Professional basketball has come to Salem

Jason Conrad is team owner and president.

The Salem Capitals, who began playing March 4, are part of a nationwide league known as TBL (The Basketball League). They are in the league’s West Conference and play their home games in the Salem Armory.

The regular season will conclude May 29 with June playoff dates to be determined. There will be an all-star weekend April 15-17 in Syracuse, New York, with TBL stars playing stars from the National Basketball League of Canada.

Currently, the Capitals, one of 44 teams in The Basketball League, have a season record of 8-0, making them the only undefeated team in the league. 

Fans describe Salem Capitals home games as family-friendly fun and interactive. Attendees are able to talk with the players and get autographs after each game. 

Jason Conrad of Keizer, the team owner and president, comes from an athletic family in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, but was its first basketball player. He reached the height of 7 feet by the time he entered Chico State University and played basketball for four years there. He then played in nine countries from 2013 to 2019.

Conrad also teaches youth art classes and adult wine and paint classes.

Brian Stevens of The Dalles is head coach. Assistant coaches are Mary Stade of Portland and Cody Brock of Eugene.

Three Capitals players call Oregon cities their homes. They are small forward and guard Scott Clough of Coos Bay, guard and forward Tyler West Jr. of Portland, point guard Malik Morgan of Eugene, and center Vincent Boumann of Newberg. Power forward and center Kevin Johnson Jr. calls Oakland, California, his home but now lives in Portland.

Other players are Montigo Alford, point guard and shooting guard; Dominique (Domo) Lawrence, forward; Allen Billinger, point guard; Jason Smar, shooting guard; Paul Hafford, guard and forward; Eric (EJ) Petty Jr., forward; and Darius Morrow.

TBL’s purpose, besides sports entertainment, is player educational opportunities, support and encouragement to local communities and opportunities to own teams.

The Capitals, discussing their own purpose, quote the movie Jerry Maguire: ‘Help me help you.’

“In our case, we say, ‘Help us help you, and the Salem community.'”

Guard/Forward Tyler West, Jr. #6, is from Portland.