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Verlin: What's next for City of Basketball Love

03/27/2023, 11:45am EDT
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

What an incredible 2022-23 season.

Even in a year when only one of the dozen City 6 squads made it to the NCAA Tournament, the Villanova women certainly held that banner high, having one of the best seasons in program history, led by one of the best players in the city’s illustrious hoops tradition. The small-college programs were no slouch, with Swarthmore’s men making it to the Final Four, West Chester and Jefferson’s women making it to the D-II Sweet 16, Harcum’s men and women making deep runs in the junior college tournaments.

Of course, the area’s high school scene never fails to disappoint — it’s only a matter of which programs are making history or drawing headlines in any given season. This year, it was the likes of Lansdale Catholic’s girls and West Catholic’s boys, winning state titles for the first time in program history; Wood’s girls, Imhotep’s boys and Carroll’s girls joining them as victorious in Hershey; Radnor’s boys, completing a perfect regular season and District 1 championship; Roman Catholic’s boys, winning the Catholic League championship and taking Reading to overtime in the state championship; Perkiomen Valley’s girls, five sophomore starters winning a District 1 title; Westtown’s girls, league and state champs, with two eighth graders in the top six of the rotation. 

So many others deserve mention, from Dobbins’ boys to Rustin’s girls, Villa Maria’s girls to Dock Mennonite’s boys, Spring-Ford’s boys to Haverford’s girls. There’s no way we could list every player and team that impressed this year, though we’ve tried to write about all of them in the last four months.

It was also by far CoBL’s busiest season since our hiatus in the 2018-19 season. Between November 1, 2022 and today, CoBL writers covered more than 500 games, wrote more than 800 stories, conducted several thousand interviews, featured thousands upon thousands of players. And we’re not done yet: we’ve still got postseason awards to hand out, and content to come dissecting the season that just was. 

But the nature of the basketball calendar is that there’s not really much downtime, and so I wanted to let our readers know what was coming next. 

This time last year, I was focusing on finishing up grad school and planning a two-years delayed wedding celebration/honeymoon, and so our coverage dropped off significantly in April/May/June. That won’t happen this year — personal/family time aside, this summer will include lots of basketball coverage, and not too much else. 

Our spring coverage starts today with the Donofrio Classic, which we’ll be at each day it runs over the next four weeks; we already have a 2023 Donofrio Classic hub live on the website, which will host links to all of our coverage, along with the already-published schedule and rosters. We’ll also be stopping at local grassroots events all throughout April and into May and June, when the focus turns towards the massive Philly Live weekends and beyond. 

On top of the grassroots coverage, we’ll also be stopping at various high school spring and summer leagues and other camps and clinics that pop up in the region, with new content coming out on a daily basis. The plan is to have regular videos, player round-ups, team reports, and more. 

But that coverage doesn’t just come from anywhere. It only happens because of your support and the support of the Philadelphia basketball community. Paying for our staff, our contributors and more is a significant amount each month, and we can’t ever stop fundraising. We already have a solid foundation of support through our Patreon page and other support options, but it’s only a foundation.

CoBL is up against our budgetary limits, and we need to raise more money if we wish to grow our coverage and our capabilities for 2023-24. We’ll have more information soon on our 2023 camps, events and fundraising drives, all of which will enable us to expand our coverage for 2023-24, but it’s not too soon to start giving. If you’d like to support the coverage you’ve been reading all year, please visit one of the links above — no gift is too small. 

We are also looking for corporate partners and sponsors for both our events and our website itself. If you’re a CoBL reader and value what we bring to the Philadelphia basketball community, we could use your help! 

You can also support CoBL without even donating: visiting the site regularly and reading through articles helps us make more money off Google Ads; sharing our links on social media and encouraging others to read does the same. You can buy some of our merchandise, with all sorts of cool apparel options.

Fundraising aside, CoBL is always looking for new writers: our group of contributors is always shifting, and there’s no such thing as too many writers. This is also a great time for interested high school and college students to get on board: 

Writing for CoBL requires no prior experience in sportswriting: applicants should be strong writers who are willing to learn and try new things, and our editorial staff will work with aspiring writers to teach them how to cover games and events, conduct interviews, properly use social media, write stories, network and more. 

Please feel free to reach out via email (cityofbasketballlove@gmail.com), hit us up on Twitter @hooplove215 — or DM me personally at @jmverlin — to inquire about any of the above. Interested writers should attach a resume and some type of writing sample.

I want to have CoBL around for as long as there’s hoops in Philadelphia, but that will only come with the community’s support. 

Thanks,
Josh Verlin

City of Basketball Love
Co-Founder, Editor-In-Chief


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