AUGUST 09, 15:46 EDT
Investors Plan to Relaunch CBA
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The bankrupt Continental Basketball Association will be revived in time to start its 56th consecutive season on Nov. 16.
Agreements have been finalized with seven teams for the upcoming season, and principals of franchises in four other cities are on the board of directors for the new Professional Basketball Associates LLC.
All are committed to play in the 2002-2003 season, new CBA chief executive officer Gary Hunter said.
``We are eager to bring new vitality and business discipline to this important contributor to American sports history,'' he said. ``We are thrilled to be back.''
Hunter was named chief executive officer of the nation's oldest professional basketball league last weekend during a Minneapolis meeting of the new group's investors. The league will be based in Boise.
Financial chaos prompted the CBA to suspend operations Feb. 8, and five teams later joined the International Basketball League. Some of the franchises from that league have agreed to join the revived CBA.
Agreements are finalized with franchises in Gary, Ind.; Grand Rapids and Flint, Mich.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Rockford, Ill.; and Fargo and Bismarck, N.D. Negotiations continue with owners in Boise; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and La Crosse, Wis., but CBA officials said play might not begin in those markets until next year.
Teams will be competing for the Jay Ramsdell Trophy in the 2001-2002 season, with the championship finals scheduled for next April.
The CBA folded in February, two years after NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas agreed to buy the league for $9 million. He paid half up front and was to pay the rest over three years.
But when the Indiana Pacers hired Thomas as their head coach a year ago, the NBA told him to divest himself.