As part of our 15th anniversary of basketball in the Treasure Valley, the Idaho Stampede will reveal 15 new pieces of entertainment for the 2012-13 season! Make sure to check back here every week to see what else is coming your way!
Under the team's new agreement with the Blazers, the NBA club runs the Stampede's basketball operations, including the hiring, training and communication with Stampede coaches Mike Peck, Barry Rohrssen and Scott Williams, along with Director of Basketball Operations Ed Flory.
The Stampede announced the relationship in the summer of 2012, as the teams came together for a three-year partnership to help the Stampede become a more viable team on the court. The front office of both teams should see advantages, as well, as two of the Pacific Northwest's most successful sports franchises have come together for the good of the sport.
Stampede players are expected to begin training camp with the Stampede in Portland at the Blazers' practice facility, under the tutelage of Stampede and Blazers coaches and basketball operations staffers.
Chen Hong: The Juggling Princess
Uni-Hoops: Bounce Up!
But even though sports monopolized his extra-curriculars, it wasn’t until after he graduated from college with his MBA that Whit really took a good look at the direction of his career - and turned off the paved road of mainstream “business success” and down the dusty, untraveled road of aspiration, his rusty unicycle fueled only with ambition.
And from finance analyst by day to halftime practicing by night, Whit combined his basketball talents with his unicycle skills - and a star was born.
Right down to his prescription goggles, Whit’s funky, white-boy basketball style entertains audiences across the country and his surprising basketball talents wow people across the globe.
His presentations, “Just Bounce,” combine Whit’s quirky personality, business sense, and personal experiences to teach students how to "bounce back" from setbacks and "bounce out" of standard-compromising situations so they can "bounce up" to reach their high goals, and with feel-good music and did-you-see-that?! exclamations, your audience will love UniHoops!
Jacob D'Eustachio: Eccentric Juggler
Following his return to New York, Jacob had the opportunity to study with master juggler, Kris Kremo. In 2008, Jacob moved to Canada to attend the prestigious École de Cirque de Québec, where he studied for three years. Immediately following his graduation, Jacob was hired by renowned clown, Bello Nock, to be one of only 6 artists to appear in the debut of the "Bello Nock Circus". Jacob has subsequently juggled with the Dallas and Virginia Symphony Orchestras as part of the show Cirque Musica and, in April 2012, he made his Asian debut performing over one hundred and fifty shows at India's largest beach resort.
When not juggling, Jacob can be seen performing a three person show entitled "Aga-Boom" with the two original clowns from Cirque du Soleil's "O". Jacob’s lanky legs, elastic joints, and endearing character are the perfect counterpoint for his astonishing skills.
Eccentric dance and incredible juggling come together in Jacob’s goofy, lovable, jaw-dropping new act. A long time student of circus legend, Kris Kremo, Jacob’s performance pays homage to signature hat tricks and ball juggling, but adds in thrilling technical bounce juggling with up to 7 balls.
Jacob’s lanky legs, elastic joints, and endearing character are the perfect counterpoint for his astonishing skills.
The Mystic Cubed: Beauty and Power
And certainly all athletes would agree that the halftime act on Saturday, February 2 this season holds all of those abilities, too.
Jean-François a.k.a. The Mystic Cubed a virtuoso who can turn a simple cube into an object of beauty and power, he effortlessly turns and spins the cube while nonchalantly performing a gravity-defying ballet of aerial maneuvers. He is a former cast member of the Cirque Du Soleil Las Vegas Production of “Mystere” and now he is one of the most popular independent variety acts in the world.
A former gymnast, and active member of the hand-to-hand balancing duo Acrobazia, the Mystic Cubed offers an impressive act, handling with grace an agility a cube that is said to be the heaviest to have ever been used in a Mystic Cube act. The Mystic Cubed gives an eloquent demonstration of his knowledge, and of his incredible physical force, balance and strength.
The Amazing Jason Xiao: Rolla Bolla
Others take it much, much further.
The Amazing Jason Xiao will come to Boise, Idaho for halftime of the Idaho Stampede's contest on January 12 to perform his incredible hat-flipping act.
Xiao gets himself on the board and gains his balance. After that, he places small bowls on one end of the board. By using fantastic weight-shifting maneuvers, Xiao flips the bowl up in the air so that it lands softly on his head.
It will be an act that cannot be believed until it is seen.
Born into a Circus family in China, both of Jason's parents were coaches and performers. Jason started performing and training professionally with Liao Ning Circus at age 8. Over the years he has trained extensively in Acrobatics (tumbling), Handbalancing, Dancing, Bungee, Tissue, Chinese Pole, Hat Juggling, and Clowning.
His experience includes time with the Cirque du Soleil Dralion Tour as an acrobat from 2003 to 2010; Flag Circus, China, again as an acrobat from 2000 to 2003; Liao Ning Circus, China on their Japanese tour as an Acrobat from 1999 to 2000; Big Apple Circus, on a USA Tour as an acrobat from 1998 to 1999; and Liao Ning Circus in China as an acrobat from 1990 to 1998.
Come out to the Idaho Stampede-Reno Bighorns game on January 12 to see Xiao perform his amazing tricks at halftime.
The Marionette: "Keep Dreaming, Keep Hoping, Take Action"
The words of the world-renowned film-turned-stage show "The Marionette" have become etched in the minds of children, and parents like, all over the world. Now, that show comes to Boise to perform at halftime of the Idaho Stampede game played on December 26, 2012.
Living by the words, "Keep dreaming, keep hoping, take action," Nicolas came to fulfill a dream that almost never happened.
From an early age, Nicolas J., the star and co-creator of the concept, knew that his calling was to be involved in the theater. Born in Soviet Georgia, young Nicolas demonstrated a passion for acting, dancing and stepping into the spotlight whenever possible. At just 16 years of age he walked away from his country and family to follow his dream of studying with his hero, Marcel Marceau. With no money and only his talent to survive on he performed on the streets to earn enough money for the audition and entrance exams. His dream came true, after an audition in front of the greatest mime in the world, he was not only accepted, but was given a 100 percent scholarship. It is easy to see how Nicolas became noticed by the Idaho Stampede, a haven and playground for those striving to reach their dream through hard-work and determination.
He went on to become known as the prized student of Marcel Marceau. "The Marionette" was such a huge success with audiences of all ages and all cultures that Nicolas decided to put it on film so he could share it with rest of the world.
After the movie and accompanying stage show have seen success world-wide, it is the lessons of his early days in Germany and Paris that Nicolas calls upon.
"We need the art, the theater, the movies," he says. "We need the dreams."
And the court of the Idaho Stampede will see those dreams become reality, both with the players and coaches, but the Marionette, as well.
Blazers and Stampede: Pacific northwest powers combine
The Idaho Stampede and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers announced earlier this summer that the two teams have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2012-13 season. The Trail Blazers will be the Stampede’s sole NBA affiliate and will have control over the team’s basketball operations.
In a model similar to other minor leagues, this partnership, also referred to as the “hybrid affiliation,” allows for NBA teams to secure control over and cover the expenses related to the basketball operations of an NBA D-League team, while partnering with existing ownership, which maintains responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations.
“The partnership with Portland is another large step toward the Idaho Stampede becoming more involved with the NBA and one of its premier teams in the Trail Blazers,” said Stampede Managing Investor Bill Ilett. “It will add to the experience on and off the court for our community and basketball fans throughout the Treasure Valley.”
The arrangement allows the Trail Blazers to assume full control over all coaching and player personnel decisions to further enhance the player development process.
“This investment in the development of our young players will pay dividends on the court and we’re excited about working with the Stampede,” said Trail Blazers President Larry Miller. “The hybrid partnership is closer in structure to minor league baseball with a parent club and affiliate relationship, so we feel this is an arrangement that will help us utilize the D-League system more effectively.”
The Trail Blazers become the fourth NBA team to form a hybrid partnership with a D-League team, joining Houston, Brooklyn and New York. Six other NBA teams – San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Golden State, Cleveland, Dallas and the L.A. Lakers – own and operate their own D-League clubs.
“In establishing this exciting relationship with the Idaho Stampede, the Trail Blazers become the record 10th NBA team to acquire an exclusive ‘one-to-one’ relationship with their NBA Development League affiliate next season,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. “Having one-third of NBA teams invested in their NBA D-League affiliates is a strong testament to our league’s ability to help NBA teams find and develop top talent.”
The Trail Blazers have been affiliated with the Boise-based Stampede since 2007, sharing affiliation last season with Utah and Denver.
Remote Kontrol:They've Got Talent
These three robotic-styled dancers have astounded audiences of all ages, including the TV Show "America's Got Talent" in 2009.
This year, you can see them perform at halftime of the Idaho Stampede's first home game of the 2012-13 season on December 7, 2012 at CenturyLink Arena in downtown Boise. iGlide, Chibi and Nonstop will take the court where so many performers have been, but they may bring the house down like no other!
iGlide, considered a master "groovologist" was born in YongSan, Korea and raised in Germany, as well as the USA. As he studied the dances of Michael Jackson and N*Sync, iGlide, began training in Germany in jazz and hip-hop techniques. After time in France, iGlide learned Latin, West African, Middle Eastern, Native American, Ball Room and Hawaiian Hula, as well as standards like ballet, jazz, tap, modern and lyrical dance styles. iGlide's diversity is what separates him from the crowd and brings true excitement to Remote Kontrol. But don't forget about the other two members!
Chibi grew up an Air Force brat, growing up in Japan, Florida and Germany and was born with a severe case of scoliosis and Klippel-Feil syndrome, which featured fusion of certain vertebrae. Chibi's drive, determination and desire to dance have led him to Remote Kontrol, where he now stars.
Born in Englewood, Calif., and raised in Indianapolis, Nonstop originally wanted to become an architect. Eventually, Nonstop learned from west coast popping crews, Japanese dancers, and African music. Like his partners, Nonstop has strong connections to the military - in 1999, he enlisted in the United States Navy and spent four years as a navigator on the USS Constellation, touring Hawaii, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and the Gulf Region. During his service years, Nonstop realized that his love of dance was where his life would go - now, he uses the flow of nature and matter to direct how he dances.