PrimeTime Players zero in on Tobacco Road title

mbanks@comporium.netMay 27, 2013 

COURTESY OF CHRIS THOMAS - PRIMETIME

— A different style of basketball has taken over the Banks Street gym.

The Primetime Players, a minor-league basketball team, are part of the Tobacco Road Basketball League, playing against teams from Greensboro, N.C., Cary, N.C., Wilmington, N.C., and Fayetteville, N.C.

The team is made up of former college basketball players, and professional players who play overseas at various times of the year.

This is the second year the Primetime Players have been in Fort Mill but first time at Banks Street gym. Last year, they played at Lifepointe Church, which is housed in the former Charlotte Hornets training facility.

Chris Thomas, the head coach and owner of the team, said the move to Banks Street has been positive.

“It has helped with our fan base,” he said.

The team also travels throughout the year through the Southeast. They have played 57 games this year and will normally play 100 in a calendar year.

“We look at this as a Double A baseball team,” Thomas said. “We use this as a tool to help expand our players careers.”

The Tobacco Road League runs through Father’s Day weekend, culminating in Fayetteville. Thomas hopes the Primetime Players can win the league title for the second straight year. The Primetime Players are 7-0 in the 12-game regular season.

The top two teams from each division will meet in the playoffs Father’s Day weekend.

The team has averaged 147 points per game and is made up of former college players from schools like Western Carolina, Charleston Southern, College of Charleston, Radford, Wingate and Catawba College.

“A lot of teams have tryouts, but I don’t,” he said. “I have guys that play year round and have been with me for 10 years or so.”

The Primetime Players have two more home games – June 1 and June 8 – both at Banks Street gym, before hopefully heading into the Tobacco Road League playoffs. The two remaining games start at 5 p.m.

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