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Association for Professional Basketball Research

Team and League History

January 7, 2005
     World Basketball Association logo
The World Basketball Association, which completed its inaugural season last year, has granted Birmingham a franchise for the 2005 season. Team ownership details were not released.

Each team in the league will play a 30 game season, which runs from April through June.

The WBA claims to be the first professional basketball league to teach, develop, and expose players to the National Basketball Association, the National Basketball Development League, the American Basketball Association, the Continental Basketball Association, and international scouts, while bringing the excitement and fun of professional sports to towns across the United States.

WBA teams in 2004 included Jackson, Macon, Peachtree City (GA), Rome, Raleigh, Bristol (TN), and Elizabeth Town (KY). In addition to Birmingham, the WBA is expanding to Carolina, Little Rock, Norfolk, Biloxi, Tunica, St. Louis, and Tyler (TX). The league anticipates having a total of 32 franchises in four divisions by 2007.

The Southern Crescent Lightning captured the first ever WBA title with a 82-79 victory over the Jackson Rage.

The WBA claims to lead minor league basketball in attendance with the Jackson Rage averaging close to 4,000 fans per game.

Twelve WBA players took part in the NBA's summer pro league and two WBA players signed NBA contracts. The WBA also has a number of former NBA players and college coaches; Tree Rollins, Litterial Green, Chucky Brown, Harold Ellis, Richard Williams, and former University of Alabama player Jim Farmer.

League president and founder Leroy McMath recognized a major void among potential professional basketball players, coaches, and personnel on and off the court. Emphasis in the WBA is placed on fundamental development, career development, community involvement, and education. "Our goal is to create a marriage between professional sports and entertainment along with the local communities throughout the country. We believe the window of opportunity for NBA hopefuls is three years while maintaining opportunities in other leagues such as the NBDL, CBA, ABA, and European Leagues. 2004 was a great year!" 

April 14, 2005
At a press conference, local attorney Maurice Muhammad is introduced as the owner of the Magic City Court Kings. Details were few as players modeled their home and away uniforms.

Muhammad, who is also the team's general manager, said a head coach has been selected but he could not name him due to "some legalities."

The Court Kings are scheduled to play their 12 home games in Bill Harris Arena, located at the State Fairgrounds.

During the WBA's draft on April 10th, the Court Kings used five of their six draft picks to select local players. "I think we did a good job of spreading out the Alabama alliances," Muhammad said. Players will earn from $200 to $250 per week.

Former NBA player and television analyst Mike Glenn is the league's commissioner for the 2005 season and was on hand at the press conference. "It's exciting for our league and it's exciting for the community to be able to see professional basketball at affordable prices."

Muhammad said he contacted the WBA last June about creating a Birmingham franchise. He is the sole owner now "but will be looking to diversify that very shortly. Birmingham has a rich basketball tradition of outstanding high school and collegiate teams. The WBA offers an opportunity for Birmingham to see professional basketball in a wholesome, family environment. This is going to be a PG environment."

April 22, 2005
Although no formal announcement was made, Leon Douglas, former University of Alabama star and NBA player, will become head coach of the Court Kings. However, Douglas has other obligations until May 7th. In the meantime, his brother John, also a former NBA player himself, will coach the team. "We're very fortunate to have a head coach and an assistant coach with that NBA experience," Muhammad said.

During his stellar basketball career at Alabama, Leon Douglas was a four time All-SEC selection, the first Alabama player to achieve this distinction since Jerry Harper in 1953 to 1956. Douglas was a first team All-American selection by the United States Basketball Writers Association in both 1975 and 1976, and SEC Player of the Year in 1975 and 1976. He was a member of Intercontinental Cup Team that toured Europe in June of 1975 and a member of the Gold Medal 1976 United States Pan American Team that played in Mexico City. Douglas was Alabama’s first, first round NBA draft pick, and forth overall by the Detroit Pistons in 1976. Douglas played for the Pistons from 1976 to 1980. He went on to play for the Kansas City Kings from 1980 to 1983. In addition, he played in the Italian Basketball League from 1984 to 1992 with Venice, Bologna, Pistoia, Florence, and Siena. He was a member of the French Championship basketball team in 1985. He later served as assistant general manager and assistant coach with the Siena Club. Currently, he is the head coach at Stillman College.

Muhammad expects to witness an exciting first game. "We're going to bring a wealth of talent and excitement and energy when we come to the floor and when we come to Kentucky."
World Basketball Association
   Arkansas ArchAngels        Cleveland Majic    Gainesville Knights
   Gulf Coast Bandits    Kentucky Reach    Macon Blaze
   Mississippi HardHats    Magic City Court Kings        South Carolina Heat
   Tunica Gamblers    Rome Gladiators    Southern Crescent Lightning    
  xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx  
Arkansas ArchAngels logo   Cleveland Majic logo   Gainesville Knights logo   Gulf Coast Bandits logo   Kentucky Reach logo
Arkansas ArchAngels   Cleveland Majic   Gainesville Knights   Gulf Coast Bandits   Kentucky Reach
Macon Blaze logo   Magic City Court Kings logo   Mississippi Hardhats logo   Rome Gladiators logo   South Carolina Heat logo
Macon Blaze   Magic City Court Kings   Mississippi HardHats   Rome Gladiators   South Carolina Heat
Southern Crescent Lightning logo   Tunica Gamblers logo            
Southern Crescent Lightning   Tunica Gamblers            
May 14, 2005
The Court Kings announce that all remaining home games will be played on the campus of Miles College.

April 11, 2006
     Gulf Coast Bandits logo
The World Basketball Association issues a press release that the Gulf Coast Bandits will move from Biloxi, Mississippi to Birmingham for the 2006 season.

City leaders and West Enterprises have agreed that Birmingham will be the new home for the Bandits, who could not play this season on the Mississippi Gulf Coast due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina last September.

West Enterprises is owned by Terence West, who is a Birmingham businessman. "We are happy to be able to help. It is very unfortunate that the Bandits professional basketball franchise has been put in this situation. Basketball is a very popular sport in the city of Birmingham and throughout Alabama. It will be good to bring top caliber professional basketball to Birmingham. We look forward to the upcoming 2006 WBA Season!"

Leroy McMath, the WBA's chief executive officer, is pleased the team could relocate. "It is great that Terence has stepped forward to help the Gulf Coast Bandits pro basketball franchise. This will allow the Bandits to play their 2006 WBA season, and will give Birmingham a very good team to cheer for. The WBA has always been impressed with the city of Birmingham, for it is a market that we feel can be very successful in the WBA. We look forward to having Birmingham as one of our franchise cities this upcoming WBA season."

The Bandits will change their name to the Magic City Court Kings to try and bring in fans of last year's WBA team.
World Basketball Association
   Arkansas ArchAngels        Cleveland Majic    Anderson Heat
   Magic City Court Kings       Druid City Dragons    Cartersville Warriors   
   Mississippi HardHats    Murfreesboro Musicians       Gainesville Knights
   North Mississippi Tornadoes       Rome Gladiators    Marietta Storm   
  xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx  
South Carolina Heat logo   Arkansas ArchAngels logo   Cartersville Warriors logo   Cleveland Majic logo   Druid City Dragons logo
Anderson Heat   Arkansas ArchAngels   Cartersville Warriors   Cleveland Majic   Druid City Dragons
Gainesville Knights logo   Magic City Court Kings logo   Marietta Storm logo   Mississippi Hardhats logo   Murfreesboro Musicians logo
Gainesville Knights   Magic City Court Kings   Marietta Storm   Mississippi HardHats   Murfreesboro Musicians
North Mississippi Tornadoes logo   Rome Gladiators logo            
North Mississippi Tornadoes   Rome Gladiators            
May 19, 2006
After forfeiting their last five games, the Magic City Court Kings fold. No official announcement is made but low fan attendance and team finances have to be major factors.

Basketball would be dormant in Birmingham until 2008, when the debacle known as the Birmingham Gladiators appeared briefly before folding.
Contact Gene Crowley
Last update: October 17, 2018