2007 D-League Martin Luther King, Jr. Showcase Awarded To Sioux Falls

GREENVILLE, S.C., July 27 – In its inaugural NBA Development League season the Sioux Falls Skyforce has been awarded the opportunity to host the Third Annual NBA D-League Martin Luther King, Jr. Showcase. The event will be held at the Sioux Falls Arena January 15-17, 2007. The Showcase also honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through various community events and in-arena celebrations.

"It really is a testament to our staff, our city and our fans to be able to host this event in our first season in the D-League," Sioux Falls co-owner Mike Heineman said. "We are excited to show the entire NBA and D-League family that Sioux Falls is a great basketball city."

Conceived by the D-League NBA Panel prior to the 2004-05 season, the Showcase provides exposure for D-League players and coaches to NBA general managers, player personnel executives and scouts on three consecutive days at one location. The D-League NBA Panel consists of basketball operations executives and scouts from various NBA teams, as well as members of the NBA and D-League Basketball Operations staffs. The Panel is charged with continually evaluating the D-League’s progress toward meeting the needs of the NBA’s 30 teams.

With the expansion of the D-League to 12 teams this season, the 2007 MLK Showcase will increase from eight to 12 games, with four games to be played each day. Every game in the Showcase will be aired by NBA TV.

Charlotte Bobcats guard Matt Carroll and Houston Rockets forward Chuck Hayes are two examples of several players that have used the Showcase as a springboard to a spot on an NBA roster. After pouring in 11 field goals in a game during the 2005 event in Columbus, Ga., Carroll earned a GATORADE Call-Up to the Bobcats a short time later. Hayes averaged 11.0 rebounds in the 2006 Showcase in Fayetteville, N.C. in front of more than 60 NBA scouts and was signed by the Rockets two days later.

“The Showcase has become a premier destination for every NBA team to get a concentrated look at the top basketball talent in the world not already playing in the NBA,” D-League Sr. Director of Basketball Operations Chris Alpert said. “Not only do the players get an up-close look in a setting where every possession counts, but the Showcase is also an opportunity for NBA Basketball Operations to evaluate referees in person.”

With the D-League’s mission to provide continuing education, as well as personal and career development assistance to players designed to prepare them for life during and after their basketball careers, the Showcase also affords an opportunity for league-wide Life Skills and Career Counseling sessions. These sessions supplement monthly workshops that are conducted with each D-League team throughout the season.

"The MLK Showcase enables the D-League to provide its players with a unique array of diverse professional development sessions to further enhance the personal and professional lives of each of our athletes," D-League Director of Player Development Kevin Carr said.

Game times for the 2007 MLK Showcase will be announced in the near future. The 2006-07 NBA D-League regular season opens with five games on November 24.