The league that launched the professional basketball career of “Doctor J,” Julius Erving, is coming to Lynn.
Team owner Jake Canty has announced that the semi-professional North Shore Tides will play their American Basketball Association (ABA) home games at the Lynn Tech Fieldhouse. A former Lynn high school and Bridgton Academy basketball player, the 6-foot-3-inch Canty said the first of 15 home games is scheduled for November 9.
“I’m very excited to bring this high level of basketball to the Lynn area,” said Canty, a 24-year-old resident of Nahant. “I think Lynn and North Shore residents will be entertained by the basketball that will be played by these highly skilled players whose careers they have followed in high school and college.”
Well-known Lynn basketball players Dwight Brewington, Tony Gallo, Alvin Abreu, Corey Bingham, Dorian Brown, Roberto Zellon, and Garrett Fairweather will play for the Tides. Area players John Squires, Michael Clifford, and Jeff Manchester are also on the roster.
Former Lynn resident and Providence College basketball player Troy Brown has been approached about being the head coach of the Tides.
The original ABA was a full-fledged professional basketball league that was famous for its red, white, and blue basketball. Erving was a member of the New York Nets team following his superb career at UMass/Amherst. The ABA eventually merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1976.
Canty said tickets to Tides’ home games will be $10. The team will hold a preseason event, “The Grand Premier Affair,” on September 28 at Tech.
“We have some entertainment groups scheduled to perform and there will be an intra-squad scrimmage,” said Canty, adding that the Tides will debut their blue and white uniforms at the event.
Canty said he was grateful to his longtime mentor, Lynn School Committee member John Ford, who helped coordinate the effort to bring an ABA franchise to Lynn.
“Mr. Ford has been a positive influence in my life and is a good friend,” said Canty. “I’m very grateful to him. I grew up with Mr. Ford’s grandson [Quivari Jackson] so I’ve known him since I was young.”