D-League team name honors city's history

Reminder Publications photo by Courtney Llewellyn
Dan Murphy brought three avid basketball fans to the MassMutual Center last week when the NBA Development League's newest team revealed its name, NBA affiliates, logo and team colors. (left to right) Nine-year-old Jimmy Murphy; 10-year-old Kevin Murphy; Dan; and seven-year-old Conor Murphy gave the Springfield Armor an enthusiastic thumbs up.
By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

SPRINGFIELD The NBA Development League is arming up for its first season in Springfield this November.

Michael Savit, the team's principal owner, announced last week that the now-coined Springfield Armor in honor of the city's Armory will draw players from three affiliates: the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers.

"I'm thrilled that the identity of our basketball team pays homage to an institution as revered as the Springfield Armory," he said. "I am confident that the Springfield Armor, like the Springfield Armory, will provide a source of pride throughout the Pioneer Valley."

The Armor will coincidentally wear affiliates' colors including black, blue, silver and red. The team's named was derived from an 11-day online poll, which asked voters to choose the Armor, Colonials, Founders or Spirit.

Savit said that drawing players from three affiliates will increase the likelihood of NBA-caliber athletes playing in Springfield.

General Manager Alex Schwerin noted that the organization has yet to name coaches or produce a roster, all announcements that will be made later this summer. He added that over 8,000 applicants have sent in resumes for the head coaching position.

Savit said players from the region's Division I colleges and universities the University of Connecticut, the University of Massachusetts and Boston College unselected in the NBA draft will serve as a valuable resource for the Armor.

Over 50 people turned up for the Armor's announcement at the MassMutual Center last week including some energetic young fans.

Ten-year-old Kevin Murphy of Springfield said he would like to play for the Armor and its NBA affiliates one day but will settle for being a fan until he's old enough to be drafted.

Nine-year-old Jimmy Murphy of Ludlow and seven-year-old Conor Murphy of Springfield echoed Kevin's sentiments.

"It's about how you play, not your record," Jimmy said, adding that he hopes the team will play well and win.

The Springfield Armor will begin its first 50-game regular season this November at the MassMutual Center.

For more information about the team, visit www.armorhoops.com.

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