American Basketball Association (ABA)
Announces Columbia Expansion Team:
COLUMBIA (Feb 10, 2016) – Carolina Cougars
LLC announced today that a partnership of Todd Miller and Allen Franklin, has acquired the League’s 200th expansion club. The new team will be named Carolina Cougars (CC) and expects to begin play in 2016. Carolina Cougars LLC will be the majority owners of the new Carolina Cougars. As the investors, Todd Miller and Allen Franklin will be active members of the ownership group. As a group we have vast experience in basketball, international entertainment, hospitality, management and marketing. Brooklyn Baptist is pleased to be hosting the home games for the upcoming season, giving Columbia area fans a rare opportunity to see outstanding basketball.
We are pleased to be associated with this major move by the ABA to increase its presence in the South Carolina market and to enhance the opportunity for South Carolina basketball fans to enjoy high-level play in their own city. We look forward to the opportunity to work with the ABA and South Carolina to create something very special for the basketball fans of Columbia and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy.
Basketball is one of the world’s most exciting and popular sports, and it should be played in the capital of South Carolina. As we know from the current local university teams, we have some of the greatest sports fans in the world, and we believe the community will welcome a Major League Basketball franchise with the open arms and loyal support they are famous for. The Carolina Cougars will quickly build a great reputation for both winning and serious community.
Future: A Home Field for Columbia’s Newest Team
The Carolina Cougars are committed to seeking a new permanent facility in Columbia. Until that time, the new team is arranging to play in an interim home beginning in its inaugural ABA season in 2016. The Cougars management will continue these discussions with local government officials, community residents and businesses, while continuing to review potential Columbia is a leader among its charitable efforts and community outreach. Building on this tradition, the Carolina Cougars will expand and enhance the basketball experience in the community. The Carolina Cougars look forward to expanding its community outreach to bring basketball to thousands of more kids throughout the Columbia metropolitan.
About American Basketball Association
The original ABA was formed in 1967 and lasted 10 seasons prior to merging four of its teams into the NBA. They were the Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets and San Antonio Spurs. The lead attorney for the ABA during the merger was one of the Indiana Pacers co-founders and Commissioner of the ABA, Dick Tinkham, an Indianapolis attorney. Opposing counsel was David Stern, who was later to become the NBA Commissioner.
The original ABA did not have national television, national radio and today’s digital media. What it did have was the mystique of the ABA- featuring it’s red, white and blue ball, 3 point shots, wide open style of play including slam dunks (and the introduction of the first Slam Dunk Competition), and a remarkable group of players. The ABA produced some of the greatest players of the 20th century- Dr J, George Gervin, Spencer Haywood, Connie Hawkins, Dan Issel, Roger Brown, David Thompson, Mel Daniels, Moses Malone, Marvin Barnes and many others. In fact, 50% of the NBA All Star team in the first year of the merger were ABA players.
Dick Tinkham and Joe Newman decided to bring back the ABA in 1999, after the original ABA had been dormant for nearly 30 years. This time, to avoid the lack of profitability of the ABA in the past, they decided to improve the business model by making it more affordable to own a team by reducing the operating costs, cost of travel and venues, as well as forming strong bonds with communities and encouraging family friendly entertainment. They kept the exciting rules and style of play, and the result is that the ABA is now one of the largest professional sports leagues in the US, with over 70 teams competing for the Championship this season, across 10 divisions. Their community work with Fast Break for Reading, Bullies are Cowards, Proud to Serve America and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and have made major impacts in cities throughout the US.
Today, the ABA has nearly 1000 players competing at the professional level, over 200 coaches and over 200 officials. It is made up of former NBA players, NCAA Division I and II players, McDonalds all- americans, international players, and is the platform for sending off many players. The ABA will continue to grow as it continues to form valuable ties with basketball governing bodies, and grows its number of teams. Network coverage is set to broaden, as is the fan base and merchandising. Big things are in store for the ABA, and the red, white and blue ball is set to be around for a long time to come.
For more information about the ABA, logon to the league’s official website:
Visit our new Cougars at the following: