UPDATE: La Crosse to negotiate for ABA team - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: La Crosse to negotiate for ABA team

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Minor league basketball will have a second chance in La Crosse.

The La Crosse Center board approved negotiations Tuesday with the La Crosse Showtime, an expansion team coming to the American Basketball Association in 2017.

Team owner Scott Pooler said he wants to play in La Crosse and provide a level of entertainment similar to the La Crosse Loggers.

"I think the location is the best, plus the history: Bobcats, Catbirds, they did very well there," said Pooler, who received approval for the franchise in October.

Pooler, a longtime youth coach, said he took interest in acquiring a ABA market over the summer. He wants to give area players the chance to continue their careers after college.

"There's a lot of talent that doesn't make it to the NBA," he said. "We want an opportunity for those guys to showcase that talent."

Once he learned the La Crosse Center missed out on acquiring the Milwaukee Bucks' new D League team, Pooler moved forward with his proposal with the Showtime.

The ABA dates back to 1967, but merged with the NBA in 1976, before reforming in 2000. The season runs from November to April, including playoffs. Most teams play close to 30 games, and are divided into two conferences. The BLUE conference teams compete for a championship, while the RED conference teams play fewer games as they grow in size.

Pooler said the Showtime would play 20 games in its first season and be eligible for the postseason. Ten of those games would be at home.

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La Crosse could get an expansion basketball team after all.

The La Crosse Center board will meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss acquiring the La Crosse Showtime, a American Basketball Association expansion team for 2017. If the board chooses to move forward with negotiations, they will be determined and approved at a later meeting.

After missing out on the Milwaukee Bucks' D league team over the summer, the ABA announced the creation of the Showtime in October. The team is owned by Scott Pooler, a G-E-T school district staff member and youth basketball coach.

The team hopes to begin play in November 2017. Pooler said the team would have 10 home games its first season, and expand to 15 in its second season.

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