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Men's professional basketball returning to Buffalo

The silhouettes of two basketball players in blues and purples.

A local group has plans to bring men's professional basketball back to Buffalo.

XGEN Elite said it has purchased the rights to bring an American Basketball Association team to Buffalo, effective this fall.

Buffalo last had major league pro basketball in the 1970s with the National Basketball Association's Braves, who relocated to San Diego in 1978 and was renamed the Clippers. The Clippers subsequently moved into the Los Angeles market, where they remain today.

Since then, a handful of minor professional clubs played briefly in Buffalo. The 716ers operated from 2012 to 2016 and played in the ABA (2015 season) and the Premier Basketball League. Another franchise operated in the ABA from 2005 to 2008, beginning as the Buffalo Rapids and then changing their name to the Silverbacks and finally the Sharks. A third franchise, the Buffalo Stampede, played in the PBL from 2008 to 2010 and then in the American Professional Basketball League in 2011 before ceasing operations.

This ABA was initially created in partnership with the National Basketball Association and now is America's largest pro sports league with over 180 teams in the U.S. There is also an ABA Mexico league.

The as-yet unnamed Buffalo franchise will compete in the ABA's Northeast Region. The ABA season is 20 games and runs from November through April, including playoffs.

A name-the-team contest has been set up at the website BuffaloABA.com. Two season tickets to the inaugural season will be awarded to the winner of the competition.