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Welcome to the new City of Basketball Love

04/06/2015, 12:00pm EDT
By Josh Verlin

CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
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When two young journalists conceived the City of Basketball Love on a late-night phone call back on June 1, 2012, they were just looking for a place to write about basketball.

Over the last nearly three years, the site that Andy Edwards and myself launched slowly grew and grew, becoming one of the top regional basketball sites around, with an excellent staff of young writers eager to go out and cover college and high school basketball throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond.

CoBL has covered basketball on both coasts, going to gyms that had literally one bench along a wall to ones that held more than 20,000 people in NBA arenas. We've run more than 3,000 stories, covered over 1,000 games and even expanded to running our own events.

Now, we are excited to announce the launch of CoBL 2.0, the next big step in a continuing evolution of that original idea.

Joining us in that journey are CoBL's first two official employees: 

--Jeff Neiburg (assistant editor) will assume a much larger role with the site after spending the last two years as one of our staff writers. A graduate of Temple University with a degree in journalism, Jeff has already written for the Daily News, Daily Local, The Temple News and Reuters/Sports Xchange in his young career. He'll be all over for CoBL, covering high school and college beats alike while also helping facilitate and mentor the next group of young writers.

--Kenny Jackson (camp/scouting director) comes to CoBL after six years as an assistant at Friends' Central, where he helped the Phoenix win four independent school's state championships and two Friends League Championships with an overall record of 177-57. While there, he helped train and coach a McDonald’s All-American (Amile Jefferson) and facilitated in transitioning plenty of other student-athletes to Division I, II and III schools such as Duke, Temple, Boston University and Niagara.

You'll also notice that CoBL has taken on quite a sharp new look. Thanks to a new, enhanced version of the site from our friends at SportNgin, CoBL has greatly expanded its capabilities of what we can do both online and off. 

There are a lot of new features, but here are a few things to note:

--The recruiting profiles have now become a recruiting database, with the ability to sort through the various high school prospects on the site by position, class, high school and more. We’ve also added a database of school offers, so you can see which area prospects your favorite school is recruiting! Make sure to check out the "recruiting HQ" page; to get to each players' page, simply enter a few letters of their name in the Player Finder at the top of CoBL and their profile will pop right up.

--Each college team’s homepage is vastly improved. All 10 CoBL-covered teams will have a homepage, complete with roster information, a schedule, photo galleries and a list of area recruits being targeted by the school.

--We now have an events registration page, for easy sign ups for the upcoming CoBL camps and clinics (more info on those coming soon).

--The new City of Basketball Love Blog (CoBLog) will feature quick-hitting news stories, smaller updates and other little news and notes we didn't previously have space for on our old site, allowing for much more content to live on CoBL.

--The photography tab on the homepage serves as a database for all of our photos, making finding pictures much easier; we also have photo galleries for the first time, allowing us to show off the fantastic work of our staff photogs.

As you can see, there's quite a lot going on, and we still haven't scratched the surface of what we can do with it!

We have a lot of people to thank for this, so bear with us for a second...

Thanks to all the writers who have contributed for CoBL over the years: Andrew Albert, Andrew Koob, Garrett Miley, Anthony Bellino, Jeff McDevitt, Austin Lederman, Teddy Bailey, Ian Simon, Tom Reifsnyder, Ari Rosenfeld, Justin Allen, Tyler DeGiacomo, Alex Chesen, Madison Elliott, Jack Goodwillie, Jeff Griffith, Varun Kumar, Lee Kunkel, Ethan Miller, Aron Minkoff, Dan Newhart, Patrick Paul, Anna Pitingolo, Clay Sauertieg, Steven Tydings, John Watts.

Thanks to our photographers: Mark Jordan, Tug Haines, Anson Marsh, Maddy Pryor and Josh Einbinder-Schatz.

Thanks to Toban Penner, whose original design for CoBL was a huge reason the site continued to grow over its first three years, helping us stand out from the crowd. Toban’s work was a big influence on our new, upgraded design, and combined with the fantastic work of our graphic designer, Hunter Fitch, has really given CoBL a brand to build around.

And most importantly, thanks to all of our supporters--the fans, coaches, players and everybody else who’s been reading our work for the last three seasons, giving us endless amounts of support and motivation to keep on going out every day and delivering the best content and coverage we possibly could.

Here's to the next three years!

--Josh Verlin


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