ith their successful June games, the Wichita Wizards clinched a berth in the 2023 MABA League Championship Game.
Not bad for the first year in a highly-competitive new league. Wizards owner Mark Creed, however, is still processing the success.
"I honestly haven’t had time to think about what we’ve accomplished with the new league since starting the work on it last August," said Creed, the league founder. "It is great to have the players continue to improve and have the opportunity to play for a championship."
WIZARDS AND SERVANTS 2022
The Servants and the Wizards both have had a long history on the hardwood and of winning. Last summer, the two teams met in Winfield, Kan. for the championship match of their former league, the MLBA. Both teams had come off incredibly successful seasons, and the Oklahoma City Servants put an exclamation point on their year with a 166-92 defeat over the Wichita Wizards.
WIZARDS AND SERVANTS 2023
The Oklahoma City Servants and the Wichita Wizards are longtime rivals. Still, they came together for one thing last year - being among the founding teams of the new Mid-America Basketball Association. The new professional league is led by owners and the commissioner Romio Harvey, this week. The inaugural season began in March 2023 and concludes on June 24, 2023 with a championship game between the two teams.
The dream of a new league for young, talented players began last summer after the playoffs. Prospective team owners were organized and experts consulted and the new league came together quickly as the founders of the MABA found others in the area with the same dream and high ideals for a league that put players first and the owners in charge.
"One of our main goals is to interact with our communities and build a fun, family-oriented environment - through this beautiful game of basketball," said Harvey.
"The purpose behind developing a new league was very simple. There are no leagues, aside from the NBA, that are controlled by owners. They created a league like the NBA, but on a much smaller scale. "It allows us to band together and control our own destiny and gives us strength through collaboration, and leaves the competition to the court only," said Wizards owner Mark Creed. The MABA also allows for success with every organization through collaboration and innovation, Creed added.
Commissioner Harvey said he feels like they have accomplished a great deal in this inaugural season.
Harvey said: "I am grateful for our dedicated group of players, team owners, and team staff members. There is so much that goes unseen behind the scenes. The resilience that it takes to complete a full season - grateful and blessed is an understatement of how I feel about the Mid-America Basketball Association and everyone involved in building this special league."
But the league wouldn't be making such progress in its first year without the fans, he said.
"To our amazing fans, Thank you for all of your love and support throughout our season one. Without you all, none of this would be worth it."
Creed also believes that the success of the Wizards is all about Wichita, it's fans and the city that supports a stellar basketball culture.
"It is also a testament to the quality of players here in Wichita that the Wizards are in playoffs all four years in existence, and the second season in a row in a league championship game," said Creed.