Club team moving from Portland is rebranding as Volcanoes
The Vancouver Volcanoes are active again.
Just a tremor or two right now — the pro basketball franchise is preparing to make an official announcement on Thursday — but expect an eruption of excitement back in Vancouver next spring.
“I remember, as a player, just being involved in the community, and the community backing the team,” said Curtis Hill, who now is a team market owner and will be an assistant coach with the Volcanoes. “It was like a family environment. I embraced that a lot when I played. I’m excited to bring that back to the city of Vancouver.”
The Volcanoes will be members of The Basketball League, and the home games are expected to be played at Clark College. The franchise is set to have a tip-off announcement Thursday at Camas Meadows Golf Course. Jeff Perrault is the team’s head coach.
This is professional basketball. Hill said it is for players just out of college or those returning from overseas.
“Our players get paid,” Hill said. “Every team pays its players.”
The league also features a financial literacy and personal development program, working to educate the player on financial awareness.
Eugene German, the leading scorer in Northern Illinois University history, leads The Basketball League in scoring this season at 27.6 points per game. Former Pac-12 player, Chance Comanche of Arizona, is the second-leading scorer.
After the NBA, there is the G-League, a developmental league for the NBA. The Basketball League, Hill said, would be a tier below the G-League. The Basketball League uses NBA rules for the most part, but FIBA rules for goaltending.
With nine more months before the Volcanoes return to action, there are no players yet signed to Vancouver’s roster.
Hill said fans should expect excitement at every home game.
“Family-friendly orientated, affordable entertainment,” he described, noting it will be a lot less expensive to watch “up-and-coming players” in Vancouver than to attend a Blazer game in Portland.
The Volcanoes also want to reach out to local high schools to inquire about in-game entertainment options for cheer squads or stunt teams. Hill wants local talent to sing the national anthem, as well.
The Basketball League has 29 teams across the country. Nine additional franchises, including Vancouver, are already listed on the league’s website as teams expected to join in 2022. Former NBA players such as Kendrick Perkins and Steve Francis are market owners in TBL as well.
Now, the Volcanoes are not expected to travel across the country to play their games. The Basketball League splits its teams into regions and divisions. The Volcanoes likely will stay in the West for all of the regular-season games. The 2022 season, which is expected to start in March, will be the fifth year of TBL.
The Vancouver Volcanoes played 10 seasons starting in 2005 with the International Basketball League.
Last year, the Portland Storm basketball club was granted a franchise in The Basketball League. The Storm opted out of the season during the pandemic. Soon after, the Storm announced it was moving to Vancouver and rebranding as the Volcanoes.
Hill had never lived in the Northwest until he played for the Volcanoes. Today, he and his wife live in the Portland-Vancouver area. He hopes other players will have similar positive experiences while playing in Clark County.
“I remember the fanbase. We always had a great fanbase,” Hill said. “We were losing, and we still had great fans coming out to the games. It was just a great atmosphere. Bringing that excitement back to the city will be great.”