Washington Avenue Armory, Albany Patroons announce return of professional basketball in Albany

Patroons to play to North American Premier Basketball League

Local, state leaders join NAPB, Patroons officials to announce return of the Albany Patroons to the Washington Avenue Armory in 2018 (photo credit: Relentless)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Aug. 30, 2017) — — The Washington Avenue Armory has announced that the Albany Patroons will return to its former longtime home as part of the North American Premier Basketball League in 2018.

“Our mission at the Armory is to re-invent ourselves as a family venue. The decision of the Patroons to make this historic venue their home and home court once again, is huge. The magic is back,” said Michael Corts, chief operating officer of the Albany Basketball and Sports Corporation and general manager of the Washington Avenue Armory.

The Patroons will play in the North American Premier Basketball League, with the 2018 season to begin in January. From 1982 to 1990 and 2006 to 2009, the original Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association played inside the Armory. Legendary NBA coaches Phil Jackson and George Karl both coached the Patroons during the 1980s.

The Albany Basketball and Sports Corporation has owned and operated the building since 2004, investing more than $11 million in renovations and operations that allowed the arena to reopen in 2005. With this announcement, the Armory will return to its basketball roots.

“Having played in the Armory, and being part of the Patroon community, I am excited and honored to have a franchise of North American Premiere Basketball back in Albany,” said Dave Magley, president of the North American Premier Basketball League.

“I’ve been in basketball all of my life, as a high school, college, and professional player, as well as a coach and Canadian league commissioner. I can honestly say that in all my travels, the vitality of the fans in the Capital Region are second to none. The marriage between the Patroons and NAPB is perfect.”

Derrick Rowland, known as Mr. Patroon from his days as both a player and head coach of the original Patroons organization, will once again serve as general manager, head coach and managing partner.

“Coming back as Patroons head coach is my dream job. I am excited that I can join you in reliving the glory days when I was proud to wear the Patroons championship ring. The Albany Patroons have allowed me to experience the greatest days of my life as a player and a coach. I have no doubt that our organization will continue that experience,” Rowland said.

“I am excited to welcome the Albany Patroons back to our Capital City,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “For decades, the Patroons electrified fans and provided a foundation for legendary NBA coaches such as Phil Jackson and George Karl. Thanks to Dave Magley and the North American Premier Basketball League for their commitment to bringing the Patroons home.”

“Having professional basketball back in Albany County brings so many benefits, not only economic, but to our families, our schools and the community. I am honored that the North American Premier Basketball League has chosen Albany as an important vehicle for its success. The Albany Patroons will indeed be ‘The People’s Team.’ Welcome Back,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy.

“It is great to welcome back professional basketball to the Washington Avenue Armory and the Capital Region. I can’t wait for the first tip off,” said Assemblymember John T. McDonald III.

Capital Region businessman Donald Ceipel Sr. will be the new team’s managing Partner and business manager.

“I’ve always believed in involving myself with winners over the past 25 years. From baseball to boxing and basketball, I have enjoyed every step of the journey. But this opportunity surpasses all else. I believe that the fans, and businesses in the Capital District will be rewarded beyond anyone’s expectations,” said Ceipel.

The Armory sits 2,380, with a full capacity of 4,480. The Armory is the largest privately-owned arena in New York’s Capital Region. Originally a New York National Guard armory built in 1883, the Armory has host sporting events, rallies, galas, and shows for decades.

For more information about the Albany Patroons, visit patroonsbasketball.com. For more information about the Armory, visit AlbanyArmory.com.

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