Congratulations to the Fort Wayne Flite for their defeat of the top seeded Indianapolis Blaze in the championship game of the Central Basketball Association. The game was a true nail-biter as the lead changed hands twice in the fourth quarter until the game was decided in the Flite’s favor at the final buzzer, Fort Wayne 95, Indianapolis 92.
If you missed this exciting contest, you were not the only one. The CBA is a buried treasure in the backyards of many Midwestern states, but according to the CBA website, that’s about to change. “The CBA is poised to become one of the most dominant minor league basketball organizations in the country,” states the website. The CBA has been providing high energy basketball for over five years now, and because of its highly skilled players and other factors, the league is expected to continue growing.
Roots of the CBA
The Central Basketball Association sprang to life in 2013. The CBA’s mission, according to the website, was “to better advance the interests of member organizations, coaches, players, sponsors, and fans of minor league basketball.” The league consisted of only four teams that first year: the Hornets from Bowling Green, Kentucky; the Middle Tennessee Storm from Nashville; the River City Panthers from Peoria, Illinois; and the St. Louis Hawks. New teams continue to be added each year, and for 2017, a total of seven teams played in the league including two new teams to the league: the Baltimore Shuckers and the Illinois Coal Miners out of Danville. Owners of these minor league teams have come from a variety of backgrounds. Former athletes from the NBA, NFL and Minor League Baseball own pieces of the CBA teams as well as former NASCAR drivers and NCAA coaches and athletic directors. Owners and leaders of the CBA designated the use of International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules for all games in the league. These rules help ensure a faster paced game than the average NBA fan would witness.
CBA’s Secrets to Success
The CBA has continued to grow for half a decade now due to some key ingredients.
The first and most important ingredient to the CBA’s success is the teams and their players. Most teams carry about 15 players and the average age of those players is around 25 years of age. These players have supreme basketball skills as most played at the college level. In fact, nearly 450 former collegiate players have played in the CBA in the last four years. The league realizes the important role their athletes play in the success of the association. As the CBA website states, “The key to a successful league is not only to have profitable teams, but also to realistically allow aspiring athletes the opportunity to be recognized and promote themselves to the next level.”
The second ingredient to success comes from the CBA’s location. The teams have all been placed in major market cities. The eight games the teams play in the regular season draw respectable audiences for minor league teams. Most teams compete at college venues, so fans find convenient and comfortable amenities.
The third ingredient is the CBA’s online presence. The CBA has league-sponsored video rebroadcasts of every league game on its very own CBA online broadcast channel. In addition, the league website contains a professional display of detailed and accurate statistics for each game.
CBA Promotes Its Athletes
As stated earlier, the players are the backbone of this minor league, and many of those athletes use the CBA as a springboard into a professional league. As of now, over 150 CBA stars have made the move into professional basketball in over 30 different countries around the world including Canada, Mexico, and England. Some, like Sampson Carter, move into a career in the NBA or NBA Development league. The CBA takes great pride in helping their stars get exposure to scouts and agents across the nation and around the world.
CBA Uses Hit Trophy
We feel honored that the CBA uses our Silver Basketball Trophy (item # RG5002) as its championship trophy. The trophy features a silver metal coated resin basketball that rests between two forks. This awe-inspiring prize stands 20” tall and towers over most trophies, and including its base, this award weighs in at a hefty 9 pounds. Our design team can place up to four lines of text on the base. Engraving is performed free of charge, and we will provide free shipping with this piece too.
We are sure the Fort Wayne Flite will display their trophy with pride during the next year. If you would like to experience the quick paced games of the minor league, the 2018 season begins in late March and runs until the end of May. For more information about the CBA and teams near you, go to playcba.com.