SACRAMENTO KINGS BRINGING G LEAGUE TEAM TO STOCKTON
April 9, 2018
STOCKTON — Lace up your sneakers and get ready to hit the hardwood: The National Basketball Association’s G League is coming to Stockton.
The Sacramento Kings announced Monday their G League minor-league franchise, the Reno Bighorns, will relocate to San Joaquin County and play at the downtown Stockton Arena this fall, pending league approval.
“I’m incredibly excited, I grew up playing basketball and having the G League in Stockton is a huge benefit,” Mayor Michael Tubbs said. “I think it’s telling and it shows that the city is building momentum.”
Moving the Bighorns to Stockton makes more sense logistically considering the team will be 45 minutes away from the Kings’ front offices and Golden 1 Center, and players and officials no longer will have to deal with weather conditions through the Sierra Nevada.
The Bighorns have been based in Reno since their inception in 2008. The league was known as the NBA Development League from 2005 to 2017 and was rebranded as the G League last year after securing a multi-year deal with Gatorade.
Last season, the Kings assigned five players to the club and three members earned NBA call-ups: Reggie Hearn to the Detroit Pistons, David Stockton (son of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton) to the Utah Jazz and Aaron Harrison to the Dallas Mavericks.
Among the notable NBA players to have suited up for the Bighorns are Danny Green, Jeremy Lin, Garrett Temple and Hassan Whiteside.
“Our NBA G League team has been an incredible asset to help prepare players for NBA action, and bringing the team closer to Sacramento will allow us to continue to build on that success and increase efficiency to this valuable development tool,” Kings General Manager Vlade Divac said in a statement. “Kings fans in Stockton will now have an opportunity to see the next generation of NBA players each week.”
A new team name, logo, colors and identity will be unveiled later this spring, and a job fair will be held. The Kings also announced they will join Tubbs for the State of the City event on May 24 and will hold the first Sacramento Kings Community Day in Stockton.
“It is my honor to welcome the Kings organization to Stockton and I look forward to watching NBA G League action at the Stockton Arena,” Tubbs said in a prepared statement. “The Kings have been known for their tremendous impact in the community and we’re excited to have their support as we continue to reinvent Stockton.”
The Stockton City Council will review and vote on the agreement April 17. That vote will allow the team to share the arena with the Stockton Heat hockey team.
Bringing a G League team to play at Stockton Arena means upwards of 30 home games, including playoffs, and will have a large and positive economic impact, said Kendra Clark, general manager of SMG Stockton, which manages the arena.
“I think the team is going to be a great addition along with the Heat, Pacific Tigers and Stockton Ports, it’s just going to make everything stronger ... that means more people coming downtown, eating at restaurants and staying in hotels,” she said. “Bottom line, this is a very good day for Stockton.”
The Stockton franchise will be included as one of 26 teams in the G League and will play in the Pacific Division alongside the Agua Caliente Clippers (Ontario); Northern Arizona Suns (Prescott Valley, Arizona); Santa Cruz Warriors; and South Bay Lakers (El Segundo).
This summer, Kings’ NBA G League players will team up with the parent club rookies and sophomore for the annual NBA Summer League in Las Vegas held in July. Following training camp, the Stockton team will host open tryouts for aspiring players. The franchise will form its roster in October after the NBA G League draft, and the season will begin in early November.
Originally posted on Recordnet.com