Minor league basketball is coming to Norwalk next spring, when the Connecticut Cobras begin play under the auspices of The Basketball League.
That league, formerly called North America Premier Basketball, began operating in 2018 and consists of 29 teams; the Cobras are one of 10 expansion teams slated to start play in 2022. According to reports, TBL President David Magley is hoping that the league will ultimately be operating 64 franchises across the continent.
Annual operating budgets for each team are in the $125,000 to $250,000 range.
Magley, who appeared in 14 games for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1980s, spent two years as commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada. His wife, Evelyn Magley, is the CEO of the league, which is based in Indiana.
The league also has franchises in Medfield, Massachusetts; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Syracuse, New York.
“Having a team that is close to others but is a standalone market is key,” Evelyn Magley said in a Facebook post. “We are confident that Anthony & his group understand our values and will bring a dynamic partner to this vital marketplace.”
The “Anthony” in question is Cobras coach Anthony Hill, who coached basketball at New Haven’s Wilbur Cross High School for four years.
“I have followed TBL basically since its inception and love the consistency of message, which is all about its teams impacting young lives in communities,” Hill said in the same Facebook post. “This is exactly what our community needs at this time and with my passion for basketball I could not think of a better vehicle to do it with.”
The Cobras are still looking for a Norwalk facility; currently it is holding practices in Middletown.