Brevard Blue Ducks


Who needs the Miami Heat when you have the Brevard Blue Ducks?

The now defunct team was based in Melbourne, Florida and played in the United States Basketball League. The USBL was a development league for many players who went on to play in the National Basketball League as well as in Australia and countless countries in Europe. The low salary cap (starting at $250,000 per team) helped keep the league manageable in small market locations but as players started to emerge, financial considerations were paramount thus players would leave for the aforementioned NBA, Australian and European leagues. Later, players started to leave for Asia (specifically China) as that market emerged in a post Yao Ming era (the first Chinese player of note in the NBA from the Houston Rockets). "Chocolate Thunder" Darryl Dawkins was even a USBL Coach of the Year in 1999 for the Pennsylvania Valley Dawgs.

Some of the notable players that went on to notoriety from the United States Basketball League (USBL) that the Brevard Blue Ducks played against include: Spud Webb, Tracy Jackson, Sam Worthen, Jim Bostic, Raja Bell, Muggsy Bogues, Manute Bol, ESPN's Doug Gotlieb, World B. Free, Cheryl Miller (another woman player), Cliff Robinson, Lorenzo Williams and John Williams (the hot rod as he was known. Nancy Liberman made history as the first woman player in the USBL in 1986.

Teams that competed with the Brevard Blue Ducks came from specifically unique, small-market towns such as the Springfield Flame. Other teams included: the Connecticut Colonials from New Haven (many Yale grads?), the Long Island Knights from Staten Island, the Westchester Golden Apples (also from just outside of New York City), the Wildwood Aces from Wildwood, New Jersey (watch the tram car, please) the Rhode Island Gulls. Newer franchises in the league include the Gold Coast Stingrays in West Palm Beach, Florida, the Staten Island Stallions and the Tampa Bay Flash. Travel schedules or the Brevard Blue Ducks got a lot easier with the addition of the additional Florida franchises.

The Brevard Blue Ducks never won a USBL Championship but in 2002 Kwan Johnson won the league's Player of the Year Award as he was the league leader that year in scoring with over 25 PPG. In 2004, Tony Bland won Rookie of the Year in the USBL for the Brevard Ducks.

In 2007, the United States Basketball League called it quits and teams like the Brevard Blue Ducks are not around anymore. With a long, rich history of affordably developing players that for basketball fans worldwide, are household names. The USBL might be a distant memory for some but for hardcore basketball fans, the league and teams like the Brevard Ducks are missed badly.

Here is a video recap of the famous 2004 Brevard Blue Ducks season:


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