ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The third time might be the charm for the Albany Patroons.
The two-time Continental Basketball Association champions are returning to the court at the Washington Avenue Armory in a new league owned by a former Patroons player.
For the Albany Patroons, the Armory has always been home. An arena that fits 2,500 comfortably, yet fans said it felt like 10,000 were in the crowd.
“When you walked in here, this place was rockin’,” fan Herb Ellis said. “Friends would get together and come down here to a Patroons’ game. That was the thing to do. And it could be that again.”
Beginning in 2018, the Albany Patroons are back.
Many future NBA coaches and players were on the team’s rosters in the 1980s, including David Magley, President of the North American Premier Basketball League. And they are breathing new life into the Patroons.
“I’m thrilled that we can have a market level like this,” Magley said. “This speaks volumes to anybody that’s a former D-league owner, or former NBA owner, a former CBA owner, to say, ‘Listen, Albany’s back in.’ These other great markets that used to get 4,000 fans may want to come back.”
Magley said third time’s the charm for the Patroons by setting financial standards for team owners, sliding scale payments for players, and other regulations to make the league a success.
Now, he reunites with old teammates like two-time CBA champion for the Patroons, Lowes Moore.
“This atmosphere, this area, has always been about family,” Moore said.
That, he said, is what the Patroons are all about, which is why former teammate and CBA champion for the Patroons Derrick Rowland is returning as the team’s new head coach.
“We could go undefeated this season,” he said. “If the fans aren’t here, and the city doesn’t support us, it won’t last. So the number one thing for us is support, and the benefits are endless.”
Training camp starts in December. The first tip-off of the season is scheduled for January 2018.