The NBA Development League Showcase is taking center stage in downtown Reno this week and that means a lot of basketball and a lot of money for the Biggest Little City.
The showcase tipped off at the Reno Events Center Monday morning.
In all, 16 teams are in town to play over the next four days. You might remember, Reno hosted this event last year as well. This is actually the first time the NBA Development League has chosen the same city to host the showcase in back-to-back years.
I asked NBA D-League Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Alpert why they think Reno is perfect for this basketball showcase. "It's a great venue; nice place to watch the game, not a bad seat in the building. It's nice for the scouts as well because they can stay in the hotels, it's only a block away. It's very convenient to get to and from all the hotels."
All 30 NBA teams have a scout here looking for the next basketball prospect to bring up to the big time. While they're on the prowl for the next superstar, they are also giving a boost to our economy.
President of the Reno Bighorns Michael Reynolds said during last year's showcase, more than 1,300 hotel rooms were booked. So you can bet between players, coaches to scouts and of course, fans--some cash is being spent.
"Having these NBA teams in town, I'm sure they're spending some money as well as scouts from around the world. I know we have plenty of scouts who either come in early or stay late beyond or before the showcase to go skiing or just spend time here in the city."
The NBA D-League Showcase wraps up Thursday, January 10th.
The four-game slate on Tuesday, which starts at 10 a.m. PT, concludes with the Los Angeles D-Fenders and the Iowa Energy playing on CBS Sports Network in a fan appreciation night game. The event includes 1,000 free hot dogs for fans as well as ticket giveaways to an upcoming Sacramento Kings game, a VIP courtside suite giveaway to a future Bighorns game, as well as autographed basketballs and other prizes.
Wednesday's four-game schedule, which begins at 10 a.m. PT, will be capped off with the slam dunk competition and a three-point shootout, which will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. The slam dunk competition will feature Travis Leslie (Santa Cruz Warriors), Dar Tucker (Reno Bighorns), Dominique Sutton (Tulsa 66ers) and Tony Mitchell (Fort Wayne Mad Ants), while the three-point shooting contestants are Nick Covington (Erie BayHawks), Justin Dentmon (Austin Toros), Marcus Landry (Reno Bighorns) and Andy Rautins (Tulsa 66ers). Thursday also includes four games also beginning at 10 a.m. PT.
Fans can buy tickets by visiting www.ticketmaster.com/renobighorns. Once there, they can click on January and click on the Showcase date they would like to attend. Fans can also call the Bighorns front office directly at (775) 853-8220.