Florida Basketball Association Names Former NBA Star, Coach Sam Vincent as Chief Advisor for Global Development

John Weis
Sam Vincent signed as coach of Bahrain’s national basketball team in 2020.

Orlando, FL – The Florida Basketball Association (FBA) today announced it has appointed former NBA player and coach Sam Vincent as the league’s first-ever Chief Advisor for Global Development.

Also the Head Coach of the Bahrain Men’s National Team, Vincent is excited to offer his extensive international basketball knowledge to create new opportunities both for the FBA and his own team. Discussions are already in the works to bring the Bahrain squad to Florida to compete against FBA franchises in the not-so-distant future. In addition to Bahrain, Vincent has also played or coached professionally in Greece, the Netherlands and Nigeria.

“Over the many years I have been a player, coach and league executive, I have developed a countless number of contacts both in the United States and abroad,” Vincent said. “The FBA exists to create opportunities for players to find jobs in other countries … and there is no doubt this league features players who would help many such teams. As a result, my job will include creating additional knowledge of the FBA and helping supply deserving players to teams in need of their services.”

Vincent and longtime FBA Commissioner Greg Kite were teammates on the Boston Celtics’ 1986 NBA Championship team, and the duo is excited at the opportunity to once again work together – this time under the FBA umbrella. “I have spent a great deal of time with Sam over the years, first with the Celtics and most recently with the Florida chapter of the NBA Retired Players Association. His experience, contacts and professionalism will make him an invaluable resource for our league, its teams and its players.”

On May 25, 2007 Vincent was introduced as the new head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA.

Vincent also has numerous ties to Central Florida and was an integral part of the Orlando Magic’s inaugural 1989 season.

Chosen Michigan’s “Mr. Basketball” coming out of high school, Vincent played collegiately at Michigan State. While there, he was a Sporting News All-American in 1985 and played alongside future Magic teammate Scott Skiles, comprising arguably the nation’s best backcourt. Vincent was drafted by the Celtics in the first round of the 1985 NBA draft and enjoyed a seven-year career in the NBA with four teams before playing overseas and then turning his focus to coaching – including a stint as the Head Coach of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball careers.

www.thefba.com

Florida Basketball Association Announces Addition of Clermont Crocodiles for the 2021 Season

WEIS WORDS

John Weis


(Clermont, FL) – The Florida Basketball Association (FBA) has awarded an expansion franchise to the city of Clermont. The team has been named the Crocodiles (“Crocs”) and will begin league play in the upcoming 2021 season.

Team owners are Daniel, David and Max Luna, three brothers with extensive playing and coaching experience both in the United States and abroad. Twins Daniel and David, former professional players in Catalonia, Spain and current executives with Hilton, will handle the sales and marketing side of the team, with older brother Max, who coached at Life Pacific College in California, handling Head Coach and General Manager duties.

“Re-involving myself with the game of basketball has been my passion,” said Daniel Luna. “I have been researching the FBA since 2015. We are convinced Clermont will be a great place for a franchise because it’s relatively close to a number of other teams – but not too close.”

David Luna is also heavily involved in the fashion industry. He not only has his own clothing line but has also done online promotional work for Kanye West’s Yeezy brand, Forever 21 and Kenneth Cole, among others. Due to these connections, the Crocs’ have teamed with representatives of the Yeezy brand to design their inaugural uniform. “They will surely be unique and our logo will be fantastic for team merchandise items,” Daniel Luna said.

“We are excited to welcome the Clermont Crocs to the FBA,” said league Commissioner Greg Kite. “The Luna brothers’ experience, business acumen and enthusiasm for the game of basketball make this an expansion team to watch.”

The FBA now consists of eight teams, with the Crocs joining the Brevard Bobcats, Florida Flight, Gainesville Mighty Oaks, The Pride (Poinciana), St. Pete Tide, Tampa Gunners and Winter Park Storm.

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball careers.

Mighty Oaks Ready to Stand Tall in Gainesville

WEIS WORDS

John Weis


This past March, an FBA expansion franchise was awarded to David Smith, who placed the team in Gainesville and named it the Mighty Oaks. Since his arrival in the area, Smith has set the wheels in motion for success, including hiring AJ Stallworth to fill the roles of Head Coach and General Manager. During a recent Zoom call with Smith and Stallworth, we discussed a number of topics pertaining to their new team, as well as their vision for the future.

John Weis: Tell me about your backgrounds and what led you to where you are today.

David Smith: This is my first entrance into the world of basketball but I have decades of experience in professional sports. I grew up around horses and was a harness racing trainer at the highest level for 44 years. In 2013, my horse finished second in the $1.5 million Hambletonian Stakes. I also have an extensive background in minor-league hockey. For two seasons, I was part-owner of a team based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina called the Twin City Cyclones that played in the Southern Professional Hockey League. After that I was a scout for the Federal Hockey League for nine years.

AJ Stallworth: I was very fortunate to play my college ball at Life University in Marietta, Georgia, where we won the NAIA Championship in 2000. From there I played professionally in just about every minor league imaginable in the United States. In between, I was fortunate enough to play for the Harlem Ambassadors and the Harlem Globetrotters, which gave me the opportunity to tour much of the United States and be part of an iconic brand. At the very end of my playing career I also had a short stint playing in the top professional league in Korea. Once I retired as a player, I became a team owner, coach and general manager for a number of minor-league teams. When David reached out to me, it was quickly apparent that he and I had a similar mindset, so saying yes to him was an easy decision.

John: The FBA prides itself on providing career advancement opportunities for their players. Both of you seem eager to do this for your team. Why do you believe this is so important?

AJ: When you’re someone like me who played as long as I did, you learn important things over the years. I am happy to pass along the wisdom of my experience to others. There are a lot of talented players who don’t realize that just because you don’t make it to the NBA … it doesn’t mean your career is over. That’s not true at all; you can still do very well playing professional basketball. If you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it, there are lots of opportunities out there – and the game can provide a very good living for you. I made a lot of sacrifices but there is no question it was worth it. Hopefully, I can inspire and motivate our players to do the same; and if they do, good things will happen for them.

David: After I retired last year, I realized I still wanted to be involved in sports in some way because of my competitive nature. As a hockey executive, my goal was always to get players to the next level. To this day, I still receive calls from teams asking me for my opinion on players. Now that I am an FBA team owner, I am working hard to establish new connections in basketball to help our guys do the exact same thing – advance their careers. But for the most part, I am going to stay out of AJ’s way and let him run the team as he sees fit. Remember the old Bill Parcells quote where he says if he’s going to do the cooking he should also be allowed to buy the groceries? That’s how I feel … and it’s why I am going to let AJ do his thing. He’s a proven winner.

John: The Mighty Oaks is a unique team nickname. How did you decide upon it?

David: Once we were awarded our team, I began researching Gainesville to see if there was something about the city we could tie into the nickname. So when I Googled “Gainesville”, I discovered it’s known as “a tree city of the world” by the United Nations and the Arbor Day Foundation. And what tree better exemplifies strength than the Mighty Oak? To me, it’s the perfect name.

John: Discuss your philosophy on how you coach … and what kind of player you recruit for the Mighty Oaks.

AJ: I have the ability to reach players of all ages and skill levels. I understand players are motivated by different things. Some people need a pat on the back, some just need some instruction and others need a kick in the butt. As long as you are making your players better, they’ll respect you for what you’re doing for them. Of course, we want to put a winner on the floor for our fans. Winning is big but it’s not everything. We will not settle for players who are not good role models in our community, no matter how talented they are. We are going to do things the right way and keep pushing each other to be better players and people. We are also going to place a special emphasis on being very kid-friendly.

John: I know you are fairly new to the FBA but you have played a couple exhibition games already (winning both) … and I’m sure you’ve done some homework on the other teams. What are your initial thoughts about the talent that can be found across the league?

AJ: The talent level is high in the FBA and every player on every team is very capable – and of course, there are a small handful of players that can be called stars. But basketball is a five-man sport, so I preach togetherness and teamwork on and off the court. This is especially important for us as a first-year team, because we don’t have the advantage of playing together for a long time like most of the other FBA squads.

John: Any predictions on the upcoming season?

David: I am originally from Missouri – the Show-Me state. I don’t believe in doing a lot of trash talking about what’s going to happen on the track, on the ice or in this case, on the basketball court … and that’s because I know for certain that anything can happen. I’ve witnessed big-time horses get beat by ones with long odds … and I’ve seen highly skilled teams lose to opponents with far less talent. We have had some initial success including winning the recent Hard2Guard cash tournament in Clearwater, but rather than making any kind of prediction, I would say it’s best to let our performance do the talking for us.

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball careers.

Weis Words Named Official Content Provider of the FBA


(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Basketball Association (FBA) has selected Winter Park, FL-based Weis Words to be its official Content Provider.

Weis Words (www.weiswords.biz) is owned by John Weis, who previously served as Director of Media Relations for the Florida Flight, one of the league’s cornerstone franchises, from 2009-2016. He also spent six seasons as Broadcast Coordinator for the Orlando Magic Radio Network.

Weis Words will provide monthly content focusing on FBA players, coaches, ownership and key staff members; and participate in other league activities as needed.

“John is a gifted writer whose knowledge of the game and familiarity with our league made him the obvious choice,” said Greg Kite, FBA Commissioner. “We have exceptional players, coaches and support staff that make up our league and many of them have highly interesting stories that deserve to be told. John will be in charge of these efforts and he’ll do a fantastic job for us.”

“I am very excited to once again be part of the FBA family, and I thank (FBA Owner) Mark King and Commissioner Kite for this opportunity,” Weis said. “I look forward to bringing a new level of coverage and insider access to the league’s fans.”  

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball careers.

www.thefba.com

WINDERMERE UP NEXT FOR FBA EXPANSION

Windermere Rain

(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Basketball Association (FBA) has approved plans for the Windermere Rain, the second of three expansion teams being added for the upcoming 2018 season.

The team will be led by Andrew Haas, the former General Manager of the Florida Flight. In his time with the Flight, Haas was involved with everything from sports management, corporate relationships, social media marketing, player coaching and development. He’s also assisted in generating strategic relationships with both domestic and international teams.

“Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his time with the Florida Flight,” said FBA Commissioner Greg Kite. “He’s had the benefit of seeing what works and what doesn’t in the central Florida area, and those experiences should help this team to find an accelerated path towards success.”

The Rain will play their home games at Windermere Preparatory School, a 12 college preparatory school in Lake Butler, an unincorporated area in Orange County, Florida.

“I’m super excited to transition from executive to owner. It has always been a huge dream of mine to own my own professional basketball team,” said Haas. “I know the challenges that lie ahead, but I feel confident that with my experience over the last 10 years, we’ll be able to bring something new and exciting to the Windermere community.”

The upcoming FBA season will begin in March of 2018. Tryouts for the Rain will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, email info@windermererain.com, visit their website at www.windermererain.com, follow the team on Facebook (@WindermereRainProBasketballClub), or visit the FBA website at http://www.thefba.com.

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball career.

PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL COMING TO POINCIANA

Mary Jane Arrington Center

(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Basketball Association (FBA) has approved plans for an expansion team to call the community of Poinciana their official home for the upcoming 2018 season.

The team will call themselves the Poinciana Pride, and will play at the Mary Jane Arrington Gym and Aquatic Center, a newly developed 16,000 square foot venue that boasts a gym, fitness room, an outdoor fitness trail circling a pond, and a multi-use lawn for other sports and outdoor activities.

The team’s ownership group will include local Osceola County natives Dimas Cintron and Gregory St. Remy, both former professional basketball players with FBA’s Florida Flight (Orlando), one of the longest standing active minor league basketball teams in the country. Mark King, the Chief Executive Officer of the FBA and also owner of the Florida Flight (Orlando), will also assist with the launch.

FBA Commissioner Greg Kite, a 2-time NBA Champion that spent 5 seasons with the Orlando Magic, heralded Poinciana as the ideal market for minor league basketball.

 

“Minor league basketball has always done well in communities like Poinciana,” said Kite. “There’s a lot of pride in having a pro team to call your own. Economically, bringing in other professional teams will definitely provide an additional financial boost for the small businesses. From a community standpoint, giving the kids some local professional athletes to look up to will have such a positive impact on the future of the community. We anticipate this team being well received and supported by the entire community.”

Cintron, who is a resident of the Poinciana community, is excited to bring a pro team to his hometown.

“It is a pleasure to be a part of the leadership group that is bringing a professional basketball team to my home town of Poinciana,” said Cintron. “We are going to build something that this community can be proud of. We love the game of basketball here, and we look forward to using the platform of professional basketball to make a difference in the lives of others, especially the kids.”

The team will use a mixture of scouting, recruitment and local tryouts to assemble their inaugural roster. They will begin play in the 2018 FBA season. Opportunities to tryout for the team, an official logo and  website will be unveiled and announced in the coming weeks. For more information, email info@poincianapride.com, follow the team on Facebook (@PoincianaPride), or visit the FBA website at http://www.thefba.com.

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball career.

JACKSONVILLE’S SOUTHEAST ROYALS TO JOIN FBA FOR 2017

(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Basketball Association (FBA) will add the Southeast Royals out of Jacksonville, Florida for the upcoming 2017 season.

The Royals were a member of the upstart Elite International Basketball Association (EIBA) in 2016. Motivated by the lack of EIBA teams being in close proximity, the team began pursuing alternative options. After a friendly exhibition with the FBA’s Florida Flight, their transition to joining the FBA began.

“Playing in a Florida-based league made the most business sense for us,” said Lena Richardson, Owner of the Royals. “The vision and direction of the FBA, coupled by a 5 year track record of success made this decision very easy.”

“We’re excited to have FBA representation in Jacksonville, one of the biggest cities in Florida,” said FBA Commissioner Greg Kite. “Bringing in a team that you’ve already seen play is very helpful. We know the Royals will put forth a competitive product on the floor, and that’s great for our league.”

The Royals first official FBA game will be Saturday, February 11th on the road in Orlando against the Florida Flight. Their first home game will be on February 18th against another 2017 addition, the Bradenton Gym Ratz.

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball career.

FBA ADDS BRADENTON GYMRATZ FOR 2017

FBA GymRatz Photo

 

(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Basketball Association (FBA) has announced the addition of the Bradenton Gym Ratz for the upcoming 2017 season.

The GymRatz, formerly of the North American Basketball League (NABL), are owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Daryl and Tammy Johnson. The team plays their home games at The Center of Anna Maria Island.

“We’re excited about adding another Bay area team to the FBA,” said Commissioner Greg Kite. “Our visions are like-minded, and with additional interests in the region, this is a perfect fit for all parties involved.”

The GymRatz, whose closest opponent in the NABL was 6 hours away, welcome the transition to the Florida-based FBA, where their farthest opponent is less than a 4 hour commute by vehicle.

“I’m ecstatic to join a league with a successful history,” said Daryl Johnson. “Our move to the FBA is the culmination of months of conversations with FBA CEO Mark King. I believe in the leadership of the FBA, and we look forward to competing in the upcoming 2017 season.”

The GymRatz were on hand with other FBA team owners examining talent at the latest National Basketball League of Canada combine that took place in Orlando, FL on August 21st. The newly revamped website will relaunch in the coming weeks, after transitions are made to make them a fully branded FBA team. Until then, the team can be reached on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball career.

SPACE COAST STARS JOIN FBA FOR 2016

Space Coast Stars Logo

(Orlando, FL) – The Florida Basketball Association (FBA) has announced the addition of the Space Coast Stars for the upcoming 2016 season.

“It is with great excitement that we announce the formation of the Space Coast Stars,” said FBA Commissioner Greg Kite. “Brevard has a history of being a great market for the level of basketball that the FBA brings. We’re excited to have an FBA team here to carry on that tradition.”

The team will be owned by an investment group led by Corey Williams, a former player for the FBA’s Florida Flight (Orlando). They will call Bethany Christian School in Melbourne, Florida home for the 2016 season, where Williams is also the head coach of the varsity basketball team.

“Growing up, I never dreamed I’d be an owner of my own minor league basketball team,” said Williams. “This is such a blessing.”

The team has already established a partnership with the Brevard School Board. Stars players will be volunteering with the Brevard after-school programs across the community. In return, the School Board has agreed to promote the team and share game schedules and other media information on all of their platforms.

“Williams has garnered the endorsement of every FBA team owner,” continued Kite. “The FBA Board of Directors will collectively share insight and feedback to ensure Williams puts together a team that fits the standard of excellence people have come to expect from an FBA team.”

Mark King, Owner of the Florida Flight, shared in Williams’ excitement.

“Seeing one of your players grow from being a player to an owner is very gratifying,” said King. “Corey is a very talented player, but was also very coach-able. I’ve given him my blessing, and assured him that I’d be with him every step of the way to make sure he succeeds.”

When asked about expectations, Williams was both optimistic and realistic.

“Expectations? Progress not perfection,” said Williams. “There’s a lot of talent on the Space Coast, but the FBA is very competitive. It’s a level of basketball that will likely catch some of the players by surprise. I’m excited to bring a level of basketball entertainment to Melbourne that the fans can get excited about.”

The Stars will be announcing their tryouts, which will be held at Bethany Christian School, within the next week. For more information, email spacecoaststarsbasketball@gmail.com.

The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball career.

FBA TRAVELS FROM ABROAD: BRANDON DAVIS (Mexico) – February 1, 2015

Davis Mexico 2Since arriving here in Mexico on September 15th, 2014, my experience has been great. The city is huge and beautiful. It is funny at times, because when I go to the mall or out in public, people stare and sometimes ask for photos.

As far as basketball goes, it has been a wonderful and life changing experience. It has opened my eyes in ways of seeing what I need to improve on, also, learning how to stay strong and keep my composure when things don’t go my way. The competition is very intense night in and night out but I love it.

Next game is Saturday January 31st and we will be traveling to play against Pioneros in Cancun, so it should be tough but an exciting game.

Currently I am one of the top scorers in the League at 21.8 ppg, and #1 in 3 point shooting, and I have been selected to participate in this year’s All Star Game. I am very grateful and thankful for this blessing but I know it doesn’t stop here and I have to continue to work at my profession.

Big thanks to Coach Fernando Rojas and the Tampa Bay Rebels organization. Also, a special thank you to the Commissioner Greg Kite and the FBA for allowing me to showcase my talent and take my game to the next level.