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Articles

NAPB, SunKings slowing building as league reaches midpoint of inaugural season - May 8, 2018


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David Magley knew he'd endure them when he started the North American Premier Basketball League and he was right.
Almost halfway through this inaugural season, the league has had its share of ups and downs, but the NAPB president expressed confidence that most of the league's biggest challenges are now behind it.
'I'm probably guilty of over-shooting expectations,' he said Sunday, prior to the Yakima SunKings' game against Albany in the SunDome. 'But if I take a step back, I see we're at the halfway point of the season and we've got one really great franchise (Yakima) and a bunch of good ones.
'Things are getting better and better. It's not Yakima (around the rest of the league) but it's acceptable. (We've struggled) but it's sure not from a lack of effort.'
There's no question in Magley's mind that Yakima is the league's strongest franchise and the model he wants all the others to emulate.
'This has become absolutely where we need every team to be,' he said, adding that the league could use more people like Yakima coach and general manager Paul Woolpert and former GM Rich Austin.
'They're both invaluable,' he said. 'Paul understands the high standards we need for our teams. Rich is constantly thinking of ways he can help. And he's not asking for money, he just wants to see us succeed.'
Unfortunately, a couple of teams are falling short of the Yakima model, with Vancouver being the most obvious.
The league took control of the team last week, removing the team to prevent further damage to a market Magley desperately wants to hang on to. The Knights will finish the season, with their remaining home games to be played in Columbus, Ohio, except for three against Yakima, which have yet to be rescheduled.
Magley expressed confidence that the team could return to Vancouver with a new owner next season.
Ohio is another team enduring struggles but Magley said they are getting stronger and that the other five franchises are on good footing, particularly Albany and Kansas City, which he said, 'are gaining momentum.'
Magley was candid assessing his own role, admitting that there were more challenges than he originally anticipated and vowed to make changes.
'I wear a lot of hats,' he said. 'I've found things that I'm good at and where I'm lacking. Now, I can either get better in those areas or hire someone else to do it and I probably need to do both.'
After an abbreviated three-month run-up last fall to get the league started, Magley said it will be important to take advantage of the full offseason ahead to not only bolster current franchises but bring new ones on board.
In addition to Vancouver, he said the league wants to get local owners for Kentucky and Nevada and additional owners for others, firmly stating that he won't allow unstable teams to damage the league's overall health.
'All current teams need to be shored up by August 1 or they will sit out next season,' he said, adding that the league will expand next season, including a team in Bellevue with efforts to put one in Spokane as well.
Creating pods around existing teams is a primary focus since that will help reduce travel costs, Magley said.
'The net result is we'll have a stronger league next year,' he said. 'It's finding a way to tie things together that benefit the league.
'It's not just getting them (teams), it's keeping them. Let's close the season strong and build from there.'

Courtesy of Yakima Herald   




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