The Premier Basketball League is down to just five confirmed teams for 2011, but president Andre Levingston isn’t panicking.
Levingston, who doubles as owner of the Halifax Rainmen, has all but given the boot to expansion franchise SouthCoast United, based in Fall River, Mass., and has given the Vermont Frost Heaves a deadline of July 15 to come up with $100,000 to stay in the PBL.
That leaves his Rainmen, the Quebec Kebs, Saint John (N.B.) Millrats, Lawton-Fort Sill (Okla.) Cavalry and Rochester (N.Y.) RazorSharks as the only confirmed teams for next season.
“I don’t think there should be any concern,” he said. “I think fans should be excited, finally, about the direction of this league. We’re putting checks and balances in place and moving forward with teams that are going to be very, very solid and stable.”
Levingston said he needs a minimum of seven teams to run a “really, really good league,” but he’s hoping to bring in as many as four teams from Puerto Rico’s Baloncesto Superior Nacional and is in discussion with a few other potential ownership groups in the United States.
Levingston is scheduled to travel to Puerto Rico on Monday for a second time in a month.
“If we could get Puerto Rico on side, I really think the (NBA) D-League would have to sit back and take notice of what’s going on here,” Levingston said.
Rainmen zero in on Ervin
Gary Ervin is in town this week helping the Halifax Rainmen run their annual basketball camps, and owner Andre Levingston is taking the opportunity to talk contract with his all-star point guard.
“It gives us a great chance to sit down with him over the next few days,” Levingston said. “He’s definitely our top priority (to re-sign).”