Updated: Oct 19, 2021
The Rochester Razorsharks were meant to play in The Basketball League in 2019 before the team decided to sit out the season. The League then announced the new Rochester Revolution as a 2020 expansion team. However, owner Victor Urbaez then decided to move his team to New Jersey as the Tri-State Admirals, One of the newer franchises coming into the 2020 season, people were not sure what to expect from this team. Urbaez hired New Jersey native Darlington Okerulu as the head coach. Upon his hiring, Okerulu talked about how New Jersey needed a pro team since departure of the Nets for Brooklyn.
The Admirals had a baptism of fire to start their debut campaign in The Basketball League with a double-header match-up with the 2019 champions, the Albany Patroons. While the difference between the two teams was not that big, the Admirals took two losses to start their first season as a franchise. They bounced back however to get their first franchise at Owensboro against the Thoroughbreds. After a tight loss against the Indy Express, the Admirals went on an impressive six game winning streak. A run that saw them take revenge on the Patroons beating them by twenty. This streak was only ended by the sudden cancellation of their debut season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just starting to pick up momentum in the season, this is definitely a “what could have been” kind of first season for the Tri-State Admirals. The bright spot of their season was their five-foot- eleven point guard, Corey Taite. The twenty-four year old New Jersey native averaged an impressive 27.5 points per game on a 51% field goal percentage. Taite was also impressive on the defensive end with two steals per game. Taite was one of the season’s standouts and is considered one of the best of the 2020 season in the ten games that he had played. This got him a contract and a move to Europe. Corey Taite now plays in the first division of Iceland’s professional basketball league for Huranmenn where he is their starting point guard. Taite is an example of what can happen if you excel in The Basketball League, and an example for other up and coming players.
With Taite’s departure from the team leaves a massive hole in the roster of the Tri-State Admirals for 2021 season. For me, these are the moments that define franchises. If they can find away to replace Corey Taite’s importance to the team, this team would definitely be a contender for the coming seasons.
This piece was written by Enrique Ortiz, a common contributor for Globally Ballin. This piece is the eleventh article of the "Who Are They" series. An article series that takes a look at all the teams in The Basketball League from a fresh set of eyes. Each piece in this series will be out and available on the website every Tuesday, enjoy!
ALSO - Below is a link that will take you to an audio interview we did at the 2019 TBL Draft Combine. The interview is with team market owner, Darrell Miller. This audio interview is a part of the Globally Ballin Patreon page. So, if you are not already subscribed, a subscription may be required. Click the links to find out and learn more, enjoy!
Corey Taite Basketball Profile. (n.d.). In EuroBasket. Retrieved from https://basketball.eurobasket.com/player/Corey_Taite/Iceland/Hrunamenn/377613
Corey Taite Basketball Profile. (n.d.). In Genius Sports. Retrieved from wh.geniussports.com/TBBL.
Tri State Admirals Team Profile. (n.d.). In Genius Sports. Retrieved from wh.geniussports.com/TBBL.
Hague, J. (n.d.). Tasty Tidbits. In Hudson Reporters. Retrieved from hudsonreporter.com