There is a new semi-pro basketball team in town, and it’s coming to Plaistow.
Starting in November, the Plaistow Shockers will begin their inaugural season playing in the Northeast Division of the American Basketball Association (ABA). The team will play a 20-game schedule with games on Saturdays and Sundays, with the Plaistow YMCA serving as the team’s home court.
Donovin Ford-Hayes, a sports director at the YMCA, is the team’s general manager, and is excited about what the Shockers can provide to the community.
“We just want to provide an outlet for guys that wished they had played in college or guys that played oversees,” said Ford-Hayes, a Connecticut native who currently lives in Methuen. “But we’re also trying to connect the youth that we have here with some experienced basketball players around the area.
“Hopefully it’ll be a fun way for families to engage and watch some minor league basketball.”
The Shockers are the latest addition to the ABA, which has over 100 teams spread across six divisions.
You’ve probably heard of the ABA from back in the 1960’s and 70’s, before it merged into the NBA. The league disbanded, but re-launched in 1999 and has been growing as a minor league outlet for players ever since.
The Shockers had their second tryout yesterday (Saturday), and are looking to attract talent from across the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire. Lawrence’s Hector Heredia and Nashua’s Jason Pimentel are just two of the names who attended the first tryout.
Methuen High assistant boys varsity coach, Frank Drejaj, will be the Shockers’ first head coach.
Players will not be compensated during this inaugural season, but Ford-Hayes is hopeful that will be an option in the near future. More information about the team will be released after it finalizes its roster in the coming weeks.
“This first season we’re certainly looking to compete but expectations aren’t too high,” said Ford-Hayes. “We just want to get a feel for what the competition is like. We want people to have a good experience, and we’ll try to win games to the best of our ability.”
Ford-Hayes, a four-year player at Becker College (Class of ‘15) who averaged 10.1 ppg over his career, has experience playing in the ABA with the Worcester 78’s. He got the idea to start the Shockers from running “a lot of leagues for adults at the YMCA, and wanting to create a new opportunity for these guys.”
At any rate, the Shockers will provide a new and fun way for the community to connect with each other.
And, with the talent hanging around the area, expect the Shockers to put on an entertaining product.
“I think we have enough talent in the North Shore area to compete with teams in the Northeast Division,” said Ford-Hayes.