Will Campbell, head coach of Daytona Beach Racers

THE GUY IN CHARGE — Will Campbell will be the head coach of the Daytona Beach Racers, the newest professional basketball team to join the American Basketball Association.

A professional basketball team has formed in Daytona Beach, which will give West Volusians a chance to catch pro games without having to leave the county.

The Daytona Beach Racers Professional Basketball Team will be in the American Basketball Association’s Southeast Division and will play their home games at the Ocean Center, which will also house the team’s headquarters.

Corey Williams

SECOND IN COMMAND — Corey Williams will be the Racers’ assistant head coach.

“Our team will be a community-based team, giving our locals a professional basketball team to call their own,” Kevin Williams Sr., one of seven co-owners and the president of basketball operations, said when announcing the team’s formation. “We are looking forward to bringing a championship to the city.”

Corey Williams (no relation to Kevin Williams), another co-owner and the team’s assistant head coach, said creating the team was “much needed for the area.”

“We thought it was a good thing to do for the players, to give them a chance to play pro ball for the communities we will be serving,” he told The Beacon. “We will definitely be active in the community. We will be reaching out to public and private schools so we can interact with the kids. We understand youths are the next generation of leaders, and want to show them how sports can help develop them.”

The Racers will tip off their season with two road games — Nov. 6 against the Sarasota Manatee in Sarasota and the next night against the Bradenton Yessuh in Bradenton. The first home game will be Nov. 18 hosting the Clermont Crocs at the Ocean Center, according to the team’s website.

Daytona Beach Racers logo

Corey Williams said the players have not been selected yet. Three combines will be held — Aug. 21 and 22, Sept. 26 and 27, and Oct. 16 and 17. He and head coach Will Campbell will be assessing the players and trying out to choose a dozen teammates for the Racers.

Coach Campbell is a businessman who played professionally in the ABA as well as the 2016 China Tour. He recently retired as a player.

Assistant Coach Williams is a professional basketball player and coach who has used his platform for basketball to make a difference in the lives of others and the community. He won the 2019 Junior NBA Coach of the Year Award for the Orlando Magic and is a 4-under-40 Award Winner in business leadership.

The Racers are supposed to play a 20-game regular season, which will end in early March unless they make the playoffs. Nine of the 17 games scheduled so far will be played at the Ocean Center. All the road games will be in-state.

According to the team’s website, the American Basketball Association (ABA) is a men’s professional basketball league that has grown to become the largest professional sports league in the world.

The ABA originally was established in 1967, and four teams — New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets — merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976.

The ABA was reformed in 2000 in partnership with the NBA and has been “operating in harmony” for the past 21 years.

For more information about the Racers, go to DaytonaBeachRacers.com. For more info about the ABA, go to abaliveaction.com.