Bikini basketball league plans to begin in summer 2013
TAMPA - In the latest attempt to merge beauty and sports, organizers of the Bikini Basketball Association are working to begin play next summer with the Orlando Lady Cats and six other franchises. On its website, the league said it is seeking ownership for a team in Tampa, but the market isn't etched into the first-year plans. The league announced teams for 2013 with suggestive names like the Hollywood Hotties, New York Knockouts and Chicago Desire. Online publicity photos feature women in centerfold-like poses, with basketballs concealing necessary body parts. But fans shouldn't expect "girls running around with parts flapping," league president A.J. McArthur said in a radio interview Tuesday with WJNA-AM in West Palm Beach."That's a misconception," he said. True, players will wear bikinis, much like in beach volleyball, he said, but the league plans to field a "competitive and professional" product played by talented players who happen to be easy on the eye. He said he has already received hundreds of applications from women seeking tryouts. "There are a large amount of beautiful women who can play this sport," he told WJNA. "It will not be hard to narrow it down." He also pointed out the bikini league is not in competition with the WNBA. However, the success of the Lingerie Football League, which recently moved a team from Tampa to Jacksonville, isn't lost on him. BBA venues don't appear to be set at this point, meaning there is a lot of work to do. McArthur, who also owns the Miami Spice franchise, said tryouts are set to begin in the next month or so with the goal of setting rosters by December. "Right now we're in the recruiting process," he said. Practices and marketing would start at the beginning of the year. He also said he has received inquiries from television and online stream outlets. Those interested in the league as a player, owner, coach or sponsor should email McArthur at [email protected].