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Hoop Dreams: Fayetteville Hopes To Score New Basketball Franchise

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FAYETTEVILLE — Future stars of the National Basketball Association may be hitting the hard court in Fayetteville. TheNBAis talking about a developmental league, and Fayetteville is on the list of possible host cities.

Thursday morning, lawmakers and community leaders tried to convince the new National Basketball Developmental League, NBDL, to bring its hoops to Fayetteville.

The city is one of 16 being considered to host one of eight teams.

"The reasons to come are simple and profound reasons. It's the place, the people and it's the partnership," says Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-7th District.

The NBDL, which is owned by the NBA, will start playing in the fall of 2001.

"It's going to be a league of opportunity, it's about human resources," the NBA's Rob Levine. "There are over 1,600 young men who are playing basketball overseas and we think they should be staying home."

The NBDL is partnering withSFX Entertainmentfor the new minor-league team.

If Fayetteville is chosen,Crown Coliseumleaders say the facility could benefit in more ways than one.

"If we partner with SFX -- the largest entertainment company in the country -- they'd bring in big shows and theatrical productions, and the NBA would bring 30 homes games to the Crown. So it's a wonderful opportunity for Fayetteville and Cumberland County," says George Breece, civic center commission chairman.

Other nearby cities being considered are Asheville, Roanoke,Va., and Charleston, S.C.

The announcement of the eight cities chosen to host teams will come this fall.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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