The first Maritime Women’s Basketball Association get together – albeit virtually – was a smash hit for those involved.
During a Zoom conference lead by MWBA commissioner Tasia McKenna of Halifax, there were six potential franchise owners on the call, discussing a wide variety of topics from budgets to roster construction.
‘It was a fantastic kick off in terms of putting faces to names and providing a forum for numerous questions, comments and observations,’ said McKenna. ‘We have such a strong group of leaders involved with the MWBA and that was showcased during the meeting. We were well prepared from an administrative standpoint and those who are looking at operating franchises came to the table with great questions. The flow was a two-way street and really bolstered the confidence of our executive and board members.’
The initial call to arms yielded three franchises in Nova Scotia and three in New Brunswick.
The MWBA is looking at implementing a date in the spring where potential franchises outside the initial group would still be considered for league launch in the spring of 2022.
Halifax Sirens, Halifax Thunder and Windsor Edge represented the Bluenose Province. Port City Fog of Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton Freeze were the Picture Province entrants. There is still interest being expressed by other potential franchises in both provinces.
‘Those involved from those organizations are strong leaders and know there way around building teams and leagues,’ said McKenna. ‘You could feel the quality of people that are involved in the MWBA just come to the forefront.’
League rosters will be defined within the next month in terms of creating parity.
Initial discussions would see maximum limits of U SPORT and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association present day players on one roster, perhaps five each from those two Canadian levels of , but there is interest in keeping rosters wide open to bring in the top players. There is also plenty of room for former players or those who play, but did not attend post-secondary schools.
Present day players would all need permission from their coaches to participate in the MWBA.
‘We will continue to meet and fine-tune many of the details, but the bottom line is we’re very encouraged with what is unfolding in front of us,’ she said. ‘Creating a league for female players, promoting diversity and unity on numerous levels is going to make the MWBA stand out. We can’t wait to continue meeting challenges.’