An Interview with Loc Nguyen, Founder of Friendship Basketball League

What is Friendship Basketball League (FBL)?
A: The FBL began in the spring of 2011. The league was developed for “Average Shmoes” who enjoy the game of basketball. It’s a sport where people share common interests in competing, pushing the physical limits of their bodies, and seeing individual talents contribute to great team play. None of the athletes in the league play professionally and the league emphasizes sportsmanship. The league also creates a community and a sense of place for the players to network. There are currently nine teams in the league. They play a 9-week regular season and thereafter, the top 8 teams make it to the playoffs.

Do you have to be Asian-American to play?
A: No, you don’t have to be Asian-American to play. The criteria is quite simple. The league is called the Friendship Basketball League meaning this is a friendly game of basketball where all the members understand the true meaning of sportsmanship. They all compete but play the game right. This not only contributes to the overall basketball environment but allows other players who want to join and kids who come watch, learn the game the right way. If a player buys into the vision of the league and fits the average mold as we define it as a group, they can join.

What are the plans for the future of FBL?
A: FBL would like to pursue youth teams but at the moment does not have enough funds. We are looking for sponsors and would appreciate help if anyone wants to join the FBL to make this vision a reality. We feel the league and the game of basketball has more to offer, keeping kids off the streets, teaching them the proper way to play the game, socializing skills, collaborative skills, the list can go on. We believe this will support a positive lifestyle for anyone who participates. We are creating shirts with our sponsors listed as well as a page on our website to thank those who have donated.

What has been most rewarding about starting the league?
A: I have found a number of things rewarding. Several wives/fiancés/girlfriends have come up to me and thanked me for setting up this league. They have expressed to me how much of a difference it makes for their husbands that are usually at home on the couch. This league changes people’s lifestyle to become more active and healthy. We have also seen a lot of children come watch their older siblings or fathers. It’s always great to see kids participate even if it’s a spectator sport for them. I think there is a lot for them to learn still.

The teams play on Saturdays at:
St. John’s Lutheran Church
700 South Franklin St. Denver, CO 80209

The league is currently looking for sponsors to help start its youth teams. E-mail info@fblhoops.com for more information. To learn how you can join the league, get involved or donate to the cause, visit www.fblhoops.com.