Global Basketball Association
The Global Basketball Association (GBA) was a professional basketball minor league based in the United States. The majority of the league's franchises were based in the Southern United States, with the remaining teams located in the Midwest. The league began play in 1991 and lasted one and a half seasons before folding in December 1992.
|Commissioner||Mike Storen (1991–92)|
Ted Stepien (1992)
|No. of teams||8–11|
|Most titles||Music City Jammers (1992)|
When the league was announced in 1991, league officials said there would be franchises around the world, hence the name "Global Basketball Association" (GBA). The league was owned and founded by Ted Stepien, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1980 to 1983. Two international teams were announced: Tallinn, Soviet Union (now Estonia) and San Marino, Italy. The team from the Soviet Union was KK Kalev, which was a professional basketball team founded in 1920. The four American franchises announced were Greensboro, North Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee and Greenville, South Carolina. Mike Storen, who served as commissioner of the American Basketball Association from 1973 to 1975, was named commissioner of the GBA. The league announced a 64 game schedule in from November 1991 to March 1992, followed by a playoff for the league championship. In May 1991, the GBA awarded a charter franchise to Huntsville, Alabama. By the start of the 1991–92 season in November 1991, the GBA only had franchises based in the United States. League officials said the international teams would begin play in the 1992–93 season. The Mid-Michigan Great Lakers let people attend the first few games for free, which attracted around 3,000 attendees per game. When the Great Lakers started charging for tickets, the team averaged 200 attendees.
The Louisville Shooters in October 1991 announced plans for a $125,000 to $175,000 marketing campaign to advertise the GBA's inaugural season. The firm Bridgemon, James & Shawver Advertising Inc.—who also worked on marketing for the Louisville Redbirds professional baseball team—was contracted to run the campaign which consisted of newspaper ads, television and radio ads and a 30 minute infomercial on WAVE (TV). By February 1992, team owner Jim Tilton told Business First-Louisville the Shooters were facing "a pretty heavy loss" and he was seeking a new line of credit to keep the team afloat. The team had sold 150 season tickets and were averaging 2,250 attendees per game. A deal to sell the Shooters to an ownership group led by David Gleason fell through. By mid-March 1992, the Shooters had their telephone service shut off for failed payment. On March 31, 1992, the office furniture at the team's headquarters was repossessed. The team also had to forfeit their first round playoff series against the Mid-Michigan Great Lakers due to failure to pay rent on their home venue, Louisville Gardens. As of April 1992, the Slammers owed $23,000 in back rent to the Louisville Gardens owners.
David Gleason, who attempted to purchase the Louisville Shooters in February 1992, eventually purchased the franchise from Jim Tilton. Gleason said the purchase did not include the legal obligation for $300,000 in outstanding debts owed by Tilton, however, Gleason still had to pay the debts to he wanted his debtors services. He had to settle his account with Bridgemon, James & Shawver Advertising Inc. before they would agree to continue working for the team. When they did settle the debt, the advertising firm only agreed to work on an hourly rate and would no longer let debts accrue. Gleason came to an agreement that let him continue to use Louisville Gardens as the team's home venue. The Shooters folded after three games into the 1992–93 season. The league itself disbanded in December 1992.
- → denotes that a team was relocated and/or renamed, (YEAR)§ denotes team never played
- Albany Sharp Shooters (1991–92) → SouthGA Blues (1992)
- Cedar Rapids Sharpshooters (1992)
- Fayetteville Flyers (1991–92)
- Greensboro Triad (1991)§ → Greensboro City Gaters (1991–92)
- Greenville Spinners (1991–92)
- Huntsville Lasers (1991–92)
- KK Kalev (1991)§
- Louisville Shooters (1991–92)
- Memphis HotShots (1991–92) → Pensacola HotShots (1992)
- Mid-Michigan Great Lakers (1991–92)
- Mississippi Coast Sharks (1992)
- Music City Jammers (1991–92) → Jackson Jammers (1992)
- Raleigh Bullfrogs (1991–92)
- San Marino, Italy (1991)§
- Wichita Outlaws (1991–92)
Venues and locationsEdit
|Fayetteville Flyers||41||23||.641||—||Kevin Mackey|||
|Albany Sharp Shooters||35||29||.547||6||Mauro Panaggio|||
|Greensboro City Gaters||30||33||.476||10.5||Ed McLean|||
|Raleigh Bullfrogs||28||35||.444||12.5||Monte Towe|||
|Mid-Michigan Great Lakers||42||22||.656||—||Cazzie Russell|||
|Louisville Shooters||35||29||.547||7||Johnny Neumann|||
|Huntsville Lasers||33||31||.516||9||Jim Sleeper|||
|Music City Jammers||24||40||.375||18||Tommy Smith|||
|GBA First Round||GBA Semifinals||GBA Finals|
|7||Greensboro City Gaters||0|
|8||Music City Jammers||4|
|2||Michigan Great Lakers||0|
|2||Michigan Great Lakers||3|
|8||Music City Jammers||4|
|8||Music City Jammers||2|
- Finals game-by-game results
- Greenville 128, Music City 126
- Music City 100, Greenville 94
- Greenville 114, Music City 103
- Music City 103, Greenville 101
- Music City 103, Greenville 100
- Music City 106, Greenville 104
|Cedar Rapids Sharpshooters||12||4||.750||
|Mid-Michigan Great Lakers||6||9||.400||5.5|
|Mississippi Coast Sharks||6||9||.400||5.5|
- Note: Louisville disbanded after three games, the GBA disbanded in December 1992
- GBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player
- Lloyd Daniels, Greensboro City Gaters
- GBA All-League Team, 1991–92
- John Crotty, Greenville Spinners
- Reggie Fox, Mid-Michigan Great Lakers
- Willie McDuffie, Greenville Spinners
- Danny Pearson, Greenville Spinners
- Lloyd Daniels, Greensboro City Gaters
- Mike Ratliff, Huntsville Lasers
- Joey Wright, Memphis/Pensacola HotShots
- Alfredrick Hughes, Louisville Shooters
- Jerome Harmon, Louisville Shooters
- GBA All-Defensive Team, 1991–92
- Millson, Larry (January 9, 1992). "Stepien in Toronto hooping it up again". Globe & Mail. Toronto, Canada. p. C13.
- "Sports digest". United Press International. May 9, 1991.
- "Sports digest". United Press International. March 5, 1991.
- "Sports people; Pro basketball; New league sets dates". The New York Times. New York. March 6, 1991.
- "Transactions". The New York Times. New York. May 31, 1991.
- Barnes, Mike (November 14, 1991). "Co-op could provide hoop answer". United Press International. Los Angeles, California.
- McQuinn, Jon (January 6, 2009). "Mid Michigan Destroyers basketball: Lots of dunks, lots of offense". The Bay City Times. Bay City, Michigan. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- Bowman, John (October 28, 1991). "Louisville Shooters tip off advertising campaign". Business First-Louisville (8.13). Louisville, Kentucky: Business First of Louisville, Inc. p. 12.
- Bowman, John (February 3, 1992). "Tilton seeks new credit line, backers for Shooters". Business First-Louisville (8.27). Louisville, Kentucky: Business First of Louisville, Inc. p. 3.
- Bowman, John (April 6, 1992). "Shooters' fate unknown as debts mount". Business First-Louisville (8.36). Louisville, Kentucky: Business First of Louisville, Inc. p. 1.
- "Sports digest". United Press International. June 25, 1992.
- Bowman, John (October 19, 1992). "Starting over". Business First-Louisville (9.12). Louisville, Kentucky: Business First of Louisville, Inc. p. 12.
- "History of the Global Basketball Association". APBR.org. Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- "Tansactions". The New York Times. New York. May 8, 1991.
- "Transactions". The New York Times. New York. September 13, 1991.
- "Transactions". The New York Times. New York. December 22, 1991.
- "Cavs Add CBA Veteran to Staff". The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. August 19, 1994.
- "Cumberland announces 2013 Hall of Fame class". gocumberlandathletics.com. Lebanon, Tennessee: umberland University Athletics. August 20, 2013. Retrieved May 10, 2018.