Jersey Express

Jersey Express
Jersey Express
Founded 2005
League ABA 2005-present
Team history Newark Express
Jersey Express
Arena Essex County College gym 2005-2007
Baldwin Gymnasium, Drew University 2007
East Orange Campus High School gym
Based in East Orange, New Jersey
Team colors Red and White
Owner Marsha Blount
Jacqueline Halyard
Head coach Jerry "Ice" Renolds
Championships 0
Division titles 0

The Jersey Express is a team in the Northeast Division of the Blue Conference (Eastern Conference) of the American Basketball Association based in East Orange, New Jersey. The team was formed in 2005 as the Newark Express. Marsha Blount (President) and Jacqueline Halyard (General Manager) are co-owners of the team. The team previously played at the gym at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey and at Drew University. They are now playing their home games at the East Orange Campus High School gymnasium, marking the team's return to the Newark area.


Inaugural Season (2005-2006)

The Express ended the regular season on March 5, 2006, after losing an away game to the Buffalo Rapids. Their record for the regular season was 14-16 and they finished third in the Roger Brown Division behind the Harlem Strong Dogs and the Strong Island Sound. They had a bye week for the first round of the playoffs. They played on March 17, 2006, in Atlanta against their second round opponent, the Atlanta Vision.

The Express started the season with star players Aswan Morris, Rasheed Sparks, Jamie Sowers and Derek Washington and Marcus Toney-El from the Jersey SkyCats. The Head Coach of the team in their first season was Darryl Dawkins. The assistant coach was Rick Nash. BOMBO Sports & Entertainment, LLC, the company who produced Still We Believe: The Boston Red Sox Movie and other films agreed to produce a film about the Newark Express and their African American female owners.[1] The Newark Express were first professional basketball team in the city of Newark, the city that was the birthplace of Shaquille O'Neal. Former Newark Mayor, Sharpe James, and the city council gave money to the team and became an official sponsor during their inaugural season. Sharpe James also showed up at some of the team's home games.

Newark Express Game

The Newark Express had a small number (100-250 fans on average) at their games, but there was more loyalty and noise among the fans toward the end of the season. Despite having a number of star players including Rob Thompson, Rasheed Sparks and Aswan Morris, no player from the Express made it to the ABA All Star game at the BankAtlantic Center in February. The team had mentioned the possibility of moving to a larger arena in the future. Although the Prudential Center was completed in 2007, the low attendance prevented the team from using the arena. Players during the season were: Rasheed Sparks, Shaheen Holloway, Marcus Tony-El, Aswan Morris, Dezmond Morgan, Rob Thompson, Amin Wright, Ike Williams, Derek Washington, Mufeed Thomas, Marcos Sanchez, Robert Cheeks, Jamie Sowers, Travis Snell, Khayri Battle, Andrew Feeley, Jimmy Luu, Dwayne Howell, Nick Valdez, Tim Gittens, Desmond Morgen and Reginald Tyler.

The Newark Express season ended with a loss against the top ranked Rochester Razorsharks 126-98 on March 19, 2006 in the second round of the playoffs. The Razorsharks went on to beat the Atlanta Vision, the San Jose Skyrockets and the SoCal Legends to win the 2005-2006 ABA Championship.


  • Khayri Battle Scoring.JPG
    Khayri Battle (#25) is a 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) guard for the Express. He played college basketball at William Paterson University (along with Newark Express teammates Jimmy Luu and Mufeed Thomas). He averaged 15.4 pts/game during his first season with the Express and added 8.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists.
  • Shaheen Holloway.JPG
    Shaheen Holloway (#10) is a basketball player from Hillside, New Jersey. He went to college at Seton Hall University and played for Newark during their inaugural season. He is a six foot guard and averaged nearly eighteen points per game and eight assists.
  • Jimmy Luu (#4) is a guard for the Express. Luu attended William Paterson University. He is a 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) guard and had less court time since he came to the Express than Newark's other guards.
  • Travis Snell (#3) is a 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) guard from Jonesboro, Georgia. He went to the University of West Florida and now plays for the Express. He wears number three in Newark and has averaged 11.2 points per game. Snell is a very quick player and has an excellent spin move under the basket.
  • Jan27.JPG
    Mufeed Thomas (#5) is a 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) forward for the Express. He played college basketball at William Paterson University. He averaged 8.6 points per game and eight rebounds during his first season with Newark.
  • Rob Thompson (#24) is a 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) center from Hellertown, Pennsylvania. He attended Saucon Valley High School where he averaged double-double's during his junior and senior seasons. Thompson attended Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut where he put up 165 field goals and 363 rebounds during his four years playing for the Stags. He played with the Express during their inaugural season as their starting center. Thompson averaged 14.5 points per game and 9.9 rebounds with the Express.

Second Season (2006-2007)

Ron Moore

The Express hired Ron Moore, a Brooklyn native and former New York Knick to serve as head coach beginning in November 2006. Moore was named an All City player (NYC) in high school, All American in college and played for the Knicks, the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns in his NBA career. Moore's coaching history began at Hunter College as an assistant coach and his first stint at head coach was from 1997-1999 with Concordia College[disambiguation needed ]. Moore also coached for the Long Island Surf and Westchester Kings (defunct teams of the USBL, Five Towns College and York College before coming to the Express.

At the end of November 2006, Ron Moore resigned from the Express and was replaced by co-owner Marsha Blount, who will serve as interim head coach.[2]


In August, the former Harlem Strong Dog, Obadiah Toppin, who was a 2005 All-Star, came to an open tryout for the Express. Sekani Francis, Jonathan Oliver, Brandon Weldon and Terrance Watkins are four players who the team said they expected to see a lot from at training camp. Another group of four players: Christopher Jean, Justin Carter, Telron Spell and Keimon Thompson were invited back for another workout.


  • Dwayne Howell (#20), a Newark native, will play his second season with the Express in 2006-2007.
  • Tony Key (#22) is a 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) center from Los Angeles. Key attended Centennial High School in Compton.
  • Elijah T. Thorpe (#13) is a 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) for the Express. Thorpe is a Newark Native and went to school at Essex Community College, the home of the Express.
  • Obadiah Toppin (#14) is a 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) forward for the Express. Toppin is from Brooklyn, New York and went to Eastern Oklahoma State College. Toppin played for the Harlem Strong Dogs the previous season, but the team moved to Tampa Bay for the 2006-2007 season.
  • Marvin McCullough (#6) is a 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) guard from New York, New York. He went to Iona College.
  • Daniel O'Neill (#32) is a 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) forward/center from Woodbury, New Jersey. He attended Franklin Pierce College.


Newark lost their home-opener against the Maryland Nighthawks by a score of 118-113 on Saturday, November 4, 2006. The Express bounced back at a home game on November 8 against the expansion team, the Richmond Ballerz, winning 103-94. The game went into double overtime, the second of which in the ABA means the score is reset and the first team to ten wins. Newark aggressively and quickly outscored Richmond in the second overtime by 11-2. At the end of regulation Newark was down by three with seven seconds left, but point guard Tayquan Goode shot a buzzer-beating three point shot to get the team in the first overtime period. This first period by ABA rules lasts three minutes and after that time the score was tied 92-92. Newark lost their third game of the season in Brooklyn to the expansion franchise, the Brooklyn Wonders. The game was played on November 11 and was close throughout the game, but Newark dropped to their second loss on the season by a score of 93-94. Newark lost their next seven games on the season falling to a record of 1-9. They beat the Montreal Matrix on December 22 in Montreal, but lost their next six games, four of which were on the road. Despite a 2-16 record at the end of January, eleven of Newark's losses were by less than ten points including four games lost by one point.[3]

Third Season (2007-08)

The team announced they have changed their name to the Jersey Express and have relocated to Madison in Morris County.[4] They will now be playing at the Baldwin Gymnasium at Drew University.[5]

Jersey Express rosterG
1 United States Mosby, Ahmad 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Ramapo College*
F 20 United States Ayeni, Akayode 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) St. Francis*
G 32 United States Johnson, Derrick 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Delaware
F 31 United States Howell, Dwayne 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Snead State*
G/F 13 United States Thorpe, Elijah 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Essex County Community College*
C 42 United States Charles, Hensley 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) West Virginia State*
G 30 United States Cocozziello, Jan 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Hartwick*
G 11 United States King, John 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) SUNY*
F 23 United States Fowler, Jordan 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) William Paterson*
G 25 United States Wright, Lamar 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Kean*
F 54 United States Eatmon, Ray 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Saint Joseph's
C 21 United States Wright, Ray 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) Arkansas
G 8 United States Winkfield, Reggie 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Morgan State*
F 35 United States Little, Travon 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Keene State*
Head coach
  • United States Casaundra Smith
Assistant coach(es)
  • United States Joseph Amador
Athletic trainer(s)
  • United States Vanessa Carney

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured


  1. ^ [1] ABA Homepage
  2. ^ Express names Marsha Blount head coach, accessed December 4, 2006
  3. ^ [2] Our Sports Central
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ "JERSEY EXPRESS HOME VENUE - DREW UNIVERSITY", American Basketball Association press release dated June 29, 2007. Accessed July 13, 2007.

External links

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