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MPBA - Swarm win inaugural MPBA title with comeback win over St. Louis - Apr 10, 2015


POSTED BY:
CRAIG FATA
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Avery Smith
April 10, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Illinois - The Champaign Swarm looked like they might have been on their last legs, trailing by 13 points early in the fourth quarter, but an offensive onslaught by Avery Smith (6'4''-G-86, college: Wisc.-Milwaukee) and Malcolm Griffin (6'4''-G-91, agency: Two Points, college: Fresno Pacific) shocked the St. Louis RiverSharks and spurred their team to the first-ever Midwest Professional Basketball Association Championship with a 115-106 win at U. S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.
A tight first quarter ended 25-20 in favor of the RiverSharks, but St. Louis sniper Jerrold Brooks (6'0''-PG-91, college: S.Mississippi) exploded for five three-pointers, and helped the RiverSharks open up a 17-point lead at 57-40 with less than a minute left in the half, which ended 58-44.
Back-to-back three-point plays by Smith midway through the third got the Swarm to within five at 68-63, but St. Louis widened the gap back to twelve before the quarter ended with the RiverSharks up 80-72.
A couple of early baskets in the fourth pushed the St. Louis lead to 13 at 85-72, but that's when Smith, who was named Playoff Most Valuable Player began his assault. A LaPhonso Ellis Jr. (6'3''-G-87, college: Greenville). three-pointer followed by a Robert Broughton (6'5''-F) bucket gave the Swarm a 91-90 lead with 4:56 to play, and they never trailed again after Smith hit a three-pointer on the next possession.
Champaign went up by 11 at 106-95, and St. Louis never got closer than 7 the rest of the way.
Smith finished with 37 points to lead all scorers, while Griffin had 28 for Champaign, which shot 64% from the floor in the second half and 52% overall.
Brooks finished with 36 for St. Louis, while Harry Marshall (6'0''-G-88, college: Indiana St.) had 27 points. Marcus Goode (6'10''-C-88, college: Benedict) added 23 points and 12 rebounds for the RiverSharks.   



MPBA launches 2017 summer league - 4 months ago
January 9, 2017 ST. LOUIS - The Midwest Professional Basketball Association has decided to move its upcoming season from a traditional winter start to the summer of 2017, in an effort to determine whether playing closer to the autumn overseas signing period will result in more foreign advancements for MPBA players. The MPBA, which began play in January of 2015, has sent 60 players to overseas teams or the NBA D-League. "Doing a summer league has been in the works since our inception in...   [read more]
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The Midwest Professional Basketball Association 2017 player combine, scheduled for November 20 in suburban Chicago, has been canceled. 'We didn't have enough players sign up that we thought would be able to go overseas,' said Ed Schumer , commissioner and chief executive officer of the MPBA. 'We don't want to just take money from kids, knowing they didn't have a chance to move up. It's not fair to them. Our combine process is not designed to just be a revenue stream for us.' The MPBA has...   [read more]

Sergio
McClain
MPBA - Former Illini star McClain to coach Champaign Swarm - 6 months ago
November 1, 2016 ST. LOUIS - A player who led Peoria Manual High School to four straight state championships and the University of Illinois to an Elite 8 appearance has been named the head coach of the Midwest Professional Basketball Association's Champaign Swarm. Sergio McClain (6'4''-F-78, college: Illinois) has agreed to helm the Swarm for the 2017 season, set to begin in January. "I'm looking forward to working with a credible league, the Champaign Swarm organization, and my suppor...   [read more]


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