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Bighorns, RSCVA to host NBA D-League Showcase
by Garrett Valenzuela
May 31, 2012 | 2049 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Garrett Lauf and Jacob Ross, 7th graders at Mendive Middle School in Sparks, high five Bruno the Reno Bighorns’ mascot Wednesday morning at the local school. Bruno, along with D-League officials, the head coach and team owner Herb Santos Jr. were on hand to announce that the Bighorns will again host the annual D-League Showcase in January.
SPARKS — Reno Bighorns owner and managing partner Herb Santos Jr. received a loud applause Wednesday from about 200 Lou Mendive Middle School students when he texted New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin during a press conference announcing plans for the 2013 National Basketball Association Development League Showcase event returning to Reno.

The NBA D-League Showcase brings NBA coaches, scouts and prospects together for a 16-team, four-day experience in January that will be some of the best and most exciting basketball played in the area, according to NBA D-League President Dan Reed.

“This is the American Idol of basketball,” Reed said. “After last year’s showcase, the Reno Bighorns really made it an easy decision to come back.”

The return of the showcase marks the first time the D-League Showcase has returned to a city in consecutive years. Reed cited Reno as an ideal location to hold such an event because of the proximity to hotels, restaurants and basketball facilities which he said made scouts and coaches enjoy their stay.

“About 90 percent of people who visit Reno and leave eventually come back,” said Christopher Baum, president and CEO of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA). “The event brings in more than $1 million in one week, so it is a win-win on many levels.” In addition to booking 1,200 hotel rooms for the duration of the event, Baum said the exposure of the community to those who follow basketball very closely helps the city’s “overall push” to bring in more sports and sporting events.

“It really shows what our community has to offer,” Santos Jr. said. “Our community is the kind you can’t find in other places and this is a chance for every one to realize that.”

The NBA D-League and the RSCVA agreed to a partnership earlier this year that allows the Reno Bighorns’ staff to manage the event with the help of the RSCVA.

“Dan Reed has been great to work to work with and since we had already worked together, much of the road work had already been done,” Santos Jr. said. “The RSCVA and the Bighorns have a great opportunity to make this a very successful event.”

Reno Bighorns head coach Paul Mokeski spoke during the press conference about his team’s home-court advantage during the four days.

“It’s a big advantage for us to be able to play and watch from home. Last year three Bighorns players were called up to NBA teams and two of them made playoff rosters,” he said.

More than 20 players who participated in the 2012 showcase were called up to play in the NBA and, according to Reed, this is the NBA’s most important scouting event. He said the games televised on NBA TV were screened in 50 million homes nationwide last year, which is success they will look to continue this year.

The event will be held at the Reno Events Center in downtown Reno from Jan. 7 through 10. Single day general admission passes, which allow access to four games each day, are available for $7 until June 15 when they will be raised to $10. Single day courtside seats are available for $50. Multi-day general admission seats are available for $25 for a three-day pass and $30 for a four-day pass. Courtside seats are $65 for a three-day pass and $75 for a four-day pass.
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