ABA News and Notes

By ABA Media Relations
Updated: March 7, 2008
NEW YORK — Here is a look at this week’s major happenings surrounding the American Basketball Association.

The deadline for season-ticket holders of the Vermont Frost Heaves to reserve their accustomed seats for ABA All-Star Weekend was Friday, March 7. The league’s All-Star event will take place at the Barre Municipal Auditorium on Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22.

All remaining tickets will go on general sale beginning Saturday, at the Frost Heaves’ usual ticket pick-up spots: Allen Lumber in Barre; First in Fitness in Montpelier; and the Flynn Box Office at 153 Main Street in Burlington. Tickets may also be ordered over the phone or on the Web by calling 802 86 FLYNN or going to www.flynntix.org.

In addition, the Frost Heaves will play a special intersectional game with the Atlanta Vision on Wednesday, March 19, also in Barre. An exclusive window for season-ticket holders for the Atlanta game also expires tomorrow, with the remainder available for general sale beginning Saturday through the Frost Heaves’ usual ticketing channels.

Vermont, the No. 1 team in the ABA Power Rankings, plays the Boston Blizzard on Saturday, March 8, at 7:15 p.m. at Framingham (Mass) State. The Frost Heaves are assured a bye into the ABA Final 8 Championship, which will take place in Quebec City from March 27-30, but there will be no home playoff games. The Atlanta game will be the last chance to see the Frost Heaves in Vermont this season.

The Frost Heaves Official Team Sponsors are the Vermont State Employees Credit Union and the Vermont Army National Guard. For more information, visit www.vermontfrostheaves.com or www.central-vt.com/abaallstars .com.

The league announced that five teams will receive automatic byes into the ABA Championship Final 8 to be played in Quebec, Canada from March 27th thru March 30th. According to Joe Newman, ABA CEO, “These five teams certainly deserve to be there; they have played well all season and have earned their positions. The remaining teams will compete for the three additional spots, one from the South, one from the West and one from the Northeast.” Those teams receiving byes are:
Vermont Frost Heaves
Manchester Millrats
San Diego Wildcats
Texas Tycoons
Quebec Kebekwa
“Quebec received its bye as the Host Team for the playoffs, but they have certainly played well and have some key victories over some tough teams, including a victory in Singapore over the Beijing Aoshen Olympian,” added Newman. “We are disappointed that the Olympian will not be at the Playoffs; they certainly deserved a bye, but two of their players are on the Chinese National Team preparing for the Summer Olympics and three others are at the Chinese National Team camp tryouts. Nevertheless, we will have a great tournament.”

The West Texas Whirlwind will travel to Macon to meet the Georgia Gwizzlies in the first round with the winner to meet the Atlanta Vision on Sunday, March 16th. “It has been a very difficult season for us,” stated Gwizzlies team owner Embry Malone. “We were never able to gain any momentum, but we’ve been preparing for this and hopefully can show that we deserve this opportunity.”

“There’s no doubt that the Northeast was our strongest division,” stated Joe Newman, ABA CEO. Already Vermont and Manchester, as well as Quebec have secured a playoff spot. We’ll add one more with games betweeen Newark-Boston, Montreal-Westchester, the two will play and then play Halifax for the final spot.”

Obviously, it is going to be a tough situation for four of those teams, but we feel that this is the best scenario and know that the deserving team will end up in Quebec.”

The San Diego Wildcats have received a Bye based on their standings in the ABA Power Rankings. According to Joe Newman, “San Francisco will meet Orange County, Maywood will meet Long Beach, and the winners will meet for the final spot. The West will be well represented at the Championship Playoffs.”

The just announced ABA expansion Fresno Legends will meet the playoff-bound San Francisco Rumble this weekend in a special two game series. According to Dominick Young, team owner, “We have put together a terrific team, have been working hard and asked the league for an opportunity to get some real game experience this season. They have worked it out for us to meet the San Francisco Rumble. The games will count in the standings for the Rumble and we will give them good games as they prepare for the ABA mini-playoffs next week. We really appreciate this opportunity.”

Some of the players who will be competing are NBA-bound Javanc Coleman, the Fresno State All-time Leading Scorer; Australia pro, Fresno All-time leading rebounder Larry Abbney, team owner Dominick Young, Jervis Cole and Lloyd Hillman. “We have talent, and we want the ABA west coast teams to know what’s coming,” added Young.

It will be the main event in Gwinnett County on Tuesday night, March 11th at 7:30pm as the No.1 team in the ABA, 2007 ABA defending champion Vermont Frost Heaves will battle the No. 1 team in the South, 2006 and 2008 division champion Atlanta Vision at the Gwinnett Center.

This will be the Vision’s last regular season home game at the Gwinnett Center prior to the playoffs. Both Vermont and the Vision have lost only four games. Both teams have clinched their division championship. Both teams are looking to make a statement, however, only one will be victorious. A classic tale will unfold as the two champions push towards triumph on this blockbuster Tuesday.

Vermont Frost Heaves are owned by Sports Illustrated writer Alex Wolff and this will be Vermont’s first trip to Atlanta. The Frost Heaves will arrive on Monday afternoon and conduct their shoot around at the prestigious LIFE TIME Fitness Sugarloaf, official fitness and practice facility of the Atlanta Vision.

The Frost Heaves will be staying at the luxurious Hilton Atlanta Northeast, Atlanta Vision’s official hotel partner. Outstanding facilities, warm weather, and southern hospitality will showcase why Gwinnett County was chosen as the Vision’s home.

March 11th is Fan Appreciation Night. Throughout the game fans will receive mini-basketballs, t-shirts, posters, and numerous prizes and give-a-ways. Vision GM and Georgia Tech Hall of Fame inductee, Dennis “3-D” Scott” will be in attendance to sign autographs alongside Vision players and dancers after the game.

Doors open at 6:30pm with a 7:30pm tip-off at the Gwinnett Center. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and the Gwinnett Center Box Office. For group rates and team packages, call 770 482 7994 or visit www.atlvision.com.

NOTE: For more information on all league news, visit www.abalive.com.