According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the NBA franchise will own and operate an NBA Development League team in Oshkosh, beginning in the 2017-’18 season.
Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to announce this partnership with the city of Oshkosh, Greg Pierce and his team and the incredible fans throughout the Fox Valley.”
Fox Valley Pro Basketball, the group led by Pierce, is constructing a 3,500-seat arena for the D-League club. The Oshkosh Common Council recently approved plans for the arena that will anchor the Sawdust District along the shore of Lake Winnebago.
Hammond said in an interview that Oshkosh is an ideal location for a Bucks affiliate.
“Young players can get game experience under our system and with our coaches,” Hammond said. “Players can move down and go back and forth as needed.
“They (members of the Fox Valley Pro Basketball group) are very committed to helping us turn this into a first-class organization.”
The Bucks also announced BMO Harris Bank as the first official sponsor of the D-League team.
The team does not have a nickname yet but fans can submit ideas at www.foxvalleybasketball.com. Fans interested in obtaining tickets for the opening season of the franchise can reserve tickets online at the same site.
Two current Bucks, Khris Middleton and Rashad Vaughn, have D-League experience. Vaughn has played for the Canton Charge and Westchester Knicks over the past two seasons.
Before the Bucks played the Miami Heat on Wednesday, coach Jason Kidd said the new affiliate will help the organization.
“I think it’s great for Oshkosh and I think it’s great for the Milwaukee Bucks to give our younger guys an opportunity to play,” Kidd said. “When you look at Thon Maker or (Rashad) Vaughn, the minutes on the floor are important and now that we have a D-League team that can help going forward.
“You’re going to see all the teams in this league have a D-League team, so when their system is taught to those guys and they go back and forth, there’s no confusion. It will help speed up the process of the younger player being able to have success.”
Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings said that the D-League team can help the city’s downtown development.
“The new arena will be the cornerstone of a revived central city that will attract visitors and greater development opportunities to Oshkosh,” Cummings said.
Charles F. Gardner , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Published 4:29 p.m. CT Feb. 8, 2017 | Updated 6:18 p.m. CT Feb. 8, 2017