Tobacco Road Basketball League

Last updated
Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL)
Tobacco Road Basketball League logo.png
Sport Basketball
FoundedNovember 18, 2011
Country United States
Continent FIBA Americas (Americas)
Raleigh Revolt (2016)
Most titles PrimeTime Players (3)
Official website

The Tobacco Road Basketball League (TRBL) was a professional men's basketball minor league in the United States that began play in April 2012. [1] The league is centered in the Carolinas.


In November 2014 [2] the TRBL entered into an affiliation agreement with the Premier Basketball League (PBL).


In 2011, the Wilmington Sea Dawgs and the Cary Invasion announced the formation of the Tobacco Road Basketball League and their membership therein, thus leaving the Continental Basketball League. [1] The Fayetteville Crossover then announced their move to this league as well. [3] On 2 December 2011, the Carolina Gladiators [4] and PrimeTime Players [5] joined the league. In January 2012, the league announced the addition of three travel/exhibition teams: Team Macleem, Queen City Express, and Big Texas. [6]

After the league's first season, the Carolina Gladiators moved to Robeson County, North Carolina and a new team called the Johnston County Nighthawks took their place in Smithfield. [7]

In October 2012, the league provisionally added the Blue Ridge Bison of Hendersonville, the Spartanburg Silver Lakers of South Carolina, the Greensboro Cobras, [8] and a travel team, Team HoopForLyfe. They also said that the Express and Big Texas had found home venues and would play a full schedule. [8]

In December 2012, the league announced venues for Greensboro and the Hub City Lakers (renamed from the Spartanburg Silver Lakers), added the Bull City Legacy as a provisional team, [8] and noted that Johnston County would be a travel team. It also said that the league would move to divisional play for the 2013 season. [9]

In October 2013, the league announced four additions, promoting the Bull City Legacy and South Carolina All-Stars to full members, after both having played 2013 as travel teams. The league added the Neuse River Basketball Club as a replacement for the Johnston County Nighthawks and added the Palmetto Flight. [10]

Changes were put in place for the 2014-15 season, primarily with the new flex-schedule. Games are played between November 1 and April 30 against "TRBL-sanctioned" teams. [11] League teams are free to schedule as many games as they choose. All teams who play at least 10 sanctioned games are eligible for the playoffs.

As a result of the change, five members (Carolina Gladiators, Fayetteville Crossover, PrimeTime Players, Queen City Express, and South Carolina All-Stars) left the league. Those teams would go on to form the East Coast Basketball League.

In August 2015 the Premier Basketball League and TRBL announced an expanded partnership which included six TRBL teams to compete as the PBL South East Division. Teams included are Cary Invasion, Charlotte Elite, Durham Legacy, Huntersville HoopForLyfe and Wilmington Sea Dawgs.

After the 2016 season Lumberton Showstoppers announced that they were joining the ECBL. Seven more teams (Auburn Pro Elite Flyers, Chapel Hill Blue Force, Charlotte Elite, Greensboro Cobras, HoopForLyfe, Raleigh Revolt, Savannah Cavaliers and Wilmington Sea Dawgs) left the league before the beginning of the season, which caused a delay to the start.


TeamCityArenaFoundedFirst season in TRBL
All American Ballers Fayetteville, North Carolina The Well United Methodist Church20142014
Cary Invasion Cary, North Carolina Herbert Young Community Center 20112012
High Point Heat High Point, North Carolina Ragsdale YMCA20132013

Former teams


2012 PrimeTime Players Cary Invasion 123-102
2013 PrimeTime Players Cary Invasion 126-118
2014 PrimeTime Players Cary Invasion 128-107
2014-15Raleigh RevoltCharlotte Elite137-102
2015-16Raleight RevoltCharlotte Elite112-109

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  1. 1 2 Invasion, Sea Dawgs Join the TRBL, Our Sports Central, 2011-11-18, retrieved 2011-11-21
  2. "PBL Announces New Minor League Farm System". Premier Basketball League. 21 November 2014.
  3. Fayetteville Crossover Join TRBL, Our Sports Central, 2011-11-19, retrieved 2011-11-21
  4. Carolina Gladiators Move to TRBL, Our Sports Central, 2011-12-02, retrieved 2011-12-02
  5. PrimeTime Players Bring Game to TRBL, Our Sports Central, 2011-12-02, retrieved 2011-12-02
  6. TRBL Adds Teams, Releases Schedule, Our Sports Central, 2012-01-16, retrieved 2012-01-17
  7. TRBL Adds Nighthawks for 2013 Season, Our Sports Central, 2012-07-25, retrieved 2012-08-06
  8. 1 2 3 New TRBL Teams Given Provisional Approval for 2013, Our Sports Central, 2012-10-22, retrieved 2012-10-22
  9. TRBL Approves New Teams, Releases Division Structure for 2013, Our Sports Central, 2012-12-05, retrieved 2012-12-05
  10. TRBL to Add Four New Teams in 2014, US Basket, 2013-10-01, retrieved 2013-10-11
  11. "Cary Invasion Beats Raleigh Stealth". Cary Citizen. 23 January 2015.