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CoBL turns 11: our annual note to our readers

06/02/2023, 12:15pm EDT
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

Eleven years down, and it feels like it’s only the beginning.

It’s frankly hard to believe that it’s been that long since CoBL made its debut on its first basic Wordpress template, totally unaware of the journey that was to follow. But indeed this is our 11th birthday — almost to our teenage years, meaning we’re getting close to a point where we’re covering kids who weren’t yet born when we started our coverage. (That’s still a few years away, thankfully.)

I’ve been writing these annual updates on our birthday not just to brag about how amazing our staff is and the great work they’ve been doing over the last 12 months — though they are, and they have been — but mostly to reach out to you, our readers, and keep you updated on how things have gone over the last 12 months.

Let’s start with the good.

Between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2023, CoBL churned out just over 1,200 stories, or 3.28 per day. Of those stories, just shy of 500 stories were on girls + women’s teams and players, which accounted for 41% of our coverage. There’s no easy way to track exactly how many different teams we wrote about, but it’s in the hundreds, or players we’ve written about, but it’s in the thousands. We’ve also started to bring back our recruiting profiles: visit our Recruiting HQ page and use the search box at the top of the website to pull up profiles.

There’s no doubt that the biggest reason for our ability to put out the most consistently high-quality coverage we’ve ever provided is due to the addition of Owen McCue as the site’s assistant editor just about one year ago. Owen has been an incredible asset to CoBL over the last year, bringing a ton of energy, expertise and enthusiasm to the organization, allowing us to cover so much more ground than ever before.

We also ran our first-ever girls’ event last fall, our CoBL Fall Classic, and we’ll be bringing that back to Spring-Ford this fall — along with our first-ever in-season girls’ event in December, the same month that we’ll be running two smaller boys’ events. That’s on top of several other events and camps will be running in August, September and October, not to mention our first-ever overnight camp at the end of this month.

It doesn’t hurt that we have the best staff we’ve ever assembled. I don’t want to leave anybody out who contributed to the site over the last year, but there’s no doubt that having veterans like Joseph Santoliquito, Rich Flanagan and Andrew Robinson gives us a wealth of experience, while some of our younger writers like Jared Leveson, Zak Wolf and more have been turning out great work.

Of course, while things are going well for CoBL, we still have a lot of work to do in order for us to cover the area with the breadth and depth we’ve been aiming for. There are tons of games, events, players, stories that we hear about and aren’t able to get to, and every story that goes by is a reminder that we’re not fully carrying out our directive just yet. We need to grow our writing staff and our editorial/organizational staff, but we can’t do that without growing our revenue.

If you’re interested in supporting CoBL and our coverage, please support us on Patreon, where you can sign up for $3-10/month (or more, if you wish) and help us grow our coverage. We also accept one-time gifts through our PayPal page, and we’re always looking for more advertising partners. We need the Philadelphia basketball community to step up and help keep us running.

There’s plenty still to come this year: we’re going to be running more events than ever before this fall and winter, with plans to continue growing our events and camps side of the organization in 2024-25. We also have some big things in the works behind the scenes, and can’t wait to share all that we’re working on with our readers before too long. 

As always, thank you all so much for reading, sharing and supporting CoBL and our mission. See you out on the courts.

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