MINNESOTA’S NBA D-LEAGUE AFFILIATE SIOUX FALLS ON VERSUS
Many of the NBA’s top prospects can be seen on national television on Saturday night when the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat, hosts the Reno Bighorns at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on VERSUS at 10 p.m. CT.
Sioux Falls (10-35) is led by forward Patrick Ewing Jr., the former Georgetown standout, who ranks among the league leaders in scoring (17.7 ppg, 9th) and rebounding (9.4 rpg, 3rd). The Skyforce also features forward Raymond Sykes, the former Clemson star, who averages 13.2 points and 6.1 rebounds, while guard David Bailey, Sioux Falls’ all-time leading scorer, contributes 11.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.
Affiliated with the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, Reno (29-16) is led by Golden State guard Jeremy Lin, who is on his third assignment from the Warriors. In 18 games (10 starts) with the Bighorns, Lin is averaging 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals. Reno is coached by Eric Musselman, the son of the late Bill Musselman who was the first coach in Timberwolves history. Reno also features forward Bobby Simmons, who has appeared in 438 career NBA games with five teams, averaging 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds. Center Patrick O’Bryant, the Warriors’ first-round (ninth overall) selection in the 2006 NBA Draft and Blaine, Minn. native, averages 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Bighorns. Forward Marcus Landry, the former Wisconsin star who played with the Celtics and Knicks last season, averages 17.0 points, while Salim Stoudamire, who played three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks (2005-08), scores 9.5 points per game.
Currently about 20 percent of NBA players have NBA D-League experience, including Minnesota’s Jonny Flynn and Anthony Tolliver. This season, a record 25 NBA teams have assigned players to their NBA D-League affiliates, including the Timberwolves, who assigned Flynn twice this season for rehabilitation. Further, 25 of the 60 2010 NBA Draft selections have played in the NBA D-League in 2010-11.
The NBA D-League and its teams and players will host a variety of greening events in a collaborative effort to generate awareness for protecting the environment as part of NBA D-League Green Week 2011, which will tip off March 26 and run through April 2. adidas, the league’s official outfitter, will outfit all players with 100 percent organic cotton shooting shirts in support of Green Week.
VERSUS’ Complete Regular-Season NBA D-League Schedule (subject to change):
March 26 Reno Bighorns at Sioux Falls Skyforce
April 2 Maine Red Claws at Erie BayHawks
*VERSUS will announce its postseason schedule when information becomes available. For complete schedule information, visit www.VERSUS.com.
VERSUS prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 75 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Bull Riders (PBR). VERSUS also airs NASCAR, NBA, UFC, college football and college basketball programming. The network is home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else, including The T.Ocho Show. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.
NBA Development League
> The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league. Featuring 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA franchises, the NBA D-League is a proven developer of talent: 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season boasted NBA D-League experience, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front-office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the league’s 10th season, fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA FUTURECAST, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.
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