Posted: Sunday, June 10th 2012 at 3:15pm
New Gainesville ABA team schedules tryouts
By B.J. Williams Editor
GAINESVILLE - The brand new Gainesville Heat starts its inaugural season in November, so General Manager and Head Coach Joshua Randolph knows he needs to get a team together quickly.
Tryouts for the newest ABA team are coming up this month, June 16 to be exact, at Gainesville State College, the home base for the Heat. Potential players are asked to show up at the college gym between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Randolph said he felt as if the Gainesville area would support a professional basketball team for a number of reasons, and he said there's talent in the area to support an ABA team.
"The Gainesville area itself is very rich with tons of talent that has played high school basketball and played college basketball," said Randolph.
The Gainesville native said players in the American Basketball Association are typically on the verge of making the next step to playing in the NBA or playing professional basketball overseas. Most of them, said Randolph, are 19 or 20-years-old, although he's known players as old as 30 to have successful careers in the ABA.
"We're just looking for guys that, you know, have a passion for basketball and want to play at the next level," said Randolph.
The team will be based at Gainesville State College, according to Randolph, and he said in addition to players, they'll need other folks to create an entire team atmosphere.
"We're looking for pretty much the whole nine yards," he said. "[We need] dance team members, game day operations, staff. We want the fans to come out and just enjoy themselves when they come to the games."
And, Randolph said he's excited about the team's venue at GSC, pointing out that the gymnasium has been upgraded recently, making for a great place for the team to play its home games.
The Gainesville Heat will play in the ABA's Atlantic South Conference, which features other teams from Georgia, as well as teams from Nashville, TN, Birmingham, AL and Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, FL. In fact, that Jacksonville team was the ABA champion last year, according to Randolph.
While Randolph said his enthusiasm is high for the new team, he admitted it has been a challenge, since he's filling almost every organizational job with the team right now.
"Yeah, I'm everything this year...hopefully just one year," he said with a laugh.
Of course, he does need players to coach, and that's where the tryouts come in.
"We're just looking for a bunch of talent, some size and a lot of guys that can just play basketball."
Link: American Basketball Association
Link: Gainesville Heat
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