Basketball Wiki
Premier Basketball League
Founded 2021
Number of teams 6
Website [ Official website]

The Premier Basketball League, often abbreviated to the PBL, is a men's professional basketball minor league in the United States that began play in January 2008. The league had ten teams for the 2008 season and thirteen teams for the 2009 season. Nine teams from Canada and the United States participated in the 2010 season. Eight started the 2011 season.


2008 Season[]

The PBL was formed after a number of disagreements between several former member teams of the modern American Basketball Association (ABA) and ABA CEO Joe Newman.[1] Eight of the initial ten PBL teams either played in or were slated to play in the ABA.

In early 2007, Newman was voted out of his position as CEO of the ABA by the board of directors, which included Maryland Nighthawks owner and then-ABA COO Tom Doyle (who was later a commissioner of the PBL), citing dissatisfaction with how Newman executed his duties as CEO. Newman responded by using his and other shares that formed a controlling interest to remove the entire board of directors.[2]

Newman then refused to reschedule a weather-delayed playoff game between the Rochester Razorsharks and Wilmington Sea Dawgs although the two teams agreed to a make up date, wanting instead to force Rochester to accept a forfeit.[3] It was on the heels of these two incidents that the Nighthawks and Razorsharks ownership groups decided to found the PBL.[1]

Former Houston Rockets point guard and current NBA on TNT analyst Kenny Smith was the league's first commissioner.[1]

2009 Season[]

Defections from other leagues[]

During the 2008 off season, six more former ABA teams decided to move to the PBL. First, on May 9, the Manchester Millrats and the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 ABA champion Vermont Frost Heaves moved.[4] Then on May 20, the inactive Detroit Panthers re-activated and joined the league.[5] And on May 21, the Quebec Kebs joined.[6] On June 5 another team with an ABA history, the Augusta Groove, joined the league, but from the Continental Basketball Association.[7] On June 23, the Halifax Rainmen, an ABA team the previous year, announced they were also joining the PBL after a bid to join the NBA Development League fell short.[8] The first International Basketball League defection came on July 31 when the Battle Creek Knights joined the league.[9]

Franchise Failures[]

On February 5, 2009, the league removed the original ownership of the Montreal Sasquatch for non-payment of players and removed the team from the league.[10] Montreal's four best players were drafted by other teams and all of the other players were given unconditional releases.[11] However, on February 11, the league announced new ownership for the team and the team was reinstated for the remainder of the year.[12]

Two thirds of the way through their inaugural season, there was a split among the members of the ownership group of the Mid-Michigan Destroyers and the team suspended operations for at least 2009, if not permanently.[13] The league also said the remaining Mid-Michigan games on the schedule would be filled by the remaining teams in the league.[13]


The original league playoff plan called for an initial play-in game between the league's 4th and 5th seeds, then a best of three semi-final series and final series. The Rochester Razorsharks had to delay the third game of their semi-final series. By the time the finals would have taken place, there were concerns about date availability at Kellogg Arena (home of the Battle Creek Knights)[14] and the ability of the league to honor a commitment to broadcast the games overseas due to limited broadcast capability from Kellogg Arena. Rather than the scheduled best of three finals series a single game final was played at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.[15][16]

2010 Season[]

The Battle Creek Knights returned to the IBL[17] The Wilmington Sea Dawgs moved to the Continental Basketball League.[18] The Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry joined the league from the CBA.[19] The Maryland Nighthawks changed the name of their franchise to the Maryland GreenHawks.[20] The Puerto Rico Capitanes joined the league, performing concurrently in the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.

At the end of the season, the league officially severed ties with the Buffalo Stampede, citing a failure by the team to adhere to league standards.[21] The Maryland GreenHawks were also dropped from the league.[22] The Bluegrass Stallions, another ABA team, joined.[23] The league also added the expansion Dayton Air Strikers.[24]

2011 Season[]

In January, the Vermont Frost Heaves abruptly announced the cessation of operations and their players were dispersed via a draft.[25] At the end of the season, the Dayton Air Strikers moved to the IBL.[26] The Rochester Razorsharks won the league championship after several controversial games where the impartiality of officiating was called into question by other league members[27]. The Halifax Rainmen and Saint John Mill Rats both announced they were leaving the league within one hour after the playoffs ended.[28] [29]Both press releases cited the way the playoffs were handled as their reason. In addition, the Lawton Constitution reported that Micheal Ray Richardson, the coach of the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry, stated they will not return to the PBL. They were the losing team in the especially controversial PBL Finals. [30] The Quebec Kebs announced the next day they were withdrawing from the league. [31]Template:Fr icon All three Canadian teams became founding members of the new National Basketball League of Canada, starting play in late 2011.

In a post on the forums about basketball at the Our Sports Central website, a poster who had previously been identified as the Bluegrass Stallions's Tony Chase stated that the Stallions had formally withdrawn from the league privately earlier.[32] This reduced the league roster to solely the champion.

On May 24, 2011, the league filed a lawsuit against the Our Sports Central website and one poster over posts on the message boards claiming some of the league games were fixed. [33]

2012 Season[]

The league has approved expansion teams in Chicago and Scranton, PA for the 2012 PBL season. Also, Chattanooga, TN, Hershey, PA, Madison, WI, and St. Louis, MO have been named as cities pending approval for expansion teams.[34]

On July 18, 2011, the PBL announced the Dayton Air Strikers were returning to the league for the 2012 season. [35] In addition, the Northwestern Illinois-based Sauk Valley Predators will begin their inaugural season in the PBL for 2012. [36] On August 22, 2011, it was announced the Charleston Gunners would be the PBL's sixth team for the 2012 season. [37]


Current clubs[]

Team City Arena (Capacity)
Charleston Gunners Belle, West Virginia Riverside High School
Chicago Muscle[39] Chicago, Illinois TBD
Dayton Air Strikers[40] Kettering, Ohio James S. Trent Arena (3,600)
Rochester Razorsharks Rochester, New York Blue Cross Arena (12,428)
Sauk Valley Predators[41] Northwestern Illinois Various
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre[42] Scranton, Pennsylvania Union Center (2,500)

History of Teams[]

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  • 2008: Jeremy Bell, Arkansas Impact
  • 2009: Keith Friel, Rochester Razorsharks
  • 2010: DeAnthony Bowden, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry
  • 2011: Quinnel Brown, Quebec Kebs

Playoffs MVP[]

  • 2008: Keith Friel, Rochester Razorsharks
  • 2009: Keith Friel, Rochester Razorsharks and Sammy Monroe, Rochester Razorsharks
  • 2010: Elvin Mims, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry
  • 2011: Melvin Council, Rochester Razorsharks

Coach of the Year[]

  • 2008: Rod Baker, Rochester Razorsharks
  • 2009: Terry Sare, Battle Creek Knights and Rod Baker, Rochester Razorsharks
  • 2010: Micheal Ray Richardson, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry
  • 2011: Rob Spon, Quebec Kebs

Sixth Man of the Year[]

  • 2009: Alex Harper, Wilmington Sea Dawgs
  • 2010: Melvin Council, Rochester Razorsharks
  • 2011: Eddie Smith, Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry

Defensive Player of the Year[]

  • 2009: Jonas Pierre, Quebec Kebs and Al Stewart, Manchester Millrats
  • 2010: Eric Crookshank, Halifax Rainmen
  • 2011: Eric Crookshank, Halifax Rainmen

Rookie of the Year[]

  • 2010: Eric Gilchrese, Manchester Millrats & Halifax Rainmen
  • 2011: Todd McCoy, Rochester Razorsharks

Newcomer of the Year[]

  • 2009: A.J. Millien, Augusta Groove & Halifax Rainmen
  • 2010: Scooter Sherrill, Maryland GreenHawks
  • 2011: Kenny Jones, Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions

Championship Game/Series results[]


  • 2008: Rochester Razorsharks defeated Arkansas Impact, 142-112 (Blue Cross Arena)
  • 2009: Rochester Razorsharks defeated Battle Creek Knights, 152-115 (Blue Cross Arena)
  • 2010: Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry defeated Rochester Razorsharks two games to one
  • 2011: Rochester Razorsharks defeated Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry two games to one


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External links[]

  1. REDIRECTTemplate:Men's professional basketball leagues
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