The Albany Patroons are making a comeback

Albany Patroons announcement Derrick Rowland

A new version of the Albany Patroons is set to play in a new professional basketball league next year in their old venue, the Washington Ave Armory.

Here are a few details about what's coming up...

The new league

Albany Patroons press conference wide

It's called the North American Premier Basketball League (NAPL).

There are now three teams officially on board -- Albany, Rochester, and Seattle. Dave Magley -- commissioner of the league -- said at Wednesday's press conference there will be 8-12 teams the first season. (There's talk of adding teams in cities such as Vancouver, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Raleigh.)

Players in the new league will be paid between $1,500 and $5,000 per month. Magley said the league is looking at players who are on the fringe of professional basketball in this country -- talented, but no longer young enough to have the potential to catch on with the NBA's developmental league.

"This is pro basketball, make no bones about it," Magley said, emphasizing the league would be enforcing consistent standards for uniforms and travel and other operational details.

Games

The season is scheduled to start January 1 and run through April, with playoffs in May.

Tickets for games will range from $8 to $25 or $30.

Magley said the league figures teams will need to draw about 1,500 fans per game to break even. (The armory sits 2,380 for a basketball game.)

History

Albany Patroons championship banners

There are a lot of fond memories of the heyday of the old Albany Patroons during the 1980s in the now-faded Continental Basketball Association. The team featured players such as Vincent Askew, Scott Brooks, Rick Carlisle, Mario Elie, and Sidney Lowe. And the team was coached at various points by Phil Jackson -- who would go on to tremendous success as an NBA coach -- and George Karl, who also had a long NBA coaching career. The Patroons won the CBA title twice.

The team returned in the mid 2000s for a few years, and then fizzled out again.

The announcement of the new team on Wednesday at the armory leaned heavily on that 80s history. The coach/general manager of the team is Derrick Rowland -- "Mr. Patroon" -- the Patroons all-time scoring leader. And Dave Magley, the commissioner, is himself a former player for the team.

If you're curious about the Patroons heyday, check out Chuck Miller's extensive history of the team.

Comments

I enjoyed going to the Albany Legends games there in 2010-11.

I mean this in the most positive way possible: the 1980s patroons were a success because the community supported it as a "farm team" for the NBA. Tickets were inexpensive, it was better than area college basketball (at that time) and there were no illusions that the Area could support a higher level of play.

Now with UAlbany playing Division 1 ball, it may be challenging to get the same attention as the Patroons did "back then".

Glad to see a new tenant for the Armory---good building, GREAT location, woefully underused.

hi great to hear the good news first i like to say hi to DERRICK and DAVE i was one of the ast trainers UNDER TRAINER JACK MOSHER along with THE LATE ROBERT
K SHAFFER AND SON ROBERT JR ALONG WITH PATRICA SHAFFER WIFE OF ROBERT SR WHO PUT IN A LOT OF HOURS WORKING WITH THE TEAM I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK ALL THE STAFF JIM COYNE GARRY HOULE AND ALL THE OWNERS BACKERS AND FANS OF THE TEAM IF YOU WANT A GOOD TIME OUT TO WATCH BASKETBALL AND FEEL LIKE YOU ARE PART OF THE TEAM COME AND WATCH THEM ONCE YOU COME YOU WOULD COME TO THE GAMES

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