Former Kansas forward David Magley has stepped down as commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada after fulfilling terms of his two-year contract, it was announced Sunday.
Just hours after that announcement, Fanragsports.com revealed that the 57-year-old Magley, a 1982 KU graduate, will serve as president/chief operating officer of the new North American Premier Basketball League, which will officially be launched at a news conference Thursday in Chicago.
Magley told The Star on Sunday night the North American Premier Basketball League (which is expected to start with eight to 12 franchises) will begin a 32-game schedule on Jan. 1, 2018. He said he anticipated the league at some point would have teams in “Kansas City, Wichita, Omaha and maybe Topeka — all former CBA markets.” He said he believed “at least one of those cities” would have a team in place for the league’s inaugural season this January.
The purpose of the new NAPB is to bring franchises to many of the 60 cities across the U.S. and Canada that once had pro basketball teams in either the NBA, ABA, CBA or NBA D-League, which has moved out of some markets the last few years.
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Magley told Fanragsports.com that the NAPB has secured financial commitments from ownership groups in Seattle, Vancouver, Rochester, N.Y., and Las Vegas.
“An owner or ownership group must have a net worth of $2.5 million,” Magley told Fanrag Sports Network. “Whereas the current ABA has minimal franchise fees, ours is $200,000 with $50,000 to be held as a deposit and returned after two years.”
He said former KU center Paul Mokeski has committed to be one of the coaches in the league. Also, the officiating staff would be led by Ronnie Nunn, former director of NBA officials.
Magley said there would be three salary scales for players: C players earning $1,500 per month, B players receiving $3,000 a month and A players earning $5,000 a month.
“When I was with the NBL Canada,” Magley told Fanragsports.com, “I personally oversaw dozens of player combines all over the U.S. and Canada, and there were literally thousands of top-caliber players who had no place to play. One reason for this is that many of the overseas leagues are cutting down on importing American players and greatly reducing their salaries. So I’m sure we’ll be attracting several A players who can’t find jobs in the G-League (new name for the D-League) or abroad.”
As far as Magley leaving his post in Canada … he released a statement Sunday on the league’s official website.
“After much prayer and consideration, I believe it is time for me to go home to my family (in Indianapolis) and become a more engaged husband, father and grandfather. I have been blessed with a loving wife, four amazing children and an ever expanding group of grandchildren, who I miss daily,” said Magley, who is tied with Cedric Hunter as the 56th all-time leading scorer in KU history with 1,022 points.
In his statement at nblcanada.ca, Magley called his time in Canada, “incredible. … I spent two amazing years traveling one of the most beautiful countries on earth, listening to fans, working with a supportive ownership group, traveling through (35) markets in North America on weekends looking for talent and sharing the opportunity of playing in this great league, receiving direction from league President Vito Frijia and trying to stabilize and grow an incredible game in the homeland of the man who invented it (James Naismith). Being from a relative small town in Indiana and having basketball as a passion, who could ask for more?
“I hope we moved the ball a little and know that the best days are yet to come for the NBL Canada. More importantly I hope that I was able to touch a few lives in the same manner in which I was blessed by so many. Thank you owners, coaches, players, employees, volunteers, press and most importantly the wonderful fans. Happy 150th anniversary Canada, was an honor to live in your amazing country!!!”
Former KU players Sherron Collins, Travis Releford and Kevin Young have played in the Canadian League in recent seasons. Mokeski has coached in the league.
Svi scores 21 on Sunday
KU senior guard Svi Mykhailiuk scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds in Team Ukraine’s 93-79 loss to Israel in an exhibition game on Sunday in Italy.
The 6-8 Mykhailiuk had 13 points in a pair of games on Friday and Saturday — a 90-40 loss to Greece and a 82-57 win over Italy.
Team Ukraine is preparing for the European Championship Under 20 (Division A) tournament, to be held July 13-23 in Crete.
Reid enjoys LSU visit
KU recruiting target Naz Reid, a 6-10 senior forward from Roselle Catholic High School in Asbury Park, N.J., has completed his official recruiting visit to LSU.
“It was good,” Reid, the No. 14 rated player in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com, told Zagsblog.com.
LSU recently landed a commitment from Reid’s good friend, Javonte Smart.
“We’re real close,” the 6-4 Smart told NOLA.com. “That’s my man and I’m just trying to get him to come over here with me.”
Reid has a list of KU, LSU, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville, Seton Hall and UCLA.