CLEVELAND, April 1, 2011— Many of the NBA’s top prospects can be seen on national television Saturday night when the Erie BayHawks, the NBA Development League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, host the Maine Red Claws at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on VERSUS at 11 p.m. ET.
Erie (31-18) is led by forward Ivan Johnson, whose 22.7 points per game ranks second in the league. Johnson scored 46 points when Erie played at Maine on Jan. 14, which ranks as the second-highest individual scoring game in the NBA D-League this season. The BayHawks also feature center Solomon Alabi (7.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg), on assignment from the Toronto Raptors, and forward Tasmin Mitchell (16.2 ppg), who was in the Cavaliers’ training camp this season.
Affiliated with the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats, Maine (18-31) is coached by Austin Ainge, son of Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge. The Red Claws feature the NBA D-League’s top-scoring rookie, forward DeShawn Sims out of Michigan, whose 20.1 points per game ranks third in the league. Also leading the Red Claws are guard Jamar Smith (13.7 ppg, 5.0 apg) and forward Stephane Lasme, who rejoined the team in early March after being out all season with a foot injury. Further, Maine features forward Magnum Rolle (14.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg), who was drafted by Oklahoma City in the second round (51st overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft.
Currently about 20 percent of NBA players have NBA D-League experience, including Cleveland’s Christian Eyenga, Alonzo Gee, Ryan Hollins, Samardo Samuels and Ramon Sessions. This season, a record 25 NBA teams have assigned players to their NBA D-League affiliates, including the Cavs, who assigned both Eyenga and Samuels to the BayHawks this season. Further, 27 of the 60 2010 NBA Draft selections have played in the NBA D-League in 2010-11.
VERSUS’ Complete Regular-Season NBA D-League Schedule (subject to change):
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.