Flint basketball is back for the first time since Semi-Pro. Flint United will kick off their inaugural season in The Basketball League in 2021. But what does any of that mean?
What is The Basketball League?
The Basketball League (TBL) did not have much thought put into the name. However, the league itself is a great concept. TBL consists of ex-G Leaguers, ex-college players, and ex-overseas pros. It was founded in 2018 with eight teams ranging from Washington to Nevada to upstate New York. The league has since exploded into 29 clubs. TBL will even include the Detroit Hustle in the upcoming year. The last champion was the Albany Patroons, a franchise that has existed on-and-off since 1982. Now that we know what the league is about, let us get into Flint United itself.
Who Owns Flint United?
Flint United was brought into The Basketball League just last year. It was founded by Flint native Kevin Mays. Mays was a standout track and field star at Central Michigan before beginning his career in sports management. Co-owner Jalen Lee, also a Central Michigan alum, is a Detroit native. He is experienced more in the financial aspects of the franchise. Finally, the general manager, Flint native Matt Washington. Washington is currently an MBA student at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor(U-M) . He comes from a family of college and pro athletes and is currently Assistant Operations Manager of U-M Athletics.
Flint United’s Head Coach: Charlie Bell III
Charlie Bell, a Flint native, appeared in three Final Fours at Michigan State from 1997-2001. He then played basketball overseas and eventually spent 8 seasons in the NBA. Bell averaged a career 8.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 2.3 APG with the Suns, Mavericks, Bucks, and Warriors. Bell then became an assistant coach in the G League. He spent 2016-2019 with the Texas Legends and Iowa Wolves. Bell took a two-year hiatus from coaching before signing with Flint United.
The Top Pick: Karl Harris
Flint United used their #3 overall selection in the TBL Draft to select Karl Harris. Harris is a 6-foot-5 guard from Chicago. He last played at Northern Kentucky in the Horizon League – the same conference as Oakland University.
Harris came off the bench his graduate student season at NKU. In that season, he saw a season-high 22 points and his first career double-double. Harris helped lead Northern Kentucky to the Horizon League championship, where they beat The University of Illinois-Chicago 71-62.
In Harris, Flint gets a player who shoots very well from the field with the potential to explode every game. The ownership seems to love his work ethic and attitude. In his early twenties, Harris looks to be a great piece to build the team around.