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SB Mavericks keep win streak alive with 113-96 win over #2-ranked Jacksonville

(Shreveport, LA.) – The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks, top-ranked in the ABA power rankings all season, faced their toughest task to date Saturday night at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum when they welcomed #2-ranked Jacksonville to town.

Like so many before, the Giants left with a loss.

The Mavericks opened the game on a 10-0 run, then closed with another after Jacksonville had pulled within seven late in the fourth to defeat the Giants 113-96 on Pink Out Night for breast cancer awareness at the Hirsch.

The victory extends the Mavericks’ professional basketball record to 69 consecutive wins overall and 74 straight at home. Shreveport-Bossier is now 9-0 on the season.

“It’s a great win, a great win,” said Mavericks head coach Steve Tucker. “Any time you beat a team of the caliber of Jacksonville, it’s huge. I thought we controlled them pretty well for three of the four quarters, and had some players play great ballgames. We’re happy, but not satisfied, and now we can go on and focus on the next challenge.”

The Mavs depth once again proved to be the biggest factor, as five players scored in double figures, led by spectacular performances from Tony Hooper, Ed Horton and P.J. Couisnard.

“I just wanted to be aggressive and do the things Coach asks of us,” said Hooper, who led Shreveport-Bossier with 18 points – including 11 in the second quarter – to go with four rebounds and four assists. “There were times in the game where we needed big shots, and I felt great out there. It’s a huge win against a great team. It sets us up for the rest of the season now.”

As good as Hooper was, Horton and Couisnard were just as efficient, if not as flashy.

Horton scored 16 points to go with five rebounds and a team-high six assists. The reigning ABA and National Championship Finals MVP was particularly effective in the second period, when the Mavs were building a double-digit lead for the first time, scoring nine points in the frame.

Couisnard, meanwhile, had 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, a team-high four steals, and was a scorching 4-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc. Couisnard, who Tucker called “one of the three best players in the ABA” after the game, scored five of his points in the last run as Shreveport-Bossier iced the game with authority.

“Coach has called on me to hit big shots before, and I’ve been fortunate to hit a lot of them,” said Couisnard, who has fought through a sore knee all season. “Last year in the finals, when I was not having my best game, I heard ‘P.J.!’ and I went in and hit the shot. Coach has a lot of faith in me, and I’m glad I can go out and do the things he asks of me.”

Jacksonville (5-1), who is the first team this season to take a lead at any point in a game against the Mavericks (16-14 with 4:20 left in the first), did everything it could to get back in the game despite being down by as many as 26 in the fourth. Guard Trey Guidry did the majority of that nearly on his own, finishing with a game-high 31 points, including 15 in the final period. His free throws with just over two minutes to play brought the Giants to within 103-96.

Then, as they’ve done so many times before, the Mavericks pulled away for another double-digit victory.

“I think we’ve got several areas we can improve on, but this was a great win for us,” said Tucker. “We’ll keep working and striving to get even better. This was a very positive step for this team this year.”

The Mavericks return to action Thursday, December 18, when they welcome the Texas Rim Rockers to Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. This weekend, December 20-21, the Mavericks will host the Montgomery Black Hawks in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday.

Jacksonville Giants Collects Canned Goods

Jacksonville Giants Basketball Team Collects Over 1000 Canned Goods and Trained over 150 young basketball hopefuls

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While most people were shopping for gifts, enjoying family, or sleeping off Thanksgiving delectables, the ABA Jacksonville Giants basketball team and Godspeed Elite Sports Performance (Godspeed) worked out to support the community.
Sarah Brakin, basketball coordinator for Riverside Presbyterian Church Basketball League, contacted the Giants and Godspeed Elite and asked if they would be willing to teach basketball skills in return for donated canned goods. She received an immediate “YES.”
Nearly 150 young basketball players turned out Friday, November 28, 2014, for the two sessions to train with the 2012 and 2013 National Champions Jacksonville Giants. Brakin could not believe the turnout and commented, “The kids love the Jacksonville Giants and respect the professional skills and experience of Godspeed Elite owner James Coleman.”
Coleman’s Godspeed training center is the “OFFICIAL TRAINING SPONSOR” of the Jacksonville Giants.” Joe Miller, Vice President of the Giants, explained: “Our Giants players work out at Coleman’s facility every week. According to our Head Coach Kevin Waters, Coleman and his team of trainers give the Giants a competitive advantage over other teams.”

 

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The Jacksonville Giants will donate and deliver all food and cash donations to one of the Giants’ charitable partners, United Community Outreach Ministry (UCOM). Miller said, “For over 35 years, UCOM has owned and operated a food pantry in the historical church on Old St. Augustine Road just north of Emerson. UCOM’s commitment to giving is so outstandingly strong that they quietly do God’s work without any concerns about recognition. In October, UCOM contacted the Giants and expressed concern that their food pantry was getting bare earlier than usual this time of the year. Their desperate need for help laid the foundation for the Giants’ partnering with Riverside Presbyterian. Today’s generous collection will be a timely contribution for UCOM’s mission. The Giants thank all these young athletes for their canned gifts.”

According to Brakin, the youths participating in today’s Black Friday event donated nearly 1,000 canned goods for this cause. “We’re so proud of our team, the Jacksonville Giants, and Godspeed Elite Sports Performance, for their dedication to the City of Jacksonville and those less fortunate. What a terrific message to send in these tough times throughout the United States and the world. And, I am happy that our students are learning fundamental lessons from these organizations, such as it is better to give than to receive.
The Jacksonville Giants, Godspeed Elite Sports Performance, and Riverside Presbyterian Church Basketball League thank Sacred Heart Catholic Church & School for use of its gymnasium for this charitable event. The Giants provided the church and school with complimentary tickets (purchased by Giants Sponsors) to its Home Opener on Saturday, December 6, 2014.

5 Pro Game in 3 Days!

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Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks Host the Tip-Off Classic

(Shreveport, LA)  – One of the most anticipated events on the schedule finally arrives this weekend as the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks welcome three of the ABA’s top teams to Hirsch Memorial Coliseum for the Tip-Off Classic this Saturday and Sunday.

The Mavericks, ranked number one in the ABA Power Rankings all season, will host the Central Texas Rhythm, Indy Naptown All-Stars (from Indianapolis), and Metroplex Lightning (from Dallas-Fort Worth) this weekend, hoping to defend their 2013 title in the tournament.

“We’re excited to bring these three great teams in to Shreveport for what should be a great weekend of basketball,” said Shreveport-Bossier head coach Steve Tucker, who’s Mavericks sport a 6-0 record on the young season. “It will be the best basketball we’ve faced all season.”

Central Texas will face the Mavericks Saturday at 8 p.m. while Metroplex and Indy Naptown battle at 6 p.m. Winners of those games meet up at 6 p.m. Sunday for the championship, while the losers tangle at 4 p.m. Sunday in the consolation game.

“We are very excited to be part of the Classic this year,” said Rhythm head coach Dennis Porter. “It’s a great opportunity for our team to face the best teams in the ABA.”

Central Texas features a trio of high scorers, led by shooting guard Patrick Perkins of Odessa College, who leads the Rhythm (6-4) in scoring. Point guard Tre Nichols from Boise State and small forward Ryan Holmes of Philander Smith (Ark.) make up a big part of a high-scoring attack for the team from Marble Falls, Texas.

Indy Naptown head coach Kevin Jones has assembled a team of high-flying players from in and around the Indianapolis area, including his son, guard KyRee Jones of Maryland-East Shore by way of Northern Illinois. Guard Aaron Weeden from Kankakee College in Illinois and thrilling forward Kenny Edwards from Rogers State make up the core of the All-Stars (4-1) lineup. Edwards gained national acclaim when he won the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest in Indianapolis last year.

“He does dunks in a game like I’ve never seen in 20-plus years of coaching at the college level,” said Jones of Edwards. “He’s amazing.”

Jones and his All-Stars echoed Porter’s excitement to be part of the Tip-Off Classic.

“This is a great event to be a part of,” said Jones. “I’ve always believed in the philosophy that if you want to be the best, you have to play the best, and the best basketball in our league is played in Shreveport.”

Metroplex Lightning head coach Mitchell Neal brings in a team led by 38-year-old veteran shooting guard Torrance Moody, and also includes McNeese State 6-foot-6 power forward Bradley Jarvis.

“Fans should be ready for the best basketball they’ve seen so far,” said Moody. “We hope to give the Mavericks a great game.”

Fans who buy tickets on either Saturday or Sunday get admission to both games each night, with ticket prices starting at $10, and family packages starting at $25. Visit www.sbmavs.com for more details.

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

Libertyville Vipers Give Thanks by Giving

Just a few photos from the Turkey Trot we participated in and had our team volunteer on thanksgiving to feed the under privileged

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Jacksonville Giants Defeat Atlanta Wildcats

In the first game of the Giants 2014-2015 season, the ABA Jacksonville Giants defeated the ABA Atlanta Wildcats (Atlanta, Georgia) by a score of 116-103.   This was the fourth game for the Wildcats.  Going into the 4th Quarter the Giants led by only five points (83-78).  With a final surge led by long-time Giants player Anthony Lumpkin hitting key 3-pointers, the Giants dominated the Wildcats stretching the lead to as high as 18 points.

The high-scorer for the Giants was team captain, seven-footer Jermaine Bell.  Bell scored 23 points, made 10 rebounds and blocked 8 shots.  Ty Thomas, a new Giant, scored 15 points and made 6 rebounds. Delwan Graham provided a lot of energy off the bench, scoring 14 points.

Head Coach Kevin Waters commented, “I have a lot of respect for Coach David Graham and his Wildcats.  David was my Assistant Head Coach in Jacksonville for nearly three years.  He has built a formidable team, but our Giants are strong. We’ve added new talent and they stepped up tonight.  We are looking forward to our next two games and returning to Jacksonville where we will face the South Florida Gold.”

The Giants will play two more games on this road trip and will return Wednesday, December 3rd, to prepare for its first home game.   In its home opener, the Giants will face the South Florida Gold (Boca Raton, Florida), Saturday, December 6, 2014, at 7:30 in the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.   This could be one of toughest games of the Giants season.  The Giants are calling this game the “Final Four Rematch.” At the 2014 ABA National Championship (held in April 2014), the Giants defeated the Gold to advance to the final two.  The Giants finished second in the nation.