As you might know, I was the play-by-play voice for the Dayton Air Strikers that played in the International Basketball League. What some people might not know is that I was an intern for the Air Striker team that was in the Premier Basketball League.
Dayton has joined the PBL again for the 2012 season, joining the Rochester RazorSharks. But what’s happening with the other teams that played against Dayton and Rochester? Remember the Quebec Kebs? How about the Saint John Mill Rats? Don’t forget the Halifax Rainmen, the Vermont Frost Heaves (who folded mid-season), the Lawton-Fort Sill Calvary, and the Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions. Well, there was a big fallout where the owners basically called the league and refs a joke. Quebec, Halifax, and Saint John left to help form the National Basketball League of Canada. Lawton-Fort Sill ceased operations entirely, and the Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions decided not to be in the PBL (but still no decision about this upcoming season has been made.) Dayton also left too, but they returned after the IBL summer season ended.
On the boards, it seemed like everyone saw the demise of the PBL. However, that has not happened. The PBL has added nine new teams and plans on more. Now in the mix with Rochester and Dayton are the Lake Michigan Admirals, the Indiana Diesels, the Northwest Indiana Stars, the Sauk Valley Predators, the Central Illinois Drive, the Charleston Gunners, the Chicago Muscle, and the Scranton-Wilkes Barre franchise. Yes, the SWB team is still looking for a name and logo. The newest franchise is the Saint Louis Phoenix, hot off the presses.
So that’s eleven teams so far. The mix is a good Midwestern trip, ranging from New York to the Arch. If you remember last year, there were three stops in Northeast Canada, all the way to Oklahoma. This cuts down on a lot of the travel. There’s a lot of opportunity for the PBL to succeed in 2012, with a big basketball league stuck in a lockout (and one player from Twitter saying it might last two years.)
One area the PBL could consider expanding in is Wisconsin or Minnesota. There’s some good basketball talent up North, but it still maintains the current Midwestern feel the league has going.
We still have lots of time before the 2012 season, so we might see more teams in the mix. One thing I know though, Dayton is ready to play again.
Sources of information from thepbl.com, metronews.ca, Our Sports Central, and the picture is from flickr user chuckthewriter.
Until next time,