Toros Weekend Games Honor Late Coach Johnson and Austin Community Members

AUSTIN, TX (February 19) – The Austin Toros will host Live Music Friday and Heritage Night on Saturday during a set of back-to-back home games at the Austin Convention Center against the Iowa Energy and Dakota Wizards.

Local neo soul artist Tje Austin will perform as part of a tribute to the late Dennis Johnson, NBA great and former head coach of the Toros who passed away last February 22, 2007. Johnson was recently announced as a 2008 finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Expressions Association, a choir from Texas State University, will perform pre-game on Friday against the Iowa Energy. The Toros will also give away a set of collectable team trading cards to the first 500 youth ages 14 and under attending the game.

Heritage Night on Saturday, Feb. 23 will celebrate the rich and unique culture of African Americans along with highlighting individual achievement in the Austin community. Austin ISD Teacher of the Year Mike Perkins, poet Faylita Hicks and the Rev. Gaylon Clark will be honored in a special half-time presentation. Heritage Night will also include a performance by the New Generation Steppers.

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 like the live web-streaming of all games available free to fans at d-league.com. The League also 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.