After a short stay as part of the America Basketball Association, the Miami Tropics will be a part of the FIBA Americas international basketball tournament. The 16-team championship tournament will have four host sites, one in Miami and the others in Brazil, Argentina and Puerto Rico.
The Tropics, created by Art ''Pilin'' Alvarez in 2003, began as an AAU summer league team. But after several successful seasons, the team became a part of professional basketball and was granted an expansion franchise.
As the Tropics begin the process of fielding a team capable of competing with some of the world's greatest basketball players, Alvarez and coach Don Kelbick will be looking within the organization and beyond the American borders for athletes who are eager to win.
''There are lots of great players who are on the cusp, but may be cut from NBA rosters,'' Tropics general manager Ed Auricchio said.