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Area welcomes professional basketball playoffs

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The Mavs play a game at BPCC's gym earlier this season.

Story by Tom Pace, Special to the Press-Tribune

A funny thing happened on the way to their new home this past season, the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks are now the number 1 Seed in the ABA Championship Series.

And the team will be hosting the 2014 Playoff Series to be televised live on ESPN3 April 10-15.

And, to top that off, The Mavs now hold the longest win streak record at 57 in all Professional Basketball, which includes both the NBA and ABA; 62 straight wins at home; are 31-0 on the season; and a 120-7 record in the ABA in four seasons.

Under the leadership of Head Coach/President Steve Tucker, the Mavs are a tight-knit, well-disciplined team, that believes it takes everyone to win. A family atmosphere, if you will, that’s preached from the front-office, to players, trainers, chaplains, as well as those servers and entertainers making the games memorable.

In short “It’s the Mavericks Way: WE ARE ONE!” as Coach T lovingly says.

Besides Mavericks owner Jerry Nelson and Coach T, much credit goes to the local businesses and area colleges and university athletic programs that have helped the Mavericks in starting on-time and enjoying the community support.

Coach Tucker is quick to point out the help provided by the LSU-S Pilots Basketball program, as well the Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) Cavaliers program, in allowing their facilities for practice venues and home courts for Maverick games.

“It should be noted,” Coach Tucker emphasized, “that the support and backing from many entities has contributed to the Mavs success.

“And might I add, the overwhelming support from President & General Manager Chris Giordano at the Louisiana Stair Fair in making this partnership happen is paramount to our calling the Hirsch Coliseum home.”

“I want to especially thank Mayor Cedric Glover, the City of Shreveport, the Caddo Parish Commission, The City of Bossier & the Police Jury, as well as Stacy Brown, Kelly Wells and Coach Billy Wayne Montgomery from the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Visitors Bureau, plus Title Sponsor Horseshoe Hotel & Casino and all of our other great partners along with the Downtown Hilton Hotel,” Coach T concluded.

Competition is expected to be fierce heading into the Final Four, especially between the Mavericks and Giants, who have a bye until then – as they are currently ranked number 1 and number 2, respectively in the ABA Power Rankings.

Both teams hold back-to-back National Championships – the Mavericks won in 2010 and 2011, and the Giants won in 2012 and 2013 – but the powerhouses have not met at center court since the Mavericks’ victory over the Giants in the 2011 playoffs.

“We’re heading towards an inevitable showdown in the playoffs between the Mavericks and Giants,” said ABA Commissioner & CEO Joe Newman. “But there are quite a few other teams that have their eyes on the Championship and cannot wait to make the challenge in Shreveport.”

The teams that are ranked fifth through eigth going into the play-offs will compete beginning Thursday, April 10, with the emerging winners meeting the third and fourth ranked teams at center court on Friday.

Those winners will play the 1 and 2 ranked teams in the Final Four on Saturday.

Competition continues Sunday, Apr. 13, when the top two teams vie for the Championship title in the best two out of three games.

Play-off, Final Four and Championship tickets are now available online at www.abamavericks.com and will be available at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., beginning on Monday, April 7. The ticket box office at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum may be contacted by calling (318) 631-4930.

For more information on the ABA Finals visit www.abafinals.com or www.abalive.com

The ABA Championship Finals are presented with the support of the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino, Hilton Shreveport and Holiday Inn Shreveport Airport West.

For visitor information on hotels, restaurants and other attractions in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.shreveport-bossier.org or call (318) 222-9391.