2007-08 season is ten days from tip-off; the countdown has begun

BOISE, Idaho (November 14, 2007) – Ten days from the tip-off of the 2007-08 Idaho Stampede’s 10th anniversary season, idahostampede.com is excited to provide a list of the top ten reasons to be excited about the upcoming season.

1. Allocated Players – The Stampede have two of the most accomplished allocation players this side of the NBA in Boise State Hall of Fame inductee Roberto Bergersen, and Bishop Kelly High School and Gonzaga graduate Cory Violette.

2. Returning Players – The Stampede return probably one of the strongest lineups of returning players in the league, led by 2006-07 NBA Development League MVP Randy Livingston. Livingston led the entire league in assists, dishing out 10.6 per game, and was seventh in steals at 1.6 per game.

Also returning to the Stampede is center Lance Allred, who didn’t see much playing time during the early half of the season, but finished strong when he got the opportunity. Over the last two months of the season, Allred averaged 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. His play down the stretch earned him an opportunity in Boston during the Celtics training camp earlier this fall. His story is even more compelling when you realize that Allred is hearing impaired.

Ricky Sanchez returns to Idaho for the third straight season. The 20 year old seven-footer has a sweet stroke from beyond the three-point arc and has improved in all facets of the game since entering professional basketball at the age of 18. He’s also put on more muscle mass, which will allow him to be more aggressive going to the basket, grab more rebounds and on the defensive end, which I’m sure is what the Philadelphia 76ers (who own his NBA rights) are looking at him to improve upon. Sanchez averaged 11.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game last season, with 21 starts out of 50 games.

3. Halftimes and Promotions – The Stampede will once again unveil a world-class list of halftime acts and promotions that will surely please every fan. From the Bucket Boys on Opening Night, to Quick Change, to XDB Dunk on the regular season finale, you’re sure to be off your seat as we highlight some of the best acts to come out of NBA arenas. Also, as part of our 10th anniversary season, we will be doing lots of promotions and give-a-way items that will surely be memorable take home items for all ages. Check out idahostampede.com for more information about upcoming events and promotions.

4. Stampede Community Foundation – Through the efforts of some of the Stampede’s great corporate partners, the Idaho Stampede Community Foundation has a slate full of activities and initiatives this season that will benefit all of us here in the Treasure Valley. The Micron Math program will provide 7th graders a fun way to learn and understand math, the Get Fit! with St. Luke’s program provides great incentives for kids to eat healthy and exercise, the Bank of the Cascades ‘Swishes for Wishes’ program will donate $10 from every three-point basket made this season to the Make A Wish Foundation of Idaho, and much, much more. The Stampede care about our community, and it shows!

5. Draft Picks – Idaho had one of the strongest drafts in the early rounds this year, grabbing rookie guard Jamaal Tatum with the fourth pick in the first round. The former Southern Illinois Saluki finished his college career averaging 15.2 points and 2.4 assists per game in his senior season.

With their second round selection, the Stampede grabbed rookie swingman Brent Petway out of Michigan. The high flying forward was released from the Portland Trail Blazers training camp earlier this fall. He finished second in the 2007 College Slam Dunk contest during the Final Four.

6. 2008 NBA D-League Showcase – As the host city for the Showcase, Boise and the Treasure Valley will get to see all 14 D-League teams play twice over one week, from January 14-17, in front of NBA executives and international scouts. For the basketball junkie, this is not an event that fans will want to miss. All 14 games will be televised live on NBATV and will showcase Idaho and the Treasure Valley to the world.

7. Coach Gates’ return – After one of the best seasons in franchise history, the Stampede will have Coach Bryan Gates again on the bench this season. The 2006-07 NBA D-League Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year will look to continue his winning ways, as he is averaging a .660 winning percentage as a head coach in Idaho. Idaho started sluggishly last season, but finished tied for the best record in the league with Dakota at 33-17, and winning the Western Division title.

8. Defense of the Western Division – Speaking of titles, Idaho will look at defending their regular season crown this year. The Stampede will have a bit of a target on their back with all of the awards and hardware they received last season, with league MVP, league Coach of the Year, two All-Stars, two All D-League honors and the Western Division crown. The Western Division championship banner will be unveiled at Opening Night this season, which is November 30 versus defending NBA D-League champion Dakota Wizards.

9. NBA Player Assignments – Idaho had two NBA player assignments this past season, with Mouhamed Sene from the Seattle SuperSonics and C.J. Miles from the Utah Jazz. Already this year, there have been five NBA assignments throughout the league, and the regular season has not even tipped off!

10. NBA D-League Affiliate Nights – The Stampede are planning two Affiliate Nights this season, on January 4 (SuperSonics Affiliate Night) and January 12 (Trail Blazers Affiliate Night). Each of these nights will highlight our NBA affiliations and will bring in exciting entertainment aspects from each of the northwest NBA teams. Don’t miss either night!

About the Idaho Stampede
The Idaho Stampede tip-off their 10th Anniversary season, and second in the NBA Development League, in November. Season tickets for the reigning Western Division Champions during the 2007-08 season start at only $195 per seat, or just over five dollars per game. During the 2006-07 season, the Stampede finished tied for the best regular season record in the league (33-17), was home of the NBA D-League MVP (Randy Livingston) and Coach of the Year (Bryan Gates).

In addition to all of the 10th Anniversary season promotions, Boise will be the host city for the 2008 NBA D-League Showcase. The Showcase is a four-day basketball extravaganza in January, where all of the teams in the NBA D-League will compete at Qwest Arena in front of NBA general managers and scouts. Don’t miss out on any of the action, call (208) 388-4667 today for more information.

About the NBA Development League
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.