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Will Birmingham join the United States Basketball League?

October 16, 1986
Mike Bovino, director of public relations for the United States Basketball League, announces that Birmingham is one of 11 cities being considered for one of the four expansion franchises planned for the 1987 season.

Bovino said that all 11 cities have been contacted about the possibility of becoming one of the expansion teams. Birmingham's mayor, Richard Arrington, was sent a letter two weeks ago. "We haven't heard from mayor Arrington. But, we take that as an encouraging sign. It makes us think he is taking his time and not rushing into things."

Arrington said he has not yet acted on the letter but that he would.

The USBL, which plays a 30 game season during the summer, will be entering its third year of operation. New franchises will cost around $250,000 each, and will bring the league's membership to 11 franchises. Manute Bol of the National Basketball Association's Washington Bullets and Spud Webb of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks are two NBA players who have played in the USBL. "These names will certainly get your attention. Those names speak of quality, the kind I would be pleased with," Arrington said.

According to Bovino, the USBL particularly liked Birmingham. "You have three fine buildings in the Civic Center, the Fair Park Arena, and Boutwell Auditorium. Of course, the (16,000-seat) Civic Center is a little too big for our needs," Bovino said.

The team would need to average only 1,500 fans, at an average ticket price of $5, to break even.

May 1987

United States Basketball League                            
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  Jersey Jammers logo   Long Island Knights logo   Miami Tropics logo   Philadelphia Aces logo   Rhode Island Gulls logo  
Jersey Jammers   Long Island Knights   Miami Tropics
  Philadelphia Aces   Rhode Island Gulls  
  Staten Island Stallions logo   Tampa Bay Stars logo   West Palm Beach Stingrays logo          
  Staten Island Stallions   Tampa Bay Stars   West Palm Beach Stingrays          

June 13, 1987
  Lynette Richardson (12) and Nancy Lieberman (10)
The United States Basketball League made history in Miami when two female players faced off against each other as professional basketball players.

Nancy Lieberman had already played a few minutes in a couple of games with the Long Island Knights this season. The Miami Tropics thought it would be a good attendance draw for them to feature a female player also and they signed Lynette Richardson, who made her professional debut in this game.

Lieberman, 28, is a former All-American from Old Dominion University. Lieberman made national headlines last year when she became the first female to play in a men's professional basketball league with the USBL's Springfield Fame, which folded after last season. "We're good for the game. We're helping sell the USBL."

Richardson, 22, is a four-time All-American just out of Florida International University. "I guess today was my payoff day. I felt pretty good. It was great to be out there." Richardson was activated for the Tropics game prior to this one but she did not play.

In what was an obvious PR move, the 1,650 fans saw neither player in the game for very long nor that they made much of an impact in the game. Richardson played 10 minutes, scored three points, had an assist, and one steal. Lieberman played 12 minutes, scored two points, had an assist, and one rebound. Both women entered the game early in the first quarter and also played briefly in the fourth quarter.

The game itself lived up to the hype as the Tropics and the Knights battled into overtime to decide the outcome. The final score had the Miami Tropics beating the Long Island Knights 140-138.

Lieberman and Richardson will have one more chance to compete against each other when the Tropics and Knights play again tonight in Long Island.

The United States Basketball League went on to play a third season. Unfortunately, Birmingham was not one of the teams.

This is Birmingham's second brush with the United States Basketball League.

Over the next few years, the league would have teams come and go before finally deciding to cease operations after the 2007 season.

Teams of the                               
United States Basketball League                                
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  Adirondack Wildcats logo   Albany Patroons logo   Atlanta Eagles logo   Atlanta Trojans logo   Atlantic City Seagulls logo  
  Adirondack Wildcats
2002 to 2004
  Albany Patroons
  Atlanta Eagles
1991 to 1993
  Atlanta Trojans
1994 to 1999
  Atlantic City Seagulls
1996 to 2001
  Brevard Blue Ducks logo   Brooklyn Kings logo   Camden Power logo   Carolina Cardinals logo   Cedar Rapids River Raiders logo  
  Brevard Blue Ducks
2001 to 2004
  Brooklyn Kings
1999 to 2007
  Camden Power
  Carolina Cardinals
  Cedar Rapids River Raiders
  Columbus Cagerz logo   Connecticut Colonials logo   Connecticut Skyhawks logo   NEED
  Delaware Stars logo  
  Columbus Cagerz
  Connecticut Colonials
  Connecticut Skyhawks
1993 to 1999
  Daytona Beach Hooters
  Delaware Stars
  Dodge City Legend logo   Empire State Stallions logo   Florence Flyers logo   Florida Sea Dragons logo   Florida Sharks logo  
  Dodge City Legend
2000 to 2007
  Empire State Stallions
  Florence Flyers
  Florida Sea Dragons
2000 to 2002
  Florida Sharks
1995 to 1997
  Gary Steelheads logo   Gold Coast Stingrays logo   Gulf Coast Sundogs logo   Jackson Jackals logo   Jackson Wildcats logo  
  Gary Steelheads
  Gold Coast Stingrays
  Gulf Coast Sundogs
1999 to 2000
  Jackson Jackals
  Jackson Wildcats
  Jacksonville Barracudas logo   Jacksonville Hooters logo   Jersey Jammers logo   Jersey Shore Bucks logo   NEED
  Jacksonville Barracudas
1996 to 1998
  Jacksonville Hooters
1988 to 1995
  Jersey Jammers
1986 to 1987
  Jersey Shore Bucs
  Jersey Turnpikes
  Kansas Cagerz logo   Long Island Knights logo   Long Island Primetime logo   Long Island Surf logo   Maryland Mustangs logo  
  Kansas Cagerz
1999 to 2007
  Long Island Knights
1985 to 1988
  Long Island Primetime
2006 to 2007
  Long Island Surf
1991 to 2001
  Maryland Mustangs
  Memphis Fire logo    Miami Tropics logo   NEED
  Nebraska Cranes logo   New Hampshire Thunder Loons logo  
  Memphis Fire
1994 to 1995
  Miami Tropics
1987 to 1995
  Mississippi Coast Gamblers
  Nebraska Cranes
2005 to 2006
  New Hampshire Thunder Loons
1996 to 1999
  New Haven Skyhawks logo   New Jersey Flyers logo   New Jersey Jammers logo   NEED
  New Jersey Shorecats logo  
  New Haven Skyhawks
1988 to 1992
  New Jersey Flyers
  New Jersey Jammers
1985 to 1992
  New Jersey Meteors
  New Jersey Shorecats
1998 to 2000
  Northeast Pennsylvania Breakers logo   Oklahoma Storm logo   Palm Beach Stingrays logo   Pennsylvania Valley Dawgs logo  
  New York Whitecaps
  Northeast Pennsylvania Breakers
  Oklahoma Storm
2000 to 2007
  Palm Beach Stingrays
1988 to 1994
  Pennsylvania Valley Dawgs
1999 to 2006
  Philadelphia Aces logo   Philadelphia Power logo   Philadelphia Spirit logo   Portland Mountain Cats logo   Portland Wave logo  
  Philadelphia Aces
1987 to 1990
  Philadelphia Power
  Philadelphia Spirit
1991 to 1992
  Portland Mountain Cats
  Portland Wave
  Raleigh Cougars logo   Rhode Island Gulls logo   Springfield Fame logo   St. Joseph Express logo   St. Louis Skyhawks logo  
  Raleigh Cougars
1997 to 1999
  Rhode Island Gulls
1985 to 1987
  Springfield Fame
1985 to 1986
  St. Joseph Express
  St. Louis SkyHawks
2002 to 2004
  Staten Island Stallions logo   Suncoast Sunblasters logo   Tampa Bay Flash logo   Tampa Bay Stars logo   Tampa Bay Sunblasters logo  
  Staten Island Stallions
1986 to 1987
  Suncoast Sunblasters
  Tampa Bay Flash
  Tampa Bay Stars
  Tampa Bay Sunblasters
  Tampa Bay Windjammers logo   Texas Rimrockers logo   Treasure Coast Tropics logo   Washington Congressionals logo   NEED
  Tampa Bay Windjammers
1996 to 1999
  Texas Rim Rockers
  Treasure Coast Tropics
  Washington Congressionals
1998 to 2000
  West Palm Beach Stingrays
  Westchester Golden Apples logo   Westchester Kings logo   Westchester Stallions logo   Westchester Wildfire logo   Wildwood Aces logo  
  Westchester Golden Apples
1985 to 1986
  Westchester Kings
  Westchester Stallions
1993 to 1994
  Westchester Wildfire
2003 to 2005
  Wildwood Aces
1985 to 1986
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Last update: February 22, 2023