As basketball continues to grow in Canada, there remains a strong demand for an NBA franchise in Vancouver. It’s been 13 long years since the Grizzlies were relocated to Memphis, since then NBA basketball has been played just four times in Vancouver.
Despite being ranked as one of the best cities in the world, having a growing market, the strength of the Canadian dollar and an upgraded arena, the city of Vancouver fails to fall into serious consideration for an NBA franchise.
One of the weakest areas of basketball in British Columbia is the level of interest and seriousness at the senior men’s level. Outside of the Ball Don’t Stop Men’s Basketball League in Surrey, a few men’s leagues in Richmond and Vancouver, there just hasn’t been a competitive environment/team where good players who no longer have college eligibility could play.
There are so many players in British Columbia that have great high school careers, play two years of college basketball, fall out of the loop for a year and are never heard of again.
However, this will soon change.
Vancouver will be getting a semi-professional basketball team. The Vancouver Balloholics will be playing their inaugural season in the Pacific Northwest division of the American Basketball Association (ABA). The ABA currently fields over 100 teams, this off-season they reached an agreement to have 40 of their games aired on ESPN3.
This is a big deal for the game of basketball in British Columbia. The ABA features great competition, many NCAA Div 1 standouts, Euro professional players and even guys that have played in the NBA play for ABA teams. Last year, the LA Slam featured five former players in the NBA including Doug Christie.
Local college players that are near the end of their post-secondary careers, former high school standouts and serious hoopers in B.C. now have something to look forward to.
The Balloholics could be a hot destination for the best players over the age of 20 in British Columbia for years to come, as they will give an opportunity to elite players in the province to continue their basketball careers, build their resumes, travel North America, play against some of the best competition at the semi-professional level, receive a ton of exposure and potentially earn professional contracts overseas.
The Vancouver Balloholics will play their home opener at the Langley Events Center on November 21 at 8 p.m. when they take on the Calgary Crush, tickets are available via Ticketmaster. This will be a great show for local hoops fans and could be a glimpse at the future of senior men’s basketball in B.C.
On February 28, 2015, the Balloholics will take on the Arizona Scorpions live on ESPN3.
Check out the full schedule for the Balloholics inaugural season.