It was a busy weekend for local sports. While the Sharks were kicking off their 2019 season, the Jacksonville Giants of the American Basketball Association were finishing up their sixth championship run in St. Louis.
The Giants secured their latest championship with a 116-112 win over the South Florida Gold on Saturday evening. The team was spurred to victory by a momentum-shifting second quarter, in which last year’s league MVP Maurice Mickens scored 13 points. The Giants entered the half with a 62-54 lead and never looked back from there.
The team’s sixth title is also their fourth title in a row – both are ABA league records. The Giants have qualified for the playoffs in all nine seasons since joining the league in 2010.
It’s hard to dominate a professional sports league any more thoroughly than the Giants have dominated the ABA this decade.
Despite the stakes involved, you’d be forgiven for not even realizing that the Giants’ playoff run had begun. While Mayor Curry and others around the city grow playoff beards in honor of the Jacksonville Icemen, the Giants have become somewhat of an afterthought.
It didn’t help that the team’s overall marketing efforts seemed to be scaled back this year compared to past seasons.
Regardless, a sixth championship for Jacksonville’s minor-league basketball franchise is something that’s worth celebrating. Congratulations to the 2018-19 Jacksonville Giants!