January 9, 2017
ST. LOUIS - The Midwest Professional Basketball Association has decided to move its upcoming season from a traditional winter start to the summer of 2017, in an effort to determine whether playing closer to the autumn overseas signing period will result in more foreign advancements for MPBA players.
The MPBA, which began play in January of 2015, has sent 60 players to overseas teams or the NBA D-League.
“Doing a summer league has been in the works since our inception in 2014,” said C. Edward “Ed” Schumer, commissioner and chief executive officer for the MPBA. “We feel like we’ve had a lot of early success moving players up, and we’re eager to try the summer league model. But as such a young league, we don’t have the resources yet to be able to do our regular winter/spring season as well as a summer league.”
Approximately 30% of all players accumulating statistics in the MPBA’s two seasons of play have signed contracts to play in Europe, South America or the D-League.
“Playing in the summer will have a couple major benefits,” said Craig Fata, associate commissioner for the MPBA. “It will be closer to when foreign leagues sign players, so the guys in our league will have the freshest film and be in the best shape. It will also allow us to bring in college players who have just completed their final seasons.”
The MPBA expects to play both a winter/spring league and a summer league in 2018, Schumer said. Details about schedules, locations and teams for the summer league will be released in the coming weeks..