BIGHORNS EXPERIENCE SUCCESS UNDER FIRST YEAR OF NEW, LOCAL OWNERSHIP
April 10, 2012
RENO, NEV.— During the Reno Bighorns first three seasons, Herb Santos, Jr. and Stephen Adams were loyal season ticket holders and experienced the great product the Bighorns offered first hand. When the opportunity to purchase the team arose, both men were eager to get involved. On August 31st, 2011 the NBA Development League announced that the local attorney and businessman, partnered with Stephen’s brother Jeffrey, had purchased the Reno Bighorns, making the team locally owned for the first time in its history. With less than three months before opening night they had a great deal to get done, including hiring the first head coach under their watch. On September 29th, 2011 the owners introduced 12-year-NBA-veteran Paul Mokeski as the Bighorns new head coach. After a shortened offseason under the new ownership, Santos, Jr. thinks this season has been successful.
“I am very pleased with all we were able to accomplish this season on and off the court with only a short time between our group purchasing the team and the season starting,” Managing Partner Santos, Jr. said. “We have two players currently on NBA rosters and a third, Andre Emmett, who played with the New Jersey Nets earlier this season.”
The Bighorns had three Gatorade Call-Ups this season. Andre Emmett with the New Jersey Nets, Bobby Simmons with the Los Angeles Clippers, and most recently, Blake Ahearn, who will be joining the Utah Jazz this week. Other basketball related accomplishments this season for the team include:
• Top two leading scorers for players who played 30 or more games this season; Blake Ahearn (23.8) and Andre Emmett (23.1).
• Five NBA player assignments from three players; the Sacramento Kings assigned Tyler Honeycutt and Hassan Whiteside one time each and the Memphis Grizzlies assigned Josh Selby a total of three times this season.
• Blake Ahearn set an NBA Development League record and surpassed the NBA record with 110 consecutive free throws made.
• Blake Ahearn became the NBA Development League’s all-time leading scorer, with a total of 3,804 points.
• Blake Ahearn and Andre Emmett competed in the 2012 NBA Development League All-Star game held during All-Star weekend in Orlando.
“The ownership made it clear that they wanted to see growth in both fan support of the Bighorns and Bighorns support in the community, and we have had success in those areas,” said Vice President Michael Reynolds. “We are already six months ahead of last year in regards to season ticket sales for the 2012 – 2013 season.” The Bighorns business-related accomplishments include:
• Finished the year with a 6.2 percent increase in attendance.
• Increased community appearances to 119 (currently) from 34 during the 2010 – 2011 season. Community appearances include players, coaches, Bruno the mascot, the Bighorns Dance Team and front office staff.
• Increased sponsorships by 235% year over year.
“Steve, Jeff and I look at this offseason as our chance to make a true impact on the Bighorns organization. We were able to experience success this season in many areas,” Santos, Jr. said. “But with a full offseason as owners we look forward to greater success in the 2012 – 2013 season.”
Reno Bighorns season tickets for the 2012-13 season are on sale today. Fans can become part of the Bighorns family with packages starting at $99. For more information, call the Bighorns front office at 775-284-2NBA or visit RenoBighorns.com.