For other uses, see ABA.
American Basketball Association (ABA)
Logo ABA
Motto"More than just a game"
Country(ies) Canada
 United States
ContinentFIBA Americas (Americas)
Most recent champion(s)Jacksonville Giants (2nd title)
Most titlesSoutheast Texas Mavericks
Vermont Frost Heaves
Jacksonville Giants (2 titles each)

The American Basketball Association, often abbreviated as ABA, is an American semi-professional men's basketball league that was founded in 1999. The current ABA has no affiliation with the original American Basketball Association that merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976.


The current ABA was started up by Joe Newman and Richard Tinkham. Tinkham was an executive with the Indiana Pacers when they were in the original ABA. They licensed the ABA name from the NBA.[1]


The league first began play in 2000 with eight teams. During this time, the league focused mainly on teams in larger cities. To attract fans, the ABA had rosters with former NBA players and past college basketball stars with local ties.[2][3] The league suspended operations during the 2002-2003 season for reorganization. After returning one season to help rebuild, league focus was changed, from a few teams in large cities to many teams in large and medium cities, set up in regional groups. This was due in part to lowering the franchise fees down to $10,000 from $50,000 and not requiring a bond to start a team. This reduced operating costs and allowed several cities to get into the league that otherwise wouldn't. However, it also resulted in several ownership groups being badly underfinanced. Over the last decade, this has resulted in the creation of several new teams, but many of them haven't finished the season.


The 2004-2005 season was the first under this new format, with 37 teams playing that season. Each season, the number of teams grew, with both successful teams and teams that didn't complete the season. The ABA had 50+ teams playing in a season. Some stories of successful expansion franchises were the Arkansas RimRockers in 2004 and the Rochester Razorsharks in 2005. Both won an ABA title in the team's First season.


The 2006-2007 season saw the cost for a new expansion franchise raised to $20,000,[4] but many still sold for $5,000 - $10,000 and less, in some cases going as low as $1.[5][6] One notable 2006-2007 expansion franchise was the Vermont Frost Heaves, owned by Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff. Also in 2006-2007, former NBA player John Salley was named league commissioner, and Maryland Nighthawks owner Tom Doyle was named chief operating officer.

Following the league's first public offering in 2006, it was reported that Joe Newman was voted out of his position as league CEO.[7] A form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in February 2007 claimed the ABA Board of Directors removed Newman as league CEO on January 31, 2007. It went on to state that Newman's actions as league CEO would be reviewed to ensure that they were performed with the Board's permission.[8] The same filing also claimed that Newman and other shareholders plotted to remove Tom Doyle, John Salley, and David Howitt from the Board and elect Paul Riley as its director. Newman denied his removal ever occurred, and continued as acting CEO.[9] The lawsuits were settled in March 2007 with Doyle's and Salley's resignations from the league Board of Directors.

The 2006-2007 season saw many franchises fail to travel to road games or play a full schedule. When a weather problem required a postponement of a playoff game between the defending champion Rochester Razorsharks and the Wilmington Sea Dawgs, instead of letting the two teams reschedule, the league wanted to force Rochester to forfeit. Rochester instead withdrew from the league.[10] This incident, coupled with the CEO v. COO intrigue, caused to some league owners to become frustrated with the instability of the league and separate to form the Premier Basketball League (PBL).


The 2007-2008 season saw nearly twenty teams fold within its first five weeks, and several remaining teams left the ABA to join other existing leagues. According to Our Sports Central, only around 35% of the games were actually played in the 2007-08 season. The teams that played the highest percentage of games were Vermont, the Manchester (NH) Millrats, and the Quebec Kebs. Those three teams would leave to the PBL at the conclusion of the season.[11][12] Another team that only played home games was Beijing Aoshen Olympians. This team was kicked out of the Chinese Basketball League and played home games in Singapore. Beijing would pay $3000 and fly teams to Singapore for a 2-game homestand. Early teams complained on Our Sports Central that they were forced to stay in a hotel that doubled as a brothel. Joe Newman CEO forced Beijing to find a new hotel on hearing this news. Later teams stayed in a Holiday Inn.

The league's most successful franchise by attendance, the Halifax Rainmen, left the ABA, citing frustration with teams not showing up for games, as well as a biased ranking system. Numerous sportswriters essentially referred to the ABA as a joke, and not to be taken seriously.[13]

The 2008-2009 season saw the league conduct interleague play with the Continental Basketball Association.


The 2009-2010 season was scheduled to have over 50 teams. The season ended with several teams folding, starting in early December, including the entire northwest division. The league playoffs also had several games cancelled due to teams unable to afford travel, including a semi-final playoff game.[14] The playoffs ended with Southeast Texas Mustangs defeating Kentucky Bisons in a three game series.

On April 25, 2010 as part of their ABA Global initiative, the ABA hosted the 2010 ABA Friendship Games, where the Philippine National Basketball Team competed against teams from the ABA.[15]


The 2010-2011 season was expected to field over 60 teams. It was also announced that a new Canadian Division would be formed in 2010. A team based out of Toronto will join the ABA prior to a formation of the Canadian Division when more Canadian teams have been formed.[16] In the summer the league announced the first Haitian pro-basketball team, Haitian Relief.[17] The league planned to host over 800 games combined amongst the teams.[18]

In the end though, it was the same as previous seasons, with many teams disappearing before the season and during the season. Fewer than 50 full-time teams played games. The 2011 ABA All-Star Game resulted in a 123-122 Eastern conference win over the West, in front of a crowd of 4,488 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The playoffs started the next weekend, with the last four teams playing a double elimination tournament at the home of Southeast Texas Mavericks, who won their second ABA title two games to none over the Gulf Coast Flash.[19] The league planned to form the Women's American Basketball Association (WABA) league, unrelated to the original Women's American Basketball Association, another league which existed for one whole season in 2002.[20] The new league's first squad was to be located in Greenville, North Carolina.[21]


After the unsuccessful attempt to launch the WABA in the 2011-12 season, the league announced it would re-launch it during the 2012-13 season.[22]

Current clubs

For regular season standings of past ABA seasons, see American Basketball Association (2000–) standings.

Atlantic South Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Albany Shockwave Albany, Georgia Albany Civic Center
Atlanta Aliens Atlanta, Georgia Travel-only team
Atlanta Wildcats Atlanta, Georgia Lynnwood Recreation Center
Birmingham Blitz Birmingham, Alabama Fair Park Arena (6,000)
Georgia Gwizzlies Austell, Georgia South Cobb Recreational Center
Gulf Coast Flash Gulfport, Mississippi Gulfport High School
Jacksonville Giants Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (6,806)
Phenix City Bombers Phenix City, Alabama Freshman Academy
Savannah Grizzles Savannah, Georgia
Southwest Fellowship Warriors Savannah, Georgia Savannah High School

California/Northwest Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Bay Area Matrix Clayton, California Concord-Clayton YMCA
East Bay Pit Bulls Livermore, California Las Positas College
Port City Pirates Stockton, California
Sacramento Heatwave Folsom, California Folsom High School
San Francisco Rumble San Francisco, California Kezar Pavilion (4,000)

Colonial Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Lynchburg Legends Lynchburg, Virginia Lynchburg City Armory
Portsmouth Cavaliers Portsmouth, Virginia Portsmouth Catholic Regional School
Richmond Elite Highland Springs, Virginia Highland Springs High School

Mid-Atlantic Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Fayetteville Flight Fayetteville, North Carolina Freedom Courts Sportsplex
Greenville Galaxy Greenville, South Carolina
Hampton Road Stallions Virginia Beach, Virginia Virginia Beach Field House
Palmetto State Rizers Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina Warriors Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Carolina Forest Recreation Center
Tennessee Halo's Johnson City, Tennessee Legion Recreation Center

Mid-Central Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Chicago Steam South Holland, Illinois South Suburban College Fieldhouse
Detroit Hoops Detroit, Michigan Detroit Edison Public School Academy
Lima Explosion Lima, Ohio Elida High School (1,200)
Michiana Monarchs South Bend, Indiana
Oakland County Cowboys Detroit, Michigan
Pontiac Firebirds Pontiac, Michigan
Indiana State Warriors Portage, Indiana

Northeast Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Connecticut Topballerz New Haven, Connecticut Travel-only team
Jersey Express Jersey City, New Jersey Centenary College of New Jersey (1200)
NYC Thunder Amityville, New York Travel-only team
Staten Island Vipers Staten Island, New York

Pacific Northwest Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Alaska 49ers Anchorage, Alaska Travel-only team
Alaska Quake Anchorage, Alaska Begich Middle School
Calgary Crush Calgary, Alberta
Kitsap Admirals Bremerton, Washington Olympic High School
Lakewood Panthers Lakewood, Washington Pierce College
Olympia Rise Olympia, Washington Evergreen State College
Salem Sabres Salem, Oregon Chemeketa Community College
Seattle Mountaineers Seattle, Washington Green River Community College
Washington Rampage Marysville, Washington

Rocky Mountain Division

Team Location (Capacity)
Colorado Cougars Greeley, Colorado Butler–Hancock Sports Pavilion (2,992)
Colorado Kings Denver, Colorado Green Valley Ranch Elementary School

South Central Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Bluff City Reign Olive Branch, Mississippi Olive Branch High School
Conway Cyclones Conway, Arkansas Grove Gymnasium (Hendrix College) (1,100)
Jackson Showboats Jackson, Mississippi
Missouri Rhythm Raytown, Missouri The ROC Fitness & Recreation

SoCal Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Arizona Scorpions Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix College (2,000)
Central Valley Titans Exeter, California Exeter Union High School
Fresno Flight Fresno, California West Fresno High School
Las Vegas Defenders Las Vegas, Nevada
Los Angeles Slam Los Angeles, California Antelope Valley Christian School
Orange County Novastars Irvine, California
San Diego Surf San Diego, California Hourglass Arena, Miramar College

Southwest Division

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Dallas Impact Dallas, Texas Lakewest Family YMCA
Houston Xperience Houston, Texas
North Dallas Vandals North Dallas, Texas Dr. Pepper Arena (7,000)
Oklahoma Stallions Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Douglass High School
Texas Fuel San Antonio, Texas Alamo Convocation Center
West Texas Whirlwinds Midland, Texas Odessa College

Other Teams Playing

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Cleveland Am Pro'ers Cleveland, Ohio Travel-Only
Electric City Lions Anderson, South Carolina Travel-Only
Hollywood Magic Los Angeles, California Travel-Only
Shizuoka Gymrats Shizuoka, Japan Travel-Only

2013 Expansion Announced

Team Location Arena (Capacity)
Ball World Peace Hanford, California
Buffalo 716ers Buffalo, New York
Columbia Axemen Cowlitz County, Washington
Georgia-Lina Hurricanes Augusta, Georgia
Georgia Roadrunners Columbus, Georgia
Ill City Beast Chicago, Illinois
Lake City Kingdom Riders Lake Charles, Louisiana
Lansing Law Lansing, Michigan
Mobile Bay Tornados Mobile, Alabama
Monroe Magicians Monroe, Louisiana
New Orleans Cougars New Orleans, Louisiana
New York Jamm New York, New York
Texarkana Bulldogs Texarkana, Arkansas

Defunct teams

The ABA method of handing franchises to anybody who is willing to buy one, with no consideration to whether the person can afford it or not, resulted in over 200 folded franchises as of the beginning of the 2008 season.[23]

Former teams that joined other leagues

Championship Game results

For complete playoff results of past ABA seasons, see American Basketball Association (2000–) Playoff Results.
For standings of past ABA seasons, see American Basketball Association (2000–) standings.
Year Champion Runner-up Score Location Reference
2000–2001 Detroit Dogs Chicago Skyliners 107-91 Cox Pavilion
2001–2002 Kansas City Knights Southern California Surf 118-113 Kemper Arena
2003–2004 Long Beach Jam Kansas City Knights 126-123 Walter Pyramid
2004–2005 Arkansas RimRockers Bellevue Blackhawks 118-103 Alltel Arena
2005–2006 Rochester Razorsharks SoCal Legends 117-114 Blue Cross Arena
2006–2007 Vermont Frost Heaves Texas Tycoons 143-95 Barre Auditorium
2007–2008 Vermont Frost Heaves San Diego Wildcats 87-84 Pavillon de la Jeunesse
2008-2009 Kentucky Bisons Maywood Buzz 127-120 Nashville Municipal Auditorium
2009–2010 Southeast Texas Mavericks Kentucky Bisons 96-99, 104-83, 85-76 Lamar State College Best of 3 Games
2010-2011 Southeast Texas Mavericks Gulf Coast Flash 114-97, 109-85 Nutty Jerry's Entertainment Complex Best of 3 Games
2011-2012 Jacksonville Giants South Carolina Warriors 106-101, 100-91 Eckerd College Best of 3 Games
2012-2013 Jacksonville Giants North Dallas Vandals 85-84, 110-109 Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Best of 3 Games

All-Star Game results


Player of the Year

Coach of the Year

Executive of the Year

MVP - Championship Game

MVP - All-Star Game

Community Service

See also


  1. Wolff, Alexander (2005-12-14), Jumping into the ABA with the Vermont Frost Heaves, Sports Illustrated,, retrieved 2010-08-17
  2. Stephens, Eric (December 27, 2000). "Stars Shine in ABA Debut Before 5,347". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  3. Rovell, Darren (August 20, 2000). "ABA 2000 plays the name game". Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  4. Iverson's mom has own ABA team, Associated Press, 2006-08-25,, retrieved 2010-08-17
  5. Ruben, Mike (2009-01-15), Housing Authority Brings Pro Basketball to State, State Journal,, retrieved 2010-08-17
  6. Becker, Michael (2006-07-26), Firing Away at the ABA, Los Angeles Times,, retrieved 2010-08-17
  9. - Home of the American Basketball Association
  10. George, Rachel (2007-03-24). "Sea Dawgs are unlikely hosts". Wilmington Star News. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Premier Basketball League Welcomes Vermont Frost Heaves And Manchester Millrats". Our Sports Central. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  12. "Quebec Kebs Join Premier Basketball League". Our Sports Central. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  13. Walling, Alex (2008-03-28). "ABA stands for Amateur Basketball Association". Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  14. Clark, Ryan (2010-03-18), SETX Mavericks' playoff opponent forfeits game, Beaumont Enterprise,, retrieved 2010-07-14
  15. Navarro, June (2010-04-27), Smart Gilas five nips San Diego, Philippine Daily Inquirer,, retrieved 2010-07-14
  16. ABA Returns To Canada In 2011, American Basketball Association, 2010-08-04, archived from the original on 23 August 2010,, retrieved 2010-08-17
  17. ABA Announced Haitian expansion team
  18. ABA season schedule
  23. "Dead Balls". December 3, 2008.
  24. Continental Basketball League Welcomes the HEARTLAND PROWL, Continental Basketball League, 2011-03-28,, retrieved 2011-03-30

External links


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