After completing its first season in May 2014, under a new league name and management structure, the Central Basketball Association (CBA) announced Wednesday an expansion of its member teams for the upcoming 2015 season.
Three new organizations, the Indianapolis Briks, Mississippi Eagles, and Springfield Sentinels, will join six CBA teams from last season: Bowling Green Hornets, Chattanooga Rail Runners, Fort Wayne Flite, Memphis Soul Kings, Middle Tennessee Storm, and Peoria Panthers. The St. Louis Hawks, who played in the league last season, have deferred membership for this season, as they undergo organizational restructuring. The nine teams in the CBA, who are scheduled to play each other once during the regular season, come from eight major media markets in five different states in the central portion of the United States.
Additionally, the CBA received interest from ownership groups from the following markets, and shall continue to vet them for potential membership in the league for future seasons: Chicago, Clarksville, Columbus, Des Moines, Huntsville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Lexington, Little Rock, Louisville, Milwaukee, and South Bend.
The 2015 CBA regular season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 28, and will conclude onSunday, May 10. Each team will play eight regular season games, including four games at home and four games on the road. The post-season knockout tournament, which will consist of the top-eight teams in the league, will be held across two weekends in Fort Wayne, Indiana, specifically at the McMillen Center, which also serves as the practice facility site for the 2014 NBA D-League champions, Fort Wayne Mad Ants. The quarter-final games will be held on May 16 and May 17, the semi-final games on May 30, and the league championship game on May 31.
Last season, in the four-team post-season format, the second-seeded Middle Tennessee Storm won the 2014 CBA title, defeating fourth-seeded St. Louis in the championship game in Nashville. The top-seeded Chattanooga Rail Runners were the winningest team in the regular season; however, were eliminated in the semi-finals of the playoffs. The Fort Wayne Flite, who were also defeated in the semi-finals, were the third-seeded team; while the Bowling Green Hornets, Memphis Soul Kings, and Peoria Panthers failed to qualify for the tournament.
The complete regular season schedule for the 2015 season is set to be released on Dec. 16.
In addition to the league expansion to nine teams, the CBA also announced the transition to competition operating under International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules and regulations. Prior to this change in format, the league had engaged in competition involving rules consistent to those of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Key components of FIBA-standard games, which differ from NBA regulations, include: four ten-minute quarters, five personal-foul limit, alternating possession rules, and five timeouts per game. The switch to the FIBA competition format is expected to help aspiring athletes in the league to transition easily to the international style, once they receive opportunities to play abroad after the CBA season.
Throughout the eight-week CBA season, athletes that have completed their collegiate basketball eligibility, engage in competition between member teams, wherein video and statistical analysis is performed for every league player. From the performance in these games, in conjunction with networking and player marketing between the league and various international clubs and scouts, top athletes in the CBA are given the opportunity to try out for a number of professional teams across the globe with the goal of ultimately earning a lucrative contract.
As the fastest-growing minor league basketball organization in the United States, the CBA consisted of nearly 100 former collegiate athletes in the league last season, as well as being responsible for 21 international contracts offered to its players, including 15 in the last four months. Furthermore, through various league-sponsored opportunities in the off-season, two CBA players were selected at high draft positions within the Canadian and Mexican professional basketball league drafts this year. The CBA looks to build on this past year's success by providing greater opportunities for its players to advance their basketball careers and achieve their dreams of playing professional basketball at an elite level.
For more information about the Central Basketball Association, including the latest news and updates with the league, member teams, or its players, please visit http://www.playcba.com or contact the league at email@example.com.