intend to move down." That road apparently includes an affiliation with the NBA, a goal which the IBA recently, meeting with the NBA's vice president of basketball development, Steve Mills, in New York during the summer of 1997. The IBA believes that the while the Continental Basketball Association has so far done well in its affiliation with the NBA, that there is room for another minor league to serve in player development for the NBA. The IBA has also presented the NBA with an ambitious 12-page document outlining a full affiliation between the two leagues within three years. Only time will tell if this league survives.
The Universal Basketball Association (formerly the International Basketball Association)-- As this site explains (in somewhat vague fashion) the UBA used to be called the IBA, but because there already was a league in Canada and the Northern U.S. known as the IBA, these guys had to change their name. They chose the UBA, and thus goes the story of the league which changed its name before it even got off the ground.
This new idea for a league appears to be the brainchild of Sam Jones (Boston Celtics 1957-1969) and Earl Monroe (New York Knicks 1967-80). As of September, 1997, it is a league which still has no active teams, no players under contract, no active coaching prospects, is still looking for owners and operators of franchise teams, and has yet to play a game. However, the biggest difference between this and the other new leagues, is that none of the other new leagues was legally forced to change its name (from the IBA to UBA) before even getting off the ground. Nevertheless, it appears that if this league does get going, it hopes to have teams in Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Springfield (Mass), New York City, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Richmond, Greensboro, Jacksonville, Tampa, New Orleans, Birmingham, Nashville, Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Kansas City, Albuquerque, and San Diego. Pretty ambitious. For now, though, the site is mostly about how to start a franchise.
The Southwestern Basketball League-- Another new "professional" league, based primarily in Texas and the Southwest (hence the name). Apparently 6 teams currently exist in the league, Austin, Arlington, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Galveston and Lake Charles.
The Great Lakes Basketball Association-- A new and apparently non-functional league (at least as of July, 1997) featuring both men's and women's franchise play. The men's teams feature The Adrian Twisters, the Flint Seminoles, the Jackson Tidal Wave (two teams) and the Southeast Michigan Skyforce. The Women's division features teams from the same cities ( and featuring the same names) as the men's division. The league is scheduled to play its first games in March 1998. The league does not appear to have any pretensions of spreading beyond the "Great Lakes" area, and will instead focus on the Michigan-Wisconsin areas.
The National Women's Basketball League (NWBL)--Another new league being formed during the 25th Anniversary year of the passage of Title IX, the federal law largely responsible for mandating equal treatment of women's sports with men's sports. The league is apparently the brainchild of Jeanine Michaelsen, a former NCAA Division I women's player, Jolynn Schneider of the San Diego Waves (apparently as of July 1997 the only fully functional team) who was also a noted Division I player, and Patrick Alexander, a former gymnastics coach who is noted for his past associations with Bela and Martha Karolyi (the coaches of many U.S. Olympians). Unlike the GLBA, the NWBL is intended solely for women, and is a bit unique: There will be "divisions" for former Division I players, and other lesser divisions, graduated down to the "recreational" league level which apparently seeks to incorporate into its ranks teams and clubs already functioning under the auspices of other groups (e.g., AAU, JCC, YWCA). The league will feature a series of tournaments culiminating in a "National Championship" series in December in San Diego. The New Southern California Basketball wishes the NWBL and its players good luck. For information on this league, contact Patrick Alexander at firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Adult Athletic Association--
This is an organization which doesn't seem to have updated its site since 1996. While they projected a "national" tournament in Las Vegas in "June 1997" no results are contained here if it ever happened. It is not clear whether any part of this ambitious project ever really got off the ground. Nevertheless, the site is still up, and it describes itself as follows:
"The IAAA is an international sports organization established to promote local, regional, national and international athletic competition for men and women over the age of 18 years. The vision of the IAAA is to foster good health, camaraderie, and professional style athletic competition among the world's adult population. Basketball is the inaugural (1996) sport introduced through membership in the IAAA. Other IAAA sports will be established as the concept grows.
"IAAA endorses, supports and has a cooperative agreement with the
international Baseball organization, Mens Senior Baseball League (MSBL). MSBL was organized for men 30 years and older, and the Men's Adult Baseball League (MABL) for men 18 years and older. The MSBL/MABL features local competition in over 250 leagues; quarterly Hardball magazine; dozens of Regional Tournaments; International baseball trips; a national Fall Classic in Florida each year; and the Phoenix MSBL/MABL World Series which is the largest Baseball tournament in the world. Additional information regarding MSBL/MABL can be obtained through National offices at One Huntington Quadrangle, Suite 3N07, Melville, NY 11747. Phone (516)753-MSBL Fax (516) 753-4031.
"The National office of the IAAA is located in northern California at the following address:
8434 Cold Water Court
Elk Grove, California 95624
Fax (916) 685-3699"
The Harlem Globetrotters--Mannie Jackson presents the Harlem Globetrotters Online.
The Harlem Wizards-- They've been around for 35 years, but just this last year they lost a court battle requiring them to change their name because the Washington Bullets decided to call themselves the "Wizards". While the case is still on appeal, the Harlem Wizards continue to put on their brand of exhibition basketball.
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