31 Mar NBA Development League Team Comes To Springfield, Massachusetts
At the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, NBA Development League President Dan Reed announced that Springfield, MA has been awarded a team to begin play in the 2009-10 season. Joining Maine as the league’s first two teams in New England, Springfield will play its home games at the MassMutual Center.
The franchise’s ownership group is led by Mike Savit, who is the Managing General Partner of the HWS Group. Savit and Reed spoke both at the conference and at a pre-event, during which the team sold nearly 250 season tickets.
“As the NBA D-League continues to move east, we’re very excited to bring a team to a place that not only has rich basketball history, but also boasts an impressive ownership group, strong civic leadership and community support,” Reed said. “We’re thrilled to welcome such a well-respected and experienced operator in Mike Savit to our ownership ranks and look forward to not only bringing our unique brand of affordable, family-friendly and NBA-caliber basketball to Springfield, but becoming a vital part of the greater Springfield community.”
Featured guests included University of Massachusetts basketball coach Derek Kellogg , Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Deputy Director and General Counsel of the Department of Business Development George Ramirez and the boys and girls basketball teams from Springfield Cathedral High School, which Kellogg attended. Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority James E. Rooney served as the master of ceremonies.
“Being a native of Springfield and fortunately the coach at UMass … it’s great to see the (NBA D-League) finally come to Springfield to solidify its roots in Basketball City USA,” said Kellogg , who had his wedding reception at center court at the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Springfield is the one city in the world that has the (Basketball) Hall of Fame and now we’re beginning to take advantage of that.”
Today’s announcement represents a homecoming for basketball, which was invented here by Dr. James Naismith in 1891.
“Today is an exciting day for Springfield,” Savit said. “I’m thrilled to be a part of the group that brought professional basketball back to the game’s birthplace and I can’t wait to contribute to this city’s great basketball history and become part of the fabric of the community.”
Springfield’s roster will begin taking shape with the NBA D-League draft, which typically is conducted in early November. The team in Springfield will be affiliated with two NBA parent clubs, which will have the ability to assign first- and second-year players to the NBA D-League a maximum of three times per season.