NBA Development League Expands To Four Cities

NEW YORK, April 6 – The NBA Development League (D-League) has awarded expansion teams to four cities for the 2006-07 season, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced today. The teams, all previously associated with the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), are located in Bismarck, N.D., Boise, Idaho, Broomfield, Colo., and Sioux Falls, S.D.

“NBA teams have embraced the NBA Development League as a place to give their young roster players the opportunity to improve and as a source for game-tested talent in case of injury,” said Stern. “As a result, more investors are seeking to bring the D-League to their communities. We look forward to growing the league through ownership that is committed to the community, engaged with fans and passionate about the game. Our newest teams share those values with us and our vision of creating family entertainment at affordable prices.

“Our minor league has a proven track record of developing talent both on and off the court, with more than 100 players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office personnel moving to NBA teams or the league office, and we look for that trend to continue.”

The Dakota Wizards, Idaho Stampede, Colorado 14ers and Sioux Falls Skyforce, along with the previously announced expansion Bakersfield Jam (Calif.), join the Albuquerque Thunderbirds (N.M.), Arkansas RimRockers (Little Rock), Austin Toros (Texas), Fayetteville Patriots (N.C.), Florida Flame (Ft. Myers), Fort Worth Flyers (Texas), Roanoke Dazzle (Va.) and Tulsa 66ers (Okla.).

The Dakota Wizards are owned by Steve McCormick, who is president of McCormick Incorporated, vice president of McCormick Construction Company and executive vice president of Northern Improvement Company. The Wizards have competed for 11 years in the CBA and the International Basketball League.

With Bill Ilett serving as managing investor for a group of 10 local owners, ICBA, LLC owns and operates the Idaho Stampede. The Stampede began play in the CBA in 1997 and has advanced to the league playoffs five times, including the CBA championship game in 2003-04.

The Colorado 14ers are owned by Timothy D. Wiens and John Frew and operated by Broomfield Hoops, LLC. Wiens is owner and manager of Wiens Enterprise, LLLP, a private investment company. Chairman and CEO of FirsTier Bank in Colorado, Wiens is also an active equity investor, real estate developer, and business operator across several industries. Frew owns Frew Management Group, Inc., which is engaged in the following entities: Wiens Development Group, LLC; Wiens Frew Management Group, LLC; Broomfield Ice, LLC; and Station Automotive, LLC.

D. Greg Heineman serves as the owner of the Sioux Falls Skyforce alongside his son Mike. Heineman also serves as president of Williams Insurance. His son oversees day-to-day operations of the team, with involvement in corporate sponsorships, game-day entertainment and marketing aspects. The Skyforce just completed its 17th season of minor league basketball.

“These ownership groups possess the talent and experience to ensure a successful basketball product both on and off the floor. We are excited by the prospect that we can now to tap into the keen insight they offer as we successfully move the D-League forward,” NBA D-League President Phil Evans said. “Assets you seek when deciding to grow a league are local ownership groups with both business and basketball acumen, a receptive market and favorable arena deals. These four teams meet that criteria and then some.”