Contact: Sunny Mindel/Matthew Higgins (212) 788-2958
"New York City has a long and proud tradition of producing some of the most talented basketball players in the nation, a fact that is only confirmed by the USBL's decision to create an expansion team in Brooklyn," Mayor Giuliani said. "Every Spring, the Brooklyn Kings will showcase the best players from around the City and give them an opportunity to receive national exposure - and perhaps a shot at the NBA. And aside from providing 26 games a season of full-court excitement at affordable prices, the Brooklyn Kings will enrich the lives of countless inner-city youth through their Youth Outreach Program. "
The Mayor was also joined at the announcement by Ed Krinsky, the Director of the United States Basketball League, Muhammad A. Nur, owner of the Brooklyn Kings and Brooklyn Kings coach Sam Worthen. A Brooklyn native, Mr. Worthen has played for the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz. Congressman Towns said, "I am delighted that Brooklyn will now have a first-rate basketball team that will highlight the City's finest players before a national audience, especially since the Brooklyn Kings will serve a valuable dual purpose. Millions of impressionable young people are avid basketball fans and look to the sport for role models. As a result, basketball can be a powerful vehicle to promote positive values of sportsmanship, physical fitness, discipline and self respect - the same values the Brooklyn Kings will emphasize in their Youth Outreach Program."
Known as the "League of Opportunity," the USBL was established in 1985 and is currently the only Spring seasonal men's professional basketball league in the country. The season begins in April at the conclusion of the NCAA season and ends in July, prior to the NBA free agent rookie camps. The USBL is the official training ground for referees and more than 100 USBL players have gone on to the NBA. The Brooklyn/USBL Youth Outreach Program exposes inner-city youth to positive role models through pre-game basketball clinics hosted by former and current NBA basketball players and coaches, as well as high school and college coaches, and community leaders. In addition to helping kids develop basketball skills, the clinics emphasize sportsmanship, education, drug and alcohol avoidance and career planning.