Pro basketball takes shot at market
A storm is coming to Grand Rapids — and it isn’t bringing snow.
The Grand Rapids Cyclones are joining the national Premier Basketball League, a Chicago-based minor league basketball league with 10 teams this season.
The pro basketball league is "dedicated to bringing exciting, affordable and family friendly entertainment" to fans, according to its website.
The league is divided into the Midwest and East divisions. The Lake Michigan Admirals of St. Joseph play in the Midwest division.
The Grand Rapids Cyclones will begin exhibition play on Feb. 25 at their home arena, The DeltaPlex, before they take part in the 2015 season. The DeltaPlex seats 6,000 fans.
“It makes perfect sense for Grand Rapids to have a pro team,” Cyclones owner Adam Chrisco said. “The team will be closely tied to the community, and the athletes and front office staff will all be from right here in the mitten.”
The team will be more than just basketball, Chrisco said.
“The Cyclones will all be mentors to the less fortunate and big brothers to those in need of support,” Chrisco said.
Chrisco said the team has a long-term goal of making it to the NBA D-League.
"This is the type of ownership group we are always looking for,” said Dominic Turcotte, VP of PBL operations. “The ownership group in Grand Rapids has the business and basketball knowledge to make it very successful.”
Basketball in Grand Rapids
This isn’t the first pro basketball team to make its way to Grand Rapids.
In recent history, the teams have had mediocre success.
The Grand Rapids Hoops were the longest-lasting franchise in the Continental Basketball Association and the International Basketball League from 1989 to 2003.
The Grand Rapids Flight were founded in 2004 and played until 2009 in the International Basketball League and American Basketball Association.
A women’s team, the Blizzard, played a single season in 2003.
The Feb. 25 game is against the Lake Michigan Admirals, with tipoff at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $7 for general admission, $30 for courtside and $20 for VIP.
The Grand Rapids Cyclones will be made up of athletes from around the region — including former high school and college standouts — and coached by former Jenison standout Jeremiah Hamlet.
Justin Anyijong: East Grand Rapids/University of Toledo
Jeff Borcher: Grand Rapids West Catholic/Grand Valley State University
Will Bowser: Hope College
Bryan Dutton: Olivet College
DaunTrell Hill: Olivet College
Randy Jefferson: Grand Rapids Union/Cornerstone University, Grace Bible College
Paul Nelson: Grace Bible College
Austin Randel: Ferris State University
Jon Snikkers: Hudsonville Unity Christian/Cornerstone University, Hope College
Ty Tanis: Hope College