American Basketball League Launched
Revolutionary professional basketball league is founded by former Magic Johnson and Dominique Wilkins attorney Steve Haney for the purpose of developing American basketball players for the international professional leagues.
June 3, 2012 (Newswire.com) - American Basketball League to Train American Players Under FIBA Rules
A South Florida investment group, headed by Steve Haney, the former legal representative of NBA Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Dominique Wilkins, announces the formation of the American Basketball League.
The professional league will commence its inaugural 24 game regular season in the upcoming year and will field a 14 team league set to challenge the recent economic and rather public failings of current minor league basketball organizations.
"Simply put, the time is now to offer a minor league basketball product which is efficiently and effectively organized," says Haney. "Unlike many of the leagues in existence today, the ABL will operate as a true developmental and feeder system to the global basketball market as well as the NBA with a business model the polar opposite of existing leagues."
Combining forces with Haney are former NBA All Star and New York City basketball legend Kenny Anderson and International basketball icon Tony Parker, Sr., the father of NBA All Star and MVP candidate Tony Parker.
"Kenny Anderson is one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game of basketball," says Haney. "Who better to mentor and assist in the skill and professional development of aspiring pro basketball players then one with the experiences of Kenny Anderson."
"I am excited about the creation of the ABL," says Anderson. "To share the lessons I learned in my professional career will allow young men to avoid many of the mistakes I made. We intend on developing basketball players both on and off the court, which has never been successfully achieved before."
With the inclusion of Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) board member Tony Parker, Sr. as the league's Executive Vice President and Director of International Affairs, the ABL has an unprecedented relationship with FIBA in terms of American minor league basketball that is bolstered with Haney's overseas accomplishments representing NBA Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Dominique Wilkins.
In 1999, Haney spearheaded Magic Johnson's well-publicized comeback to basketball by negotiating a six figure licensing deal between Magic Johnson and European club team M7 Boras. In conjunction with Magic Johnson's business interests in Sweden, Haney negotiated global endorsement deals with such companies as; American Express, McDonalds, Audi and Adidas. During that time, Haney lived in Europe and was the General Manager of the Magic Johnson organization, which included the promotion and marketing of the largest crowd to ever watch a basketball game in Scandinavian history.
In 2005, Haney continued his historic accomplishments in the world of International basketball by coordinating the return of NBA Hall of Fame basketball player Dominique Wilkins to Athens, Greece. As the personal Attorney to Dominique Wilkins, Haney negotiated Wilkins' appearance at the Greek League All Star game. It marked Dominique Wilkins first return to Greece after leading his former club team Panathanaikos to the Euroleague Championship.
As a player, Steve Haney still ranks as one of the top three point field goal shooters in the history of the Big West Conference.
"I am honored to team up with Kenny Anderson and Tony Parker, Sr. and combine our networks and resources to offer an unprecedented pipeline to the global basketball community, which will greatly benefit the players in our league," says Haney. "This will give players playing minor league basketball a real sense of career development."
A major distinction for the ABL in terms of similar ventures undertaken in the United States is the announcement that the league will strictly follow FIBA rules. Haney considered this to be the most logical and easy decision he has had to make during the formation of the ABL."Having played for and managed clubs overseas, there was no doubt in my mind concerning the decision to incorporate FIBA rules," Haney said. "One of the major challenges I saw with American import players was their struggle in dealing with the subtle differences in terms of FIBA rules and subsequent style of play. We will eliminate that concern for clubs looking to sign our players as they will be educated in all aspects of FIBA basketball rules from the minute they sign an ABL contract."
"For years, the players overseas were training to learn the nuances of the American game; clearly the time to reverse that trend is now."
Haney went on to explain his desire, in addition to developing FIBA-ready players, to construct a business model for the ABL which will allow clubs overseas to interact seamlessly with the ABL and its teams in terms of signing ABL players.
"Tony (Parker, Sr.) and I are working diligently to implement a process to make the signing of an ABL player as efficient as possible for clubs overseas," Haney commented. "We are looking to develop long-term partnerships and welcome the input of our partners overseas. We want there to be as few unknowns as possible for both the player and the interested club".
ABL markets have already been reserved in the following cities; San Antonio, Houston, Austin, San Marcos, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Panama City and Fort Walton Beach. Tryout and veteran camps for ABL teams will commence in May and run through November.