AUSTIN, TX (November 21) - The Austin Toros finalized the opening day roster today and will start the season on the road against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday in McAllen. The Toros tip-off their first home game of the 2007-08 season on Saturday, November 24th at 7 p.m. when they play the Bakersfield Jam at the Austin Convention Center.
The Toros will host a double header high school basketball series starting at 3:30p.m. on Saturday with Connally (Pflugerville) taking on Harker Heights (Killeen) and Round Rock versus Bowie (Austin) immediately following.
Pre-game ceremonies include the retiring of jersey number 3 in honor of the late Dennis Johnson, former head coach of the Austin Toros who passed away suddenly last February. The Johnson family will attend and youngest son, Daniel will pay special tribute to his father as part of the ceremony and banner unveiling.
Saturday’s game will be the first home game for the Toros in silver and black since the purchase of the team by the San Antonio Spurs this summer. Fans attending opening night will be the first to see the new court and players in Spurs colors. The Spurs also announced today the assignment of center Ian Mahinmi to the Toros.
“It should be a very special night honoring Coach Johnson and watching the high school rivalries before our game,” said Toros head coach Quin Snyder. “We are looking forward to the start of the season. We’ve been working hard in training camp and are ready to put it into action on the court.”
The Toros 2007 opening day roster includes:
Anthony Fuqua 24 6'11 225 C Texas-San Antonio Carldwell "Squeeky" Johnson 10 5'10 180 G UAB Daryl "Majic" Dorsey 4 6'0 170 G Southern Indiana Eric Dawson* 50 6'9 235 F Midwestern State Justin Bowen 18 6'7 210 F Illinois-Chicago Keith Langford 15 6'4 215 G Kansas Kenton Paulino 13 6'1 185 G Texas Kevin Pittsnogle 34 6'11 240 F West Virginia Patrick Fields* 21 6'6 210 G Baylor Timothy Bush* 22 6'6 245 F Baylor Ian Mahinmi** 32 6'11 230 C France *Rookie **Assigned from San Antonio Spurs
Coach Snyder added, “I believe that our franchise truly has a commitment to the development of these young athletes on the court and off. I look forward to witnessing this process unfold given the average age of our players is pretty young. I think fans can look forward to seeing the future of the Spurs in Ian Mahinmi, in addition to the development of some really good athletes.”
The NBA Development League is the NBA's official minor league, and the first-ever basketball league with direct affiliations to NBA teams. Now in its seventh season the D-League’s goals are to provide affordable, NBA-caliber entertainment to fans of its 14 teams, as well as continue to develop players, coaches, referees and front-office personnel for the NBA.
As the single source for in-season player "call-ups" to the NBA, fans of the D-League enjoy the highest caliber of basketball played outside the NBA. In fact, former D-League players represented 10 percent of NBA players on 2007-08 opening day rosters, numbering 44 in total. In addition, the D-League has produced 25 percent of current NBA referees and 16 current NBA coaches, including head coach Sam Vincent with the Charlotte Bobcats.
The D-League is an innovative and rapidly growing sports property that also serves as an experimental testing ground for new initiatives of the NBA and its teams, provides continuing education and professional development resources for its players, and is committed to serving its local communities through D-LEAGUE CARES and grassroots efforts.
For Toros season and group ticket information, call the Toros office at (512) 236-8333 or visit austintoros.com.