Wednesday, November 24, 2010

There's A New Game (Sort Of) In Town

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Salim Stoudamire doing what he does best.
  • Salim Stoudamire doing what he does best.
Salim Stoudamire spent three years with the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, but now he is back in Idaho and that’s good news all around. Not only does Stoudamire get to spend time with his family, but Idaho Stampede fans get to see him lace up his sneakers and hit the hardwood in Qwest Arena for the NBA Developmental League team.

OK, so the Stampede didn’t get off to the best of starts in its home opener. Stoudamire dropped in 19 points, but Idaho fell to New Mexico, 114-93. But there is some serious talent on the team, and the Stampede will look for a rebound into the win column with a pair of home games on November 26 and 27, before hitting the road.

In all, the Stampede play 24 regular season home games in Boise. But the Stampede experience is more than merely settling into a chair to watch a basketball game. There are promotions in which fans can win prizes, and halftime entertainment in addition to high-flying hoops action. For those who have not seen an NBA D-League (D is for Developmental) game, it is more similar to the NBA than to college basketball, though some changes have been introduced this year to bring the game closer to international rules. For example, in the NBA or college play, players are not allowed to touch the ball on a shot until it clears the rim. In international play, the ball can be swatted off the rim. Also, overtime periods have been reduced from five to three minutes this year.

Toss in events that cater to the fun, like promotions and some nationally recognized talent performing at halftime and Stampede games become a rounded entertainment experience.

As for the Stampede, the lineup is dotted with former college players, like Walter Sharpe (from Alabama-Birmingham; he has saw some time with the Detroit Pistons), Eric Boateng from Arizona State, Seth Tarver (Oregon State), Lance Hurdle (Miami) and Willie Jenkins (Tennessee Tech). DeSean Hadley, who played college ball in Eastern Michigan and who has played for the Stampede in the past, returns as well to the Idaho lineup.

The Texas Legends are in town for the Friday and Saturday night games. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

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