Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
What a decade it’s been.
It’s almost impossible to believe that it’s been nearly 10 years since City of Basketball Love first launched on June 2, 2012, Andy Edwards and myself just looking for a place to write about basketball the way we wanted to, covering all aspects of the city’s amateur hoops scene.
We’ve certainly experienced our share of peaks and valleys since then, from garnering more than two million page views in one year to shutting down for the 2018-19 season, then returning just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic to shut it all back down again. Hopefully, that roller-coaster ride is in the past.
After rebuilding over the last 12 months, and now with full 501(c)(3) charitable organization status, we’re getting the final pieces in place to forge ahead into our new era as the region’s preeminent source for high school and collegiate basketball coverage, news, and analysis.
Before we get back to true full-time status, however, there’s going to be a brief hiatus. CoBL won’t be quite “going dark” during the month of May and the first half of June, but we won’t be producing regular content for those six or seven weeks, as this is a busy stretch for yours truly, and we don’t have the funds to afford full-time help in the meanwhile.
Currently, I’m finishing up my final project for grad school, which has demanded the majority of my focus the last few weeks, and it’s the end of a 16-month grind that’s taken up a lot of my time, energy and attention since January 2021. On top of that, this month I have graduation up in Syracuse (May 13-15) and most importantly my wife and I are finally celebrating our wedding on May 29, followed by a long-overdue honeymoon that will take up the first couple weeks of June.
We also used up most of our budget from last season, and because of everything going on this spring, we aren’t able to run spring camps or events, which hurts our overall budget for this summer, and I want to conserve funds for the upcoming season.
Hence, I’ve made the decision to not worry about providing steady coverage during this stretch, but I didn’t want to just go quiet without letting everybody know and explaining why.
That being said, I’ll still be working hard on CoBL during that time — mostly behind the scenes. We need to find a new camp director, and to rebuild our staff, especially our interns. CoBL needs new writers, especially local high school and college students who are looking to get into sportswriting. That can help us cover more of the breaking news stories and other types of content which have fallen through the cracks with my focus so divided.
But most importantly, CoBL needs your help.
There were more than 100,000 people who visited CoBL during the stretch run of the 2022 season, but only several hundred who’ve financially helped support us during that stretch. I’m working on reaching larger foundations and businesses to raise money — we’re working with a non-profit consultant who should help us greatly in that area over the next six to eight weeks as well — but we still need the support of our regular readers to grow and thrive.
Please visit our Support page to explore different options, including a monthly or annual Patreon subscription, a PayPal donation, or the address to just send us a check. You can also visit our shop and order CoBL merchandise, with plenty of options, sizes and colors in store for both men and women.
After two years of the pandemic, losing both my paternal grandparents in late 2020 without being able to see them, going through grad school and planning two different weddings, as well as a year-long house search and a move, I need a bit of a breather, and this is the perfect time for it. Taking a few weeks to recharge, tune up and get things ready behind the scenes will pay off down the road, for myself and for CoBL.
I look forward to returning from my honeymoon in time to cover the Philly Live event in late June, as well as the July Live Periods, with a full CoBL staff and then hitting the ground running for fall events, preseason coverage, and into 2022-23 — our first full, unimpeded, uninterrupted season of coverage since 2017-18.
As always, thanks for reading. Looking forward to our second decade, and beyond!
- Josh Verlin
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