JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Jackals cancelled their season and the Jamestown Rebels paused theirs Thursday due to Coronavirus concerns.
The cancellation of The Basketball League’s 2020 season comes after when the NBA and the NBA G-League indefinitely suspended their 2020 seasons Thursday.
Prior to the announcement, the Jamestown Jackals were 8-3 on the season, good for second place in the league.
During a team press conference at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel Thursday, Kayla Crosby, the Executive Director of #IntegrityFirst and Team Market Owner said, “It was with sadness, but encouragement for the future that we announce today that The Basketball League has come to a conclusion for the 2020 season, we were hoping to move straight to a playoff series next weekend, but with the recent announcement from the NBA, it has been decided that the season will be completely ending.”
Continuing on, Crosby added, “We want to be sure that we put forth the safety of our players, our staff and the community.”
Crosby also spoke about how grateful she was for the Jackals who were in their year number two in The Basketball League
“It has been a blessing to have our second season in The Basketball League”, Crosby said. “Starting from semi-pro and moving up to giving paychecks to the players has really increased the caliber of basketball that we’ve been able to provide in Jamestown.”
In spite of the abrupt end of the season, Crosby did provide information on future events the Jackals will partake in.
“At this point, we are going to regroup, we are going to continue to be active in the community as much as possible. This summer, the The Basketball League has announced it will be hosting a TBL Summer League in Las Vegas in July, and also potentially travelling overseas for tours this summer sponsored by The Basketball League. ”
There will be an RSVP farewell dinner party Friday at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel at 6 p.m.
Leventrice Gray, the head coach of the Jamestown Jackals, spoke about how much he has enjoyed his time in Jamestown coming from Birmingham, AL.
“It’s a very hospitable town, people that look out for you.” Gray said. “When I started to make my rounds around Jamestown starting as a coach and then a player, it was always a warm reception.”
When asked about the team as a group on the court, Gray said, “Honestly speaking, they began to gel together. They found reasons to stay here and fight and found reasons to find reasons to push themselves towards adversity. They continued to push and found a way in a lot of situations where it can be tough.”
The Jackals had been on a hot streak prior to the season cancellation, winning six of their last seven games, including a 124-112 win over the Dayton Flight last Sunday which would prove to be both teams final game of the 2020 season.
Meanwhile, the NAHL indefinitely put on hold the Jamestown Rebels season, as the NHL issued an indefinite suspension Thursday as well.
In a statement from NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld, he said, “This is an unprecedented time and situation. First and foremost, we want to be sure we are doing what is best for the hockey community: players, teams, fans and officials. In the past 24 hours, it became clear that we needed to follow a path that was consistent with our partners at USA Hockey, the NCAA, the NHL and the USHL.”
Frankenfeld added, “We will continue to monitor the situation daily with everyone involved and we understand that given the current landscape, things could change at any moment. Our number one goal is to resume play as soon as possible, but only when it is safe for all of the parties involved. The NAHL Board of Governors will reconvene on a conference call Friday to discuss further action.”
Jamestown was preparing to take on the Maryland Black Bears for a two-game home series prior to the announcement of the pausing of the season.
The Rebels are in fifth place in the Eastern Division with 45 points, two points behind the Black Bears, who hold the final playoff spot in the East.