The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has announced a partnership with the United States’ first-ever international rules professional basketball league, the American Basketball League and the local team, the West Palm Beach Piranhas.
The American Basketball League kicked off its inaugural 24-game season on Jan. 19, fielding a 12-team league to challenge the recent economic failings of current minor league basketball organizations.
Initial ABL markets include San Antonio, Laredo, Sugarland, College Station, Boerne, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Palm Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Sebring and Corpus Christi. Future expansion is scheduled for California, New York and Puerto Rico.
Never before in American sports history has a professional league been developed for the purpose of operating as an international farm club, or feeder league, for global basketball.
The local ABL team, the West Palm Beach Piranhas, whose general manager is former Suncoast High School basketball standout Richard Rellford, will next play Saturday, Jan. 26 at Berean Christian School (8350 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Tip-off is at noon, and tickets are available at the door. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children under 12, seniors and military personnel.
“To be a part of bringing professional basketball to West Palm Beach is a dream come true,” Rellford said. “Our mission is to offer a family-oriented professional sports product that will have a positive impact on the sports and economic communities of West Palm Beach, and having the Palm Beach County Sports Commission as a partner solidifies our mission.”
The Piranhas roster includes University of Houston’s former 7-foot-1 center, Anwar Ferguson, University of Central Florida forwards P.J. Gaynor and Dwight McCombs, former Florida Atlantic University point guard Alex Tucker, along with several Palm Beach County basketball standouts.
“The Sports Commission is excited to be a partner with a professional basketball league in Palm Beach County,” Executive Director George Linley said. “In addition to promoting the county as a sports destination the league will bring economic and tourism benefits as well.”
The West Palm Beach Piranhas’ remaining home schedule is as follows: Saturday, Jan. 26 at noon; Saturday, Feb. 9 at noon; Saturday, Feb. 16 at noon; Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 23 at noon; Saturday, March 2 at noon; Saturday, March 16 at noon; Saturday, March 23 at noon; Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 30 at noon; and Saturday, April 6 at noon.
For more information about the ABL, visit www.abl-hoops.com or call Rellford at (561) 601-8890.
For additional information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, visit its web site at www.palmbeachsports.com.