How Sweet It Is: Mavericks Win Tip-Off Classic

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY – A faceoff between the South Houston Assault and the Dallas Diesel opened day three of the American Basketball Association (ABA) Tip-Off Classic held this weekend at the Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport – and the competition was fierce.

South Houston led 30-17 in the first period of the consolation game, but Dallas soon gained a slight edge by halftime and charged on to a 105-92 win.

The Monroe Magicians were pitted against the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks for the championship game Saturday night. First period action ended with a slight 23-18 edge for the Mavericks, but the closely contested opener was a 139-86 shutout by the time the Mavericks claimed the victory.

The opening whistle of the 2013-2014 season began a new chapter for the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks.

Going into the Tip-Off Classic, the Mavericks were ranked 3rd in the 2013 ABA Power Rankings among nearly 90 competing professional teams. But this past Thursday was the first time the team had taken to the court since winning its second consecutive ABA Professional Basketball National Championship in 2010.

With a three season record of 89-7, three divisional championships – and the two national championships – five ABA Most Valuable Player awards, three consecutive National Coach of the Year Awards (ABA, Euro/USBasket, and Pro Basketball News), and two ABA League Executive of the Year awards to their credit, the Mavericks opted to leave the ABA at the end of the 2010 season with the sole intention of joining the National Basketball Association Developmental League (NBA D-League), the NBA’s official minor league organization.

After numerous meetings with NBA D-League officials, Mavericks’ owner Jerry Nelson, a Beaumont businessman who owns and operates Maverick International, Inc., an oil pipefitting company, in partnership with his brother Vic, and solely owns and operates Nutty Jerry’s Entertainment Complex in Winnie, Texas, decided not to pursue a place on the NBA D-League roster. The team sat out the next two seasons with a watchful eye on activities within professional basketball circles around the world.

With limited pro options, Nelson made the decision to rewrite Mavericks’ history by returning to the ABA – and relocating the team to its new home in northeast Louisiana.

The Mavericks have home court advantage again at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, November 21, when they face the Texarkana Panthers in the historic Hirsch Coliseum.
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