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January 2005

  
         
    World Basketball Association logoThe World Basketball Association, which recently completed its inaugural season, has granted a franchise for Birmingham for the 2005 season. The WBA will play a thirty game season, which runs from April through June. Team ownership details were not released.

The WBA is the first professional basketball league to teach, develop and expose players to the NBA, NBDL, ABA, CBA and International scouts, while bringing the excitement and fun of professional sports to towns across the U.S.

WBA teams in 2004 included: Jackson (MS), Macon (GA), Peachtree City (GA), Rome (GA), Raleigh (NC), Bristol (TN) and Elizabeth Town (KY). In addition to Birmingham, the WBA is expanding this year with teams in Carolina, Little Rock (AR), Norfolk (VA), Biloxi (MS), Tunica (MS), St. Louis (MO) and Tyler (TX). The WBA is projecting to have a total of thirty-two franchises in four divisions by 2007.

The WBA claims to lead minor league basketball in attendance with the Jackson Rage averaging close to 4,000 fans per game. The Southern Crescent Lightning captured the first ever WBA title with a 82-79 victory over the Jackson Rage.

Twelve WBA players took part in the NBA's summer pro league and two to WBA players signed NBA contracts. The WBA also has a number of former NBA players and college coaches; Tree Rollins, Litterial Green, Chucky Brown, Harold Ellis, Richard Williams and former University of Alabama player Jim Farmer.

League President and founder Leroy McMath recognized a major void among potential professional basketball players, coaches and personnel, on and off the court. Emphasis in the WBA is placed on fundamental development, career development, community involvement and education. 

McMath says, "Our goal is to create a marriage between professional sports and entertainment along with the local communities throughout the country. We believe the window of opportunity for NBA hopefuls is three years while maintaining opportunities in other leagues such as the NBDL, CBA, ABA and European Leagues. 2004 was a great year!"

  
         
  

April 2005

  
         
    At a press conference, local attorney Maurice Muhammad is introduced as the owner of the Magic City Court Kings. As players modeled their home and away uniforms, details were few. Muhammad, who is also the team's general manager, said a head coach has been selected but he could not name him due to "some legalities."

The Court Kings are scheduled to play their twelve home games at the Bill Harris Arena, located at the State Fairgrounds. 

During the WBA's draft on April 10, the Court Kings used five of their six draft picks to select local players. "I think we did a good job of spreading out the Alabama alliances," Muhammad said. Players will earn from $200 to $250 per week.

Former NBA player and television analyst Mike Glenn is commissioner for the 2005 season and was on hand at the press conference. "It's exciting for our league and it's exciting for the community to be able to see professional basketball at affordable prices," he said.

Muhammad said he contacted the WBA last June about creating a Birmingham franchise. He is the sole owner now "but will be looking to diversify that very shortly."

"Birmingham has a rich basketball tradition of outstanding high school and collegiate teams," Muhammad said. "The WBA offers an opportunity for Birmingham to see professional basketball in a wholesome, family environment. This is going to be a PG environment."

  
         
   

Although no formal announcement was made, Leon Douglas, former University of Alabama star and NBA player, will become head coach of the Court Kings. Douglas has other obligations until May 7. In the meantime, his brother, John, another former NBA player, will coach the team. "We're very fortunate to have a head coach and an assistant coach with that NBA experience," said Muhammad.

During his stellar basketball career at Alabama, Leon Douglas was a four-time All-SEC selection, the first Alabama player to achieve this distinction since Jerry Harper in 1953-56. Douglas was a first team All-American selection by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) in both 1975 and 1976, and SEC Player of the Year in 1975 and 1976. He was a member of Intercontinental Cup Team that toured Europe in June of 1975 and a member of the Gold Medal 1976 United States Pan American Team that played in Mexico City. Douglas was Alabama’s first, first round NBA draft pick, fourth overall by the Detroit Pistons in 1976. Douglas played for the Pistons from 1976-1980. He went on to play for the Kansas City Kings from 1980-1983. In addition, he played in the Italian Basketball League from 1984-1992 with Venice, Bologna, Pistoia, Florence and Siena. He was a member of the French Championship basketball team in 1985. He later served as assistant general manager and assistant coach with the Siena Club. Currently, he is the head coach at Stillman College.

Muhammad expects to witness an exciting first game for both teams. "We're going to bring a wealth of talent and excitement and energy when we come to the floor and when we come to Kentucky," he said.

  
         
     
 

2005 World Basketball Association

 
  Western Conference     Central Conference   Eastern Conference  
  Arkansas ArchAngels   Cleveland Majic   Gainesville Knights  
  Gulf Coast Bandits   Kentucky Reach   Macon Blaze  
  Mississippi HardHats   Magic City Court Kings     South Carolina Heat  
  Tunica Gamblers   Rome Gladiators   Southern Crescent Lightning    
  
         
  

May 2005

  
         
    The Court Kings announce that all remaining home games will be played on the campus of Miles College.   
         
  

April 2006

  
         
    Gulf Coast Bandits logohe  World Basketball Association issues a press release that the Gulf Coast Bandits will move from Biloxi, Mississippi to Birmingham for the 2006 season.

City leaders and West Enterprises have agreed that Birmingham will be the new home for the WBA's Gulf Coast Bandits, who could not play this season on the Mississippi Gulf Coast due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina last September.

West Enterprises is owned by Terence West, who is a Birmingham businessman. "We are happy to be able to help. It is very unfortunate that the Bandits professional basketball franchise has been put in this situation. Basketball is a very popular sport in the city of Birmingham and throughout Alabama. It will be good to bring top caliber professional basketball to Birmingham. We look forward to the upcoming 2006 WBA Season!" West said.

Leroy McMath, the WBA's Chief Executive Officer, is pleased the team could relocate. "It is great that Terence has stepped forward to help the Gulf Coast Bandits pro basketball franchise. This will allow the Bandits to play their 2006 WBA season, and will give Birmingham a very good team to cheer for. The WBA has always been impressed with the city of Birmingham, for it is a market that we feel can be very successful in the WBA. We look forward to having Birmingham as one of our franchise cities this upcoming WBA season," McMath said.

The Bandits will change their name to the Magic City Court Kings to try and bring in fans of last year's WBA team.

  
         
     
 

2006 World Basketball Association

 
  Western Conference     Central Conference   Eastern Conference   
  Arkansas ArchAngels   Cleveland Majic   Anderson Heat  
  Magic City Court Kings    Druid City Dragons   Cartersville Warriors  
  Mississippi HardHats   Murfreesboro Musicians     Gainesville Knights  
  North Mississippi Tornadoes     Rome Gladiators   Marietta Storm  
  
         
  

May 2006

  
         
    After forfeiting their last five games, the Magic City Court Kings fold. No official announcement is made but low fan attendance and team finances have to be major factors.   
         
 
 
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Last Update: May 20, 2008