When the National Athletic Basketball League season kicks off at the end of this month, the Snohomish County Explosion will have new owners — and a new home.
The team was sold by Nathan Mumm in the offseason to former Explosion player and coach Chris Weakley, who represents the WCW Basketball Academy, and life-long Snohomish County resident Susan Goettsch, a local youth development director.
The WCW Basketball Academy was founded by Weakley in 2007 and stands for William and Chris Weakley in honor of his father, William, who passed away that same year. Weakley said the goal of the academy is to help youngsters grow in the game of basketball.
In the Everett Explosion’s first year of existence the team played at Comcast Arena in Everett. Mumm moved the team to Monroe before the start of its second season and changed the name to the Snohomish County Explosion.
Weakley and Goettsch are moving the team back to Everett this season. The Explosion will play all eight of its home games at the Everett Armory. Weakley didn’t have anything negative to say about the team’s time in Monroe, but said playing in Everett gives the Explosion a chance at a larger fan base.
“I couldn’t understand why we moved,” Weakley said. “Monroe was good for us, but I think if Nathan could have hung in there for a little while, we would be even bigger than we are right now.”
Weakley added that things would have been different had the decision been his to make. “If I would have been running this team, we would have never left,” he said.
Weakley said up to 1,000 fans will be able to attend games at the Armory. He said he hopes that larger, more consistent crowds could lead to a return to Comcast Arena.
Mumm, one of the co-founders of the NABL, had owned the Explosion since the team’s inaugural season in 2007. He had been in negotiations with Weakley and Goettsch in the offseason to sell the team to focus on his role as commissioner of the league.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the agreement calls for Weakley and Goettsch to keep the team in Snohomish County for the next five seasons and includes a 10-year commitment to the NABL.
Mumm said one of the rules of the NABL is that owners can’t coach their teams. Weakley said he doesn’t know who will coach the team this season, but made it clear he would like to take on the job. “If I own the team and I coach the team, then I can’t blame anyone but myself if it doesn’t work right,” Weakley said.
In the past two seasons, Weakley has started out as coach of the Explosion, but ended the season as a player. This time that won’t happen, he said.
“I won’t play for my own organization,” he said.
The Explosion play their first home game of the season May 6 against the Tacoma Thunder. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.