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I've never heard of the Premier League. Not like I'm on top of basketball leagues, but in general I think the play can be more interesting at the smaller-league level, and potentially (if managed correctly) fan-friendly. Levingston's a smart guy, and seems to have figured out better than anyone else how to make a team work in Halifax, especially given the very large geographical challenges faced. It's anyone's guess as to whether this will be a sustainable venture, tho---it probably will be determined less by Levingston's abilities than with the overall health of the league.

(Halifax, N.S.) Halifax Rainmen owner, Andre Levingston, announced today the team has been accepted into the Premier Basketball League (PBL) for the 2008 – 2009 season. “The PBL is financially and operationally stable and we are proud to be added to the upcoming schedule.” Levingston regrets the Rainmen franchise was not accepted as an expansion team for the NBA Developmental League for the 08/09 season. The decision makers feel that Halifax is a strong market for an expansion team and had very positive things to say about the ownership group, the Metro Centre, the commitments by civic and business leaders and the level of interest in basketball by Nova Scotians. Levingston indicated there are several challenges in bringing the D-League to Halifax. “The biggest issue is travel. Our location is our greatest asset because of our proximity to eastern NBA teams, but it’s also our biggest challenge because of Halifax’s distance from otherD-League teams,” said Levingston. Rainmen officials believe the structure, model and placement of teams in the PBL are the perfect solutions for Halifax basketball fans. “We are very excited to play in this growing league and we know it will be a great fit for the Halifax Rainmen,” added Levingston. There are currently 16 teams in the PBL spanning across North America. The PBL has recently negotiated a national television broadcast deal that will provide exposure never before seen in minor league basketball. Additionally, all games will broadcast world wide via live web casting. “This is great news for Rainmen and all basketball fans from all over to be able to catch every game on television or the internet.” “I am confident the PBL is the right choice for the Rainmen,” concluded Levingston. “Last year they played 100 percent of our games and provided an organized structure. The PBL, unlike other leagues, has a great vision about innovative methods to generate revenues for the league and teams.” The PBL 20 game schedule with 10 home games begins in January. The Rainmen are planning several PBL exhibition games in Halifax this fall.

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