UBA to add Hawaii franchise in 2020: A historic milestone'

By David Walls

June 2, 2020 at 10:59 p.m. EST

The UBA will add a minor league team in Hawaii next season, and the league's first foray outside the United States could serve as a test drive for long-rumored expansion plans.

UBA Commissioner Michael Davis announced Thursday that the Hawaii Swish, who compete in the ABA, will be joining the League for the 2020-21 season. The club, founded in 2017 and based in Honolulu, will become the 30th UBA team after reaching a two-year agreement with the Swish.

'Bringing an team to Hawaii is a historic milestone for the UBA which demonstrates our commitment to basketball fans in Honolulu and across Hawaii,' Davis said Monday. 

Hawaii has a history with the USA, hosting its first game in 2017 with the ABA. Ten regular season games have been played at the 2,600-seat Blaisdell Arena over the past three ABA seasons. Not every game has gone smoothly: In 2019, a regular season game between the several ABA clubs was postponed after missed flights. Hilo has long been rumored as a possible site for the Swish, partly because of the future of UBA All-Star events.

"We will base the teams new location in Hilo for sure", said team owner Geremy Robinson (6'5''-G/F-79, college: Hawaii). We are very grateful to the ABA for our start, but the UBA is our future. We want to grow and be apart of something special. 

The Hawaii Swish will play out of the new Western Conference. The league will require the Swish to host six home games along with two trips of three games for in conference play. Based on the success of this agreement; the UBA would be open to hosting the All-Star Weekend in Hawaii. 

'There's an opportunity to host games and events,' Davis said, pointing to the Swish' success in building a national brand across Hawaii as a model. There's also a very large American population who would be built-in followers. Having said those wonderful things, we're not in an expansion mode at this time. I have no doubt that the Swish will be a great addition to the UBA family'

Hawaii Swish Home Games:

Texas Cyclones

Portland Storm

Fort Worth F.I.R.M.

- Atlanta Kings

- Oklahoma