The Derby Trailblazers are hoping to bring high-level basketball back to the city, says head coach Matt Shaw.
Derby played in the British Basketball League (BBL) for 15 years until 2002, with the club previously coached by Nick Nurse – the American who led the Toronto Raptors to the 2019 NBA title.
The Trailblazers play in the second tier, but there is no promotion and relegation between competitions.
“We’ve seen that Derby is a city that can support a BBL team,” Shaw said.
“It’s definitely a desire. We always want to improve, we always want to improve as a club and reaching that top league would be phenomenal.”
Derby are once again among the top teams in the National Basketball League and won silverware last season by lifting the L Lynch Trophy.
They also reached the BBL Trophy quarter-finals, taking on top-flight side Bristol Flyers on home soil.
The game at the Clarence Wiggins Sports Center – a school venue – brought together hundreds of people and convinced Trailblazers bosses to try and create their own permanent home to bring Derby back to the BBL.
Derby’s lack of a suitable television set-up when they played as Storm in the BBL is what caused them to withdraw of this competition two decades ago.
With 350 players – across all divisions and age groups – on their books and 200 people on a waiting list to join, the need for a home is more than just an attempt to restore basketball- professional ball in the city.
Having players on the field right now means the Trailblazers have different teams, in different age groups and divisions, training at several different sites throughout the week.
“Too many people wanting to play basketball is a big problem,” Shaw told BBC East Midlands Today.
“But it’s quite frustrating that so many people want to play basketball, but we just can’t accommodate everyone.
“We need more space on the pitch, our own facility that we can call home and where we can play on a weekly basis and put everyone in.”
Trailblazers chairman David Woodyatt said the club was in talks with the local council, as well as other unnamed bodies about building a venue.
He also said there was local interest in financially supporting a future bid to join the BBL.
“I really believe the people of Derby want to put things back in Derby,” Woodyatt said.
“We’ve reached out to Derby businessmen and it’s really gaining momentum now.”