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Albany Patroons, Coming Off A Championship, Return To Action Saturday

Albany Patroons Head Coach Derrick Rowland at Rivers Casino - Press Conference Jan 30, 2020
Sabrina Flores
Albany Patroons Head Coach Derrick Rowland at Rivers Casino - Press Conference Jan 30, 2020

The Capital Region’s longest-running professional sports franchise is back. The Albany Patroons are coming off a championship that capped a challenging season.

As part of the new game day experience, the Patroons will be joined by the Albany Emeralds hype squad for pre-game and half-time entertainment. The hype squad will also be on the court throughout the game.

The Albany Patroons are kicking off another season of basketball at the Washington Avenue Armory as part of The Basketball League, or TBL  General Manager Michael Corts:   "When we played game three against the Yakima SunKings at home and won the 2019 TBL championship, the building was electric, and it felt like the Patroons that Albany has grown and known to love in the past. So what we've worked hard on all during the entire off-season, was to see, how can we not recreate the magic in the 80s because you can't. That's impossible. That was then. What we can do is work towards giving the fans, the entire Capital Region, the opportunity really to experience the best possible live professional basketball right here at home."

Corts has high hopes for this season’s roster.   "We've got a lot of new players. A couple of standouts that I'm excited to see is Kwintin Williams. He's a rookie, and he comes to us from UConn, and he's just known for his high-flying jump theatrics. So excited to see him take the court. Also, we have a new player from Oklahoma State. He just came back from Thailand where he won the Big Man award, a 7-foot center, his name is Anthony Allen. Just at the scrimmage game he went 8 for 9 on the floor at the green and gold game at the Armory last week with eight dunks. We know that he's going to be a crowd favorite. And of course returning Shadell Millinghaus, the 2019 TBL MVP, our starting point guard, we've got him along with a host of  some of the best basketball players in this league, I'm sure."

Corts says the Pats have partnered with sponsor Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, where the new season was christened Thursday. Excited about the Pats’ future, head coach Derrick Rowland gave the past a nod.  "I remember myself as a rookie, trying to play for the Albany Patroons and the head coach was Dean Meminger, and shortly after Phil Jackson. Those were the great the great heyday of professional basketball. Winning championships. Being in the community, everywhere we went, people recognized us. The impact that we had on the kids and the impact we had on the families, and until this day, I still hear from the people back in those glorious days in the 80s."

Corts says the Patroons open the season against the Tri-State Admirals Saturday at the Armory, which has new parking options and amenities:  "New LED video walls and scoreboards, an entirely new concession area. Our Patroons merchandise offerings are all new and we're hosting a pregame show that will broadcast live right in the armory half an hour before kickoff. Halftime entertainment. We've been busy. We look forward to taking the court opening night."

Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

Patroons fans will now have the option to park at either the county-owned lot located at 208 Washington Avenue and CSEA-owned parking lot at 143 Washington Avenue.

These parking options will be available for all home games of the Albany Patroons and all events taking place at the Armory. Access to the 208 Washington Avenue lot is available on Washington Avenue between Henry Johnson Boulevard and Lark Street, with access to 143 Washington Avenue is available via Elk Street.

This, in addition to the ample and free street parking available to the public on evenings and weekends, provides Albany Patroons fans coming from all over the Capital Region with more safe and well-lit parking options than ever before.

The two lots, both walking distance from the Armory, will be available for fans all season long.

For season tickets, sponsorship information, or for more information about the team, visit patroonsbasketball.com.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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