It’s all about to begin.
It’s time for a new dawn for a number of professional basketball players to step forward and begin the newest chapters in their playing careers.
That opportunity exists in the North American Premier Basketball (NAPB) league.
Beginning on Sunday, the NAPB will tip off its first ever season Sunday for a New Year’s Eve celebration at 6:05 p.m. in Rochester, New York, when the homestanding Rochester RazorSharks play host to the Albany Patroons.
(The league schedule can be found here at http://napbasketball.com/schedule/)
Those squads along with the Kansas City Tornados, Kentucky Thoroughbreds, Nevada Desert Dogs, Ohio Cardinals, Vancouver Knights and the Yakima Sunkings, will begin the 4-plus month journey with the focus of bringing quality, professional men’s basketball to the fans.
NAPB/COO president, David Magley, recently took some time out to talk about his feelings about the new league, upcoming season and much more.
Q: So, it’s the eve of the first ever NAPB season. What are your initial thoughts as tip-off is set out East?
MAGLEY: The tip off signifies the end and the beginning.
It is the end of a year of tremendous effort, commitment and faith.
Personally, I have spent 300-plus nights in hotels, driven 75,000-plus miles and flown the equivalent of 3.5 times around the world and I’m just one of many people pouring their heart into this.
The commitment to build something with this kind of potential requires everyone to be on call and available 24/7 because there are so many moving parts. It’s like changing tires on a rolling car.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) We started the combine process of looking for young men to play in the league when we only had two teams committed with a belief that eight would play this year and the young men were competing for 96 jobs that initially were not there. This is just one example of how we moved in faith believing it would happen. To that extent it signifies the end of a significant time period in the history of our league.
The start is really the beginning of the possibilities of what this league can be:
- Hundreds of markets across North America fit the demographics of having the ability to support a league like this.
- Thousands of young men are capable of playing and only need a real opportunity.
- Hundreds of thousands of children in local schools need to hear our message of “hope, self-worth, stop bullying, values of education and dangers of drugs and alcohol.”
So the potential for 60-70 teams from Canada to Mexico, Hawaii to Puerto Rico is very real. We already have four new teams committed for next year and this season hasn’t tipped off yet.
Q: What made this possible? What pieces had to fall into place to make it possible?
MAGLEY: Dr Sev, my partner, believed in our vision and empowered me to do whatever needed to happen.
With that commitment from a strong financial backer we agreed on a plan and executed it to the best of our abilities.
Lots of reasons to get discouraged and many naysayers, could not be listened to as 100 percent focus on the end goal was required at all times.
Finding quality owners in great markets with motivated appropriately sized venues all had to line up, and they did.
Q: What was the hardest aspect/challenge to making sure the NAPB was going to tip off?
MAGLEY: Staying focused on the task at hand. There is so much that needs to be done, with only so many hours to do it in. So, you have to keep focused on the core tasks that will deliver the most results required to play a first season.
Q: So the league is spread out coast to coast. Should we assume travel costs will be a large part of each team’s infrastructure and how are you able to make such travel work? How will teams travel?
MAGLEY: Travel will be more significant in year one than any other time in our league history, as we will have the “geographic holds” filled in as time goes by.
To mitigate this, we are doing quite a few back-to-back games, bussing longer trips then we will in the future, playing longer road trips (more games) when we do fly, and some teams will travel with 10-men road rosters to keep the costs manageable.
All financial line items in a league like this have to be managed as tightly as possible.
Q: Give us a fun, quick breakdown of what the NAPB will consist of: rosters, any special rules, how many games, playoff format, anything else you feel is special?
MAGLEY: The rosters will be full of everything from former NBA players like Smush Parker in Albany, to local Division 1 favorites, to state scoring champions from NAIA schools.
The games will be fast with a great deal of scoring, an undersized version of the NBA so to speak. The same rules as the NBA, with one FIBA rule the fans will like, the players on offense and defense can take the ball off the rim once it touches it – so, no goal tending once the ball is on the rim.
There will be 32 games, 16 home-and-away for each team. The top four teams make the playoffs which will be a best-of-3 game series format.
All games can be seen in livestream via the internet, all teams will wear the same Moneyball brand uniforms and referees will wear a uniquely designed red, white and blue shirt.
The referees will be under the supervision of our Vice President of Operations Ronnie Nunn, who is a 15-year veteran ref in the NBA and the former Director of the NBA officials.
Q: What are your minimal goals for 2018 and what do you hope to work toward over, say, the next 2-3 seasons? A short-term goal per se?
MAGLEY: A great season will be, 128 great regular season games, exciting playoffs, 1,500-2,000 fans per game, lots of young lives impacted by our players off the court and communities embracing their “hometown team.”
To have 16-20 teams in year two and 24-30 teams in year three, with all markets impacting lives and our owners minimally all breaking even. For this to truly be a win/win, we have to manage the business side to profitability…
– Alan Dale, North American Premier Basketball Media Relations