MEDORA – The Medora Timberjacks have joined the Basketball League.
David Magley announced at a press conference at Medora High School last week that the Timberjacks would be part of the 48-team national league.
“It’s a big deal at Medora because you’ll get something you haven’t had before,” said Magley, president of TBL. “We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t have the response we got last year. The league is the family.
Medora will be in a division with teams in Kokomo, Lebanon, Owensboro, Kentucky and Dayton, Ohio. Magley said there may be another Indiana team added to the roster that will begin play in March.
It will be a spring league, starting in March and continuing through May.
A league press release reads, “TBL is dedicated to delivering a world-class professional basketball experience to our community, fans and business partners.”
Magley said 11 of TBL’s top 12 players last year are playing professionally this year.
“We want to bring the community back to life. We’re thrilled to be here,” Timberjacks general manager Joey Sichting said.
Medora was a member of the Hoosier Hardwood Basketball Association last spring. Other league franchises were in New Castle, Terre Haute and Pendleton, and the Medora team was known as the Southern Indiana Timberjacks.
“Originally we were going to play in a bigger market, like Bedford, but with COVID we were having trouble finding a gym, so we got this one (Medora) and it worked out so much better,” said said Mark Morin. , who is the boys’ basketball coach at Medora and also coached the Timberjacks last season.
This league played a 20-game schedule, plus a tournament.
“It’s a whole different league. TBL will play a 24-game schedule with 12 home and 12 away. The two leagues are in no way related,” Morin said.
“We want our guys to entertain,” Magley added. “We want to tap into the whole county and region.”
Magley was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball at LaSalle High School in South Bend in 1978. He then played basketball at Kansas, where he was an academic All-American. Prior to becoming President of TBL, he served as Commissioner of the National Basketball League of Canada.
His wife, Evelyn, is the league’s general manager and Carlnel Wiley Jr. is the league’s commissioner.
“We will have tryouts,” Morin said. “Hopefully we will have three or four of the players we had in last year’s squad.”
Morin said he was happy with the end of the season after coaching the Hornets from November to March and then continuing with the Timberjacks.
“Looking back, it was an experience I never thought I would have,” he said. “It was just a different level of basketball to have the opportunity to coach and meet different, great guys. What impressed me the most was how the city and the players connected. because we had six players living right across the street (from the school), and they kind of became part of the community.
Some of the players from the high school team came to help practice, which Morin thought would be a good experience for them.
“They went to away games,” Morin said. “The kids here, if you give them time, it’s just huge, and it just gave them some confidence. That’s the main reason my dad (Larry) wanted to do it again. It’s the only place we would have.
Larry Morin is the principal owner of the Timberjacks. He is a former men’s basketball head coach in Martinsville. Land of Indiana is the company of the Morins.
Mark said going from the high school team to the Timberjacks requires an adjustment because it’s a completely different skill level.
“It’s fun,” Mark said. “We try to put a good product on the floor and win a few games at the same time. It helps the community and it helps the kids here at school. I think it’s a win-win.
Magley said the goal is to have all franchises in place soon and announce a schedule in November. He said the league will follow NBA rules with 48-minute games and a 24-second clock.
“Tickets will be available on our website,” Sichting said. “We are looking for sponsors. Anyone interested can contact us. We plan to have a dance team and we will have youth clinics in the area.