Bryan Gates, former Stampede Head Coach from 2006-09, two-time NBA D-League Coach of the Year and leader of Idaho's championship team from 2007-08, will be in attendance at tonight's Stampede game, the opener for the team's 14th season.
Gates will be recognized on-court before watching the Stampede gallop after another championship - Head Coach Randy Livingston is in his second season and looking to get back to the playoffs after missing last year's post-season despite coming in eighth (the team didn't make the playoffs due to a tie-breaker).
New blood fills the roster, with half the players being 25 years old or younger, while experience permeates the squad. Tony Bobbitt, Seth Tarver and Willie Jenkins return from last year's team, with Jenkins and Tarver having played a combined 99 games as Stampeders in 2010-11.
Returning from past years are Mildon Ambres, who was the NBA D-League Most Improved Player award winner in 2009-10, and Jason Ellis, who played from 2007-09, including his masterful work in the paint on the the team's run to the title in '07-'08.
Tonight's halftime act, Roberto the Magnificent, is one of the nation's most in-demand jugglers performing at professional sporting events all over the world. During the game, fans can enter contests to win a new Ford vehicle, and fans can win an XBox 360 with the "Hulk Hogan's Main Event" video game, or a PlayStation 3 and the "NBA 2K12" video game. One more giveaway that can only be attained tonight is a Taco Bell collector trading card - collect all eight for your trading card collection!
"We're ready to get the season underway," Head Coach Randy Livingston said. "We can't wait for the Treasure Valley to see the team, and I know our front office staff has done a great job to help our game experience, too. It should be a great time. It's the best entertainment a family can have!"