Professional basketball will be at the Prescott Valley Events Center this fall. The Phoenix Suns announced today that the team will be known as the Northern Arizona Suns. The Bakersfield Jam was purchased by the Phoenix Suns and will be relocating to Prescott Valley.
Opening comments were presented by Mike Paredes, Executive Director of the Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation, who besides welcoming all the guests, brought applause and laughter from those in attendance, when he said, "I have to admit, the taste is even a little sweeter because it comes from a relocation from California, our neighbors to the west. For those in economic development truly understand that comment."
Suns President Jason Rowley congratulated the community and referred to the Prescott Events Center as a beautiful facility. He went on to explain what the Suns were looking for in bringing a team to Prescott Valley. Rowley announced that there will be basketball for the 2016-2017 season in Prescott Valley, resulting in cheers from the crowd. There will be 22 homes games, plus playoffs, beginning in November. "You will see NBA caliber players here in this arena, said Rowley. "In the next couple of weeks you will see a logo unveiling and a uniform unveiling, and what we want our mascot to be."
President of the NBA Development League, Malcolm Turner said, "We're excited to be here."
Bubba Burrage, Director of Player Personnel, said, "A lot of these kids are young and need some development, so this program gives them that chance at a professional level. We always try to bring in good quality young men. Their goal is to play in the NBA."
Brad Fain, of the Fain Signature Group, thanked those who worked so hard, staying together to make this day possible. "We like to welcome the Phoenix Suns to our city." Fain went on to share with the crowd how this day came about and the struggles to get to this point.
Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog acknowledged the city councilmembers in attendance, and said, "This is a very exciting day for all of us."
Jason Rowley presented the Mayor with a basketball, which the mayor held onto tight, as he visited with those after the press conference. Many in attendance stayed after the event to visit and discuss the days announcement.
Former Suns star from 1988-93 and Fox Sports Studio Host Tom Chambers said, "This is good for everybody involved. It will benefit the Suns and the community of Prescott Valley. The players can come back and forth much easier, so from a logistical standpoint, it makes a lot of sense."
Steven Hunter, former Sun from 2004-05, and current Suns' ambassador said, "We are very excited for the opportunity to play in Prescott Valley. The facility is in great shape and the proximity to Phoenix will really help with players coming up, and going back to Phoenix."
Tim Kempton, who played as a Sun in 1992-93 said, " Our guys will definitely be happy with this facility. Being so close to Phoenix is big too."
As people were leaving, Paredes made one final comment, "I'm telling everybody to come up to Prescott Valley for a game, and make it a nice weekend here."
For more information, watch their website: NAZSuns.com
Here is the Suns' Press Release: