Pro basketball tips off in Tampa

Tipoff in Tampa is just about here. 

"This one is going to be a special one," said Bassel Harfouch, owner of the Tampa Bay Titans. "It's the first one in Tampa Bay."

The Tampa Bay Titans are the first professional basketball team in the area, so Wednesday night's first home game will be a special event. 

"Just to be able to show everyone what we're really about, prove to people that we can provide a basketball team in the area," said Harfouch. "I know a lot of the guys have a lot to prove, so having this game here, it'll be huge." 

Founded last year by Harfouch, a former Division I player, the Titans are off to a 2-0 start with wins against Owensboro out of Kentucky.

"So far, it's gone great," said Harfouch. "A lot of the guys are excited to play professional basketball. Being on road trips, some of the guys haven't flown before. All of that excitement was built into those first two games and we're happy that we got the first two wins and we're ready to take the third one here at home tomorrow." 

The roster features former Division I and NAIA players. Several have ties to the Bay Area, too. The Titans provide the opportunity to play pro without having to go overseas, and potentially get noticed by NBA teams.  

"You know, instead of working a 9-to-5, for a lot of these guys who had to give up their dream, because they couldn't go abroad, now you bring a team to them that provides opportunity, gets them fired up again," said Harfouch. "They have all that talent and all that skill, and they get to really show what they can do and what they've been training for their whole lives." 

And Wednesday, the Titans will get their first assist from the home crowd when they host Kansas City. 

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