ALBANY, N.Y. — Professional basketball is set to return to Albany next year: The Albany Patroons will once again call the Washington Avenue Armory home. The team last played at the Armory between the 1980s and 1990s, winning several divisional and league championships in the Continental Basketball Association.
The new incarnation of the Patroons is owned by local franchise entrepeneur Don Cepiel, alongside the team's coach and general manager Derrick Rowland. Rowland played for the Patroons in the 1980s and had a coaching role with the team until the 1990s.
The team last played in Albany between 2005 and 2009, before its league folded. The Patroons will now be a member of the North American Premier Basketball League.
The new league is still filling out a roster of teams, stretching across the nation and into Canada, but league officials say there is plenty of reason for optimism.
"If you look at the leagues that have failed, it's that they've not had standards," said league president David Magley. "So we play in great venues like the Washington Avenue Armory. And we pay our guys $1,500 to $5,000 a month."
Magley says the player wages are competitive, while also allowing ticket prices to stay between $10 and $35.
The Patroons plan to hold local tryouts in the fall. The team is expected to play its first home game at the Armory in January.