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Clash of ABA powerhouses on tap as top-ranked SB Mavs face #2 Bowling Green Saturday

Kirk Copeland
(318) 525-8853 cell
kirk@abamavericks.com

Thursday, January 8th

(Shreveport, LA.) – For the second time this season, the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks, ranked #1 in the American Basketball Association’s power rankings all year, will face the team ranked #2.

The Mavs defeated then second-ranked Jacksonville on December 13, 113-96. This Saturday, January 10, Shreveport-Bossier welcomes current #2 Bowling Green to Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. The Bandits, playing their initial season in the ABA, are 10-0 entering this weekend’s contest while the Mavericks are 15-0 and have won a professional basketball record 75 straight games.

Saturday’s game is the featured ABA game of the weekend on ESPN3 (as well as the WatchESPN app for mobile devices) and will be broadcast live globally.

To add to the excitement of this clash of the top two teams in the ABA, Bowling Green head coach Kevin Keathley has extensive history with the Mavs and Shreveport-Bossier head coach Steve Tucker in particular. Keathley broke into coaching 15 years ago as an assistant under Tucker at Lees College in Jackson, Kentucky, then later was Tucker’s top assistant on the Mavericks’ 2009-10 ABA championship team. For his work with that 2009-10 squad, Keathley was named Associate Coach of the Year by the ABA.

“He’s a good guy and an outstanding coach,” said Tucker, who noted that Keathley played a big role in the signing of current Mavericks center Jon Rogers. “I don’t think he’s reached his peak as a head coach yet either. I have a great deal of respect for him, and I care a lot about him as both a coach and as a person. He fits the mold for the kind of person you hope your son will grow up to be.”

Keathley also worked with three current Mavericks players when he was the head coach of the Continental Basketball Association’s East Kentucky Miners – Josh Pace, Mike Crain and Jermaine Blackburn.

Tucker and Keathley have faced each other twice prior to Saturday’s game, with Keathley’s teams coming out on top in both of them.

Like Tucker, Keathley is no stranger to long winning streaks, as he currently holds a 25-game ABA victory stretch of his own dating back to 2004-05 when he was the head coach for the Kentucky Colonels.

“This is a great opportunity for our team and franchise this Saturday night,” said Keathley. As an expansion franchise, we need games like this to reach our goals, both on and off the court. The Mavericks have won 75 straight games and are defending champions. For us to have the opportunity to play those guys this early in the season will be a measuring stick for us. This game will tell us where we stack up and where we need to be come playoff time. It’s a big-time test and that’s a good thing for our guys. A challenge like this will be good for both teams.

“We are looking forward to the challenge.”

Tucker agrees with Keathley on the magnitude of Saturday’s game.

“It’s going to be a good challenge and should be a great game,” said Tucker. “Good teams bring out the best in us. We’re going to have to be on our game and play Mavericks basketball like we’ve come to expect.”

Fans coming to Saturday’s game will be treated to a special promotion as well. All tickets, including courtside seating, are buy one and get a second free.

Also Saturday, fans attending will have opportunities to win free tickets to Sunday’s WWE Live event at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

Tickets for 2014-15 Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks games are on sale now at www.sbmavs.com or at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum box office, which can be reached at (318) 631-4930.

The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks and KSLA News 12 have partnered to give you the latest Mavs news and fun giveaways right on your smartphone. All you have to do is text “Mavericks” to 81212 to get involved

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