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Jeff Duncan intrview Mikal Duilio Commissioner of the International Basketball League - Jul 9, 2009

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I had the opportunity to speak with Mikal Duilio Commissioner of the International Basketball League. As always he was very honest and engaging.

Q. This is year five of the International Basketball League which is a
huge achievement for a minor league. What factors make this league successful?
A. Limiting teams to one flight per year. The rules which sort of allow for one less big and one more guard on each roster. Strict rules especially regarding travel, showing up, uniforms, etc.

Q. Minor league sports can be a very tough business, has the economy made it even more difficult?
A. Yes, but at the same time we lost revenues (teams lost sponsorships), they/teams became extremely efficient, this/2009 was the year that teams bought into the efficiency techniques we have been pushing and so they lost money but gained efficiency so the economy hurt but did not destroy teams.

Q. Is the ultimate goal of the IBL to place players over seas or the NBA? (Or both)
A. Both, right now we are more associated with overseas

Q. The talent level in the IBL seems to grow every year. How does the talent level compare to other minor leagues?
A. We are the best, it seems we have to be because we play in May and June when great players are back from overseas (playing in our league to get back overseas or maintain their shape)...

Q. The referees in the IBL seem solid. How do you obtain good referees?
A. Many referees want to be involved in above the rim basketball

Q. Has the loss of Elkhart hurt the league? They seemed to be the gold standard for a while.
A. I think a strong organization is defined as one that pays bills and returns each year because they are doing things in a healthy manner per their market.

Q. The LA Lighting roster is full of former NBA players. Is this good for the league or do people view LA as a 'side show'
A. In 2008, maybe it was viewed as a side show but I have seen the team in person four games, they are very, very legitimate balancing some great
shooters and decision makers (the NBA guys) with young talent like Adam Parada 7' 1' post player- incredible talent.

Q. Devone Greene ended this season as the leading scorer in the IBL. Can he play at the next level?
A. Yes I believe he can play at any level, his shots are transferable.

Q. Who is the favorite to win the IBL championship?
A. It will be a great game. Both LA and Oregon will have their complete rosters. The date of the championship game is now July 25th to accommodate both teams. I pick Oregon to win.

Q. Will all of the part time teams this year become full time teams next
A. Probably all but three, not sure which three.

Q. Are all teams invited to the playoffs?
A. Yes

Q. Thoughts on the IBL for next season?
A. We will lose some ground and gain some ground, but this was our best year,
so I will assume that next year will be a little better as each team gets more efficient, more professional, the level of play keeps going up, and teams learn to promote/connect with their community a bit better each year. The IBL is not the 'end all be all' but it is a good minor league.
Jeff Duncan

Slam finishes Seattle Pro-Am regular season with first-ever OT win - 9 months ago
The Bellingham Slam received a late game-tying put-back from center Austin Bragg (6'9''-F/C-91, college: W.Washington), then pulled away in overtime as they defeated Team Worldwide in a Seattle Pro-Am thriller, 110-103, at Royal Brougham Pavilion on Saturday. Remarkably, it was the first time the Slam had posted an overtime victory in team history, having gone 0-for-5 in previous games which required extra time. Thanks to hot outside shooting from forward Jordan Hamilton (6'7''-F-90, coll...   [read more]

Ex-Vikings power Bellingham Slam rout of Kitsap - 10 months ago
The Bellingham Slam received contributions from a number of former Western Washington University players as they routed the Kitsap Admirals, 110-89, in Seattle Pro-Am action at Royal Brougham Pavilion on Saturday. Led by guard Taylor Stafford (6'1''-G-94, college: W.Washington) who tallied a game-high 38 points, seven ex-Vikings scored the Slam and accounted for over two-thirds of Bellingham's total offensive production. Stafford dazzled the crowd with perhaps the best shooting performanc...   [read more]

Paul Hafford
LC alum Hafford stars for Slam in Seattle Pro-Am - 2 Years ago
Former Lynden Christian standout Paul Hafford (6'5''-G/F-84, college: Portland St.) has added another successful chapter to his basketball career. Hafford, a 2002 LC graduate, averaged a team-high 22.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game this summer while leading the Bellingham Slam to a 7-3 record and a Seattle Pro-Am semifinal appearance. The sharp-shooting guard closed the season on a tear, scoring 40-plus points in two of the team's final three contests. Hafford began the do...   [read more]

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