Coming off a championship—but also a challenging season attendance-wise — the Albany Patroons will be back for another season of basketball.
During the 80's, Patroons fans packed the Washington Avenue Armory to cheer on the Continental Basketball Association team that launched the careers of players and some coaches who made names for themselves in the NBA. "You think about the excitement that happened here back in the 80s and early 90s and you bring it back again."
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy touted Albany's bourgeoning sports reputation at a press conference Wednesday. "To have the Aurora Games and the Empire team right here, to have baseball across the river, to have great Siena basketball, UAlbany, but to have our own team back in ourhouse at Albany County says a lot."
McCoy lauded the latest incarnation of the Patroons, as part of "bringing things back" and pumping new life into the city and county. There've been a few failed attempts to reboot the Patroons in the 2000's, as the team struggled to attract fans. Former Patroon and now Coach Derrick Rowland says the 2019 season changed everything. "Last season was an amazing journey, and the best part about it, from going through it, we all came out on the other end better, I mean some of the stuff that the players had to go through, with the travel and all the other things that were happening, puttin' up with me was not an easy thing to deal with, as they can tell ya, but I always said, told them 'I played for Bill Musselman,’ so that's my excuse, you know, so I got a little room to get crazy."
Attendance numbers creeped up. The Pats finished off the 2019 season by defeating the Yakima SunKings to take The Basketball League Championship.
Wednesday, the team announced Dr. Timothy Maggs has purchased the franchise and plans to expand and enhance team operations in Albany. Maggs, whose specialty is sports medicine, pledges to invest in and raise the profile of the team, all the while revolutionizing the way players are treated medically. "41 years that I've been in practice I have studied sports injuries. And my conclusion on my 41 years is that our current model that is taking care of the athletes and the doctors who are in charge of those athletes are the wrong model and the wrong doctors. They are not qualified to take care of the athletes to the level that the athletes deserve and need to be taken care of."
It's expected Maggs will apply his knowledge and incorporate his techniques whenever sports injuries befall the Patroons. Michael Corts returns for another season as manager and Rocco Ricchiuti is back as Director of Corporate Partnerships. The Pats will play 12 home games at the Armory. The season schedule will be announced in October.
About the Albany Patroons: Originally entering the CBA as an expansion franchise in the 1982–83 season. Hall of Fame Coach Phil Jackson won his first championship ring as a coach when he guided the team to the 1984 CBA championship. In 1988, the Patroons won a second championship, this time under head coach Bill Musselman. Musselman would later coach the Minnesota Timberwolves. Future Hall of Fame Coach George Karl also spent two successful seasons with the Patroons. Fast forward to 2019; the Patroons are back and competing in The Basketball League. Head Coach Derrick Rowland is building on last season’s success to bring another championship back to Albany. albanypatroonsbasketball.com