Seattle, Washington – The Pro Basketball Association is getting ready to start their season on Saturday May 1st as the 66 team PBA features teams across the Country from Seattle to New York City in what many view as the highest level of professional basketball after the NBA and NBA G-League in the US. The PBA in it’s inaugural season took Minor League Hoops by storm seemingly adding City after City Nationwide over the last few Months having first announced plans for AA basketball back in December. Close to the hearts of those in the Pacific Northwest are the clubs in the Association that play in the PBA’s Northwest Division featuring the Quad City Flames, Thurston County Capitals, Vancouver Dragons, PNW VETS, Kitsap Admirals, and Lilac City Legends.
The PBA signed an International TV deal early on offering PBATV on Roku, Amazon Fire, and YouTube that collectively are in 250 Billion homes World wide. The league is banking on the fact that American basketball is fascinating to viewership Worldwide and gives fans both foreign and domestic access to a high level of hoop that is family friendly and affordable. The league has a strong Military presence and many of the partners in the Association have a Military background. Some of the key people running organizations around the league include former NBA and Overseas players, coaches, and staff and the Northwest has a lot to offer Pro Hoops fans in the region.
The Vancouver Dragons are led by Head Coach Marcus “Doc” Stancil. Doc is also the Regional Director of League Operations for the Pro Basketball Association in the Northwest Division. Sean Price is a player/coach that averaged 21ppg in the NWAC at Clark College and is a prolific scorer who led his team to the Portland Pro-Am league championship in 2016 and 2017. The Vancouver Dragons, previously of Vancouver BC Canada, moved to Vancouver Washington for the inaugural season. They won the MLBA Championship in 2018 and were 26-2 in the American Basketball Association. The club has a strong history of being extremely competitive in Minor League Basketball and with Doc at the helm expect no different this season.
Thurston County Capitals are led by Head Coach Lewis Holmes III who formerly played in the International Basketball League (IBL) and was a former Teen Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club in Thurston County for over 10 years. He also worked at the Joint Base Lewis McChord Teen Zone and for 15 years was a Para Educator for North Thurston County public school system working with special needs adults. In addition to coaching the Capitals, Coach Holmes also works with veterans at the VA Hospital and is a volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters as well as a volunteer at W.E.S.T. Academy youth program as a coach and mentor.
Leading the Quad City Flames on to the court this season are Associate Coaches Jimmy Duckworth and Dikran Zabunyan. Coach Duckworth began coaching in the State of Washington in 1997, having come from Milwaukee to the area a little over 2 decades ago. He coached in various youth sports leagues now for over 24 years and has an extensive background is training and developing youth. in 2010 Coach Duckworth founded the Pacific Northwest Sports Academy, a non-profit organization for boys and girls which help to further their training, not only in basketball but also life skills and mentorship. Jimmy has coached from AAU to being an Assistant Head Coach at Summit Olympic High in Tacoma, Washington in 2019-2020. He’s coached Pro-AM and in the American Basketball Association since 2012 with the Lakewood Panthers, Tacoma Thunder, as well as coaching the Tacoma team in the Jamal Crawford Summer League.
Coach Dikran Zabunyan is known as one of the builders of Canada Basketball. He founded the Rose City Express Pro team in Windsor, Ontario and renamed it GT Express when he moved back to Toronto in 1999. His teams went on to International success over 13 years in the sport touring in the USA and overseas. The team which carried many Canadian National Team members eventually became the number two team in Canada per Eurobasket behind only the Toronto Raptors. In 2018 Zabunyan was hired to coach the Vancouver Dragons and during his inaugural season the team went 29-2 and won the MLBA Championship and in 2019 became a top ranked team in the ABA. During his 21 years as a Coach, Zabunyan has a record of 542-264. Due to his contributions to the game of basketball, Zabunyan was inducted into the Canada Basketball Hall of Fame in August 2019. He resides in Vancouver, BC where he manages a very successful Resort business.
“The Core Values “Commitment to Excellence” is the foundation that drives this organization, both on the floor and within the community. “Commitment to Excellence” is not only the state in which we expect our finished product, but the mindset in which we carry out our daily roles and responsibilities with our team and community. “Community” involvement is essential to our business. Supporting the efforts of organizations around the Quad City reflects our values as members of this community. Our team loves being a part of this aspect. “Diversity” is reflected within the core of our team, staff and various target markets in which our company directs its focus. “Diversity” expresses the dynamics and variation of the factors contributing to the success of our business. The Quad City promote all aspects of the community. We ARE the Quad City Flames Players and coaches are valued members of the Pierce, King and Thurston County Communities.”
The mission of the Quad City Flames Professional Basketball Organization is to support educational and athletic achievement in youth, promote cultural excellence, while showcasing the spirit and energy of the Thurston, King and Pierce County communities. The organization will celebrate diversity and create opportunity for our aspiring, hopeful youth. With a variety of programs on our agenda, they effectively promote services, entertainment, workshops, exhibits and many other community events.
PNW VETS call Federal Way, Washington home. Team owners Reginald Robinson, Eaton Wade, Daylon Ramsey, and Malik Montoya will be heading the ownership group for the organization. Reginald “Robbyo” Robinson served in the United States Army for 8 years spending three years in Germany, 5 years at Fort Lewis and was an Iraq war veteran. He played in the ABA from 2013-2018 and was later an AAU coach for the Northwest Rockets and for the Tacoma Kings in the American Basketball Association. Robbyo is from Amityville, New York and has three children RJ, Isaiah, and Samiya. Eaton Wade is a Federal Way alumni, played in the ABA for 3 years and was a coach at Decatur High School while also coaching the AAU Northwest Select / Pure team. He’s from West Covina, California. Daylon Ramsey is a Federal Way Alumni and attended Grays Harbor College in 2019 and is a young entrepreneur. Malik Joseph Montoya is from Seattle and was a 4 year varsity letter winner at Federal Way where he was a 2015 State Champion. He played at Seattle University and Central Washington. He is a 40% 3 point shooter career in college. He also coached the AAU 16u Washington Warriors and at Federal Way High School.
Kitsap Admirals make for a solid team entry into the PBA this season. Team owner Ashley Robinson has been instrumental in the league having already announced a team in Texas for this season and now Washington. The Admirals have not only been a force in the Seattle Area and the State of Washington but Globally, having already successfully taken teams abroad having competed on the International level in Europe several times. In addition to owning two franchises in the Pro Basketball Association, Robinson is also the Director of International Scouting for the United Kingdom.
Lilac City Legends make the Spokane, Washington area homeMichael Bethely is the team’s president and is excited about what the Legends will provide to the Spokane community.
“We want to honor, encourage, inspire and create LEGENDS within our community,” said Bethely, a community advocate, entrepreneur, and lover of the game. “Plus, we want to highlight the value of community, and show how it is so much bigger than basketball.”
Bethely also states that “joining the PBA will be a great opportunity to give our guys an additional platform to not only play against prime competition, but also give them the exposure they need to take and play their game at the next level!” And, with the talent hanging around the area, expect the Legends to put on an entertaining product.
All told the Northwest has 6 teams that make up one of the toughest divisions in the Pro Basketball Association. The league is positioning itself as the top Spring-Summer Pro League in the United States and the Northwest will have some exciting teams bringing family fun at affordable prices to the region between May and August. More info is available about the Pro Basketball Association at www.pbaplayers.com