Starting March of 2022, the City of Reading will have a professional basketball team to root for. The Reading Rebels are set to play their debut season in The Basketball League, thanks to local entrepreneurs who are avid basketball enthusiasts.
Co-team market owners Jonathan Gross, President/General Manager, Alex Bernhard, Director of Player Development/Assistant General Manager, and Merritt Marable, Executive VP of Basketball Operations, held a press conference recently at the Berks County Services Center to unveil their plans for the upcoming season.
“The mission really is just to build a culture of basketball here in Berks County, and when Jon came to me about the opportunity with the Rebels, I just think it made sense to him and I” said Bernhard. “We really study the game, we really love the player development side of the game, so I’m very confident I’m going to help bring high level skill to our team.”
Head Coach Sergio Afre is excited for the upcoming season. “I feel like this is the right way to bring change to the City of Reading, especially through basketball. I feel like this is a huge opportunity and next step to help grow players, and help them develop.”
The Basketball League is in its 5th year with 46 teams across the Country. The Reading Rebels will compete in the Eastern Conference in 24 games, 12 home, 12 away. Other Pennsylvania teams include the Lehigh Valley Legends and a soon to be announced team in Lancaster, PA.
“They say Berks County loves basketball. Well that’s great! You got a great young coach, he’s going to go against some of the best coaches in North America” said David Magley, President of The Basketball League, and retired American NBA basketball player and coach.
“In the last 130 days we’ve had 116 guys that I’ve announced that have gone on to play in other countries around the world. No one is providing those types of opportunities but us, but it is consistent with our vision. Take these young men and give them something more than just being an entertainer, give them an opportunity. Teach them when they’re done that they have value beyond being able to play.”