Today, I’m here to talk about the new professional basketball team in the Dayton area. For the first time since 2006, Dayton has a professional basketball franchise. The Air Strikers, named after Dayton’s history with aviation, play in Kettering at the James S. Trent Arena. This is also the same arena where the Kettering Fairmont High School Firebirds play (I wrote about them once upon a time, read that here.)
The Air Strikers play in the Premier Basketball League, which has seven other teams. There are three teams from Canada and five from the United States. Dayton plays in the West Division, along with Kentucky, Lawton-Fort Sill (Oklahoma), and Rochester (New York). The league began play in 2008 with ten teams.
The Air Strikers are the new team on the block, coming from an area rich with basketball talent. There’s tons of quality high school programs and two great Division I teams in Wright State and Dayton. While there hasn’t been an NBA franchise in the Dayton-Cincinnati area since the early 70’s, basketball shines in the Miami Valley.
While the Air Strikers are 0-2 at home and 1-3 so far in the league, there’s some exciting basketball to see. The team promises excitement throughout the season. In both home teams, the opposing team has reached over 100 points. That does bring up the fact that so far in the young season, there has only been one game where the score has stayed under the triple-digit mark.
The Premier Basketball League operates on NBA rules with a few tweets added that deal with throw-ins, fouls, and media timeouts.
The nicknames of all eight teams are arguably more different than what you’d commonly see in the sports world. With a few teams carrying a two word nickname, such as the Air Strikers, the Saint John Mill Rats, the Vermont Frost Heaves, and the Rochester Razor Sharks, the nicknames are creative.
Something different about this time is the home schedule. Instead of weekend games, there are Tuesday and Wednesday affairs. Granted, teams in the NBA do this occasionally, but there are no home games on the weekends. When the Trent Arena is empty, the citizens of Kettering can come in and use the track and gym (for a monthly membership, that is.)
Will the Air Strikers last longer than the last basketball team in Dayton? Only the season will tell. Hopefully there will be more people that give this a look.
Until next time,