After months of waiting the Premier Basketball League season will finally returned to action. The very first game of the 2014-15 regular season will be between the previous top teams in the East Division; the defending champion Rochester RazorSharks and the Carolina Pee Dee Vipers. Other games will include some of the league's newest members of the PBL family.
On Saturday December 6th, two of the league's newest expansion teams will play their first games as members of the PBL. Entering their inaugural season the Philadelphia Flight will host the Erie Hurricane and the Racine Storm will play their first PBL game when they go on the road to take on the Lake Michigan Admirals.
On the following day, Sunday, December 7th, two more new organizations look to make a positive first impression around the league, however, one of them comes with slightly more of a familiar background than the other. The Danville Riverhawks, formerly known as the Chicago Tide, relocated after the conclusion of the 2014 season. Now the newly renovated Riverhawks organization will go to Ohio for tip-off against the Lima Express. The Grand Rapids Cyclones may have the largest challenge of the group of new expansion organizations as the Cyclones will have to take on the championship runners-up, the Indianapolis Diesels in their first ever regular season game.
Same Faces Different Places
Though many of the teams have resigned some of their bigger stars from last season, some teams have made some changes from within the league to help make their organization stronger.
Last year, Jamal Francis of the Lynchburg Titans, won the PBL Rookie of the Year award after averaging a league-leading 33.9 points per game. This season, Francis will join the Carolina Pee Dee Vipers in their quest to go from second in the East Division to first.
James Helton (pictured above with Pee Dee) was the leading scorer for the Carolina Pee Dee Vipers last season. He averaged 22.9 points per game and was second on the team with 40 assists. Now the 6'6" small forward/power forward will be chasing his championship dreams in a Rochester RazorSharks uniform.
Though the 2014-15 season is set to start, and as excited as we all are, here are some of the best memories from last season.
-On January 17, 2014 Jamal Francis scored a league-high 48 points in one game. Francis scored 17 free throws, 14 field goals and 4 three-pointers.
-Jermain Dearman gave new meaning to the saying, "winners never quit". On April 11th, during Game 2 of the PBL championship series, Dearman had a total of 19 rebounds, many of which came toward the end of the game that helped his Diesels make a miraculous nine-point run in the last minute.
-The RazorSharks only regular season loss last year came on January 9th against the Carolina Pee Dee Vipers for an 86-91 final.