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Friday, April 25, 2014

Professional basketball team to come to GR By Justin Geerts

Staff Writer

G

rand Rapids will soon be home to a professional basketball team.

Starting next season, the Detroit Pistons will begin an affiliation with the NBA Development League team in Grand Rapids. The team, formally the Springfield Armor, will play out of The Deltaplex Arena in Walker. “I was astonished but really excited,” Cornerstone University sophomore Joel Boersen said. “I think it will be really good for the city of Grand Rapids to have basketball back, and I think it will be good for the league, because Grand Rapids is very supportive of its teams.” This will be Grand Rapids’ first professional basketball team since the Grand Rapids Hoops were disbanded in 2003. The Hoops were a part of the Continental Basketball Association from 1989-2003. The team, which has not yet been named, will become the third minor league affiliation of a professional team in Detroit to be based in Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids Griffins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings and play out of Van Andel Arena, while the Detroit Tigers’ single A affiliate in the Midwest league, the West Michigan Whitecaps, play at Fifth-Third Ballpark. “I think it will mean that [Grand Rapids] is a city that

Peter Brown/The Herald

Basketball: The DeltaPlex Arena will be the new home of the team that has been known as the Springfield Armor of the NBA D-league. is growing in popularity and it also shows that Grand

Rapids cares about its sports teams,” Boersen, a former

high school basketball state champion, said. “Having

the support the Griffins do night in and night out must

have been enough for the D-League to give us a team.” The relocation of the Springfield Armor from Massachusetts gives the Pistons their own team in the Development League. Prior to the change, the team was sharing the Fort Wayne Mad Ants with five other NBA teams: the Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies. “The team will not only showcase the highest level of basketball outside of the NBA, featuring up-andcoming Detroit Pistons, but will enrich an already vibrant community via its fun, family-friendly and affordable brand of entertainment and commitment to broader community needs,” Dan Reed, NBA D-League president, said in an interview with nba.com. Prior to the opening of the 2014-2015 NBA Development League season, the new ownership group will decide on a new name for the Grand Rapids franchise. Fans have the opportunity to be a part of this experience by going to nba.com/dleague/ grandrapids and submitting their idea of a possible name. One entry will be selected to win two season tickets for the inaugural season. Boersen believes that the arrival of the team will bring more press coverage to the Grand Rapids area and will help showcase basketball in an area that is already very passionate and competitive in the sport. He is looking forward to going to games and experiencing the high-level of talent that the D-League has to offer.

Cornerstone falls in hard-fought battle against No.19 Davenport This article was written for a Sports Writing course at CU. — editor

By Sam Stearns

W

hat started as a beautiful sunny day in early April turned out to be a tough night for the Cornerstone University men’s tennis team.

Tuesday, April 8, the Golden Eagles lost to their conference rivals, Davenport University, 9-0. The matches were played at the Farmer’s Athletic Complex in Caledonia, Mich. There was a glimmer of hope in one match between CU’s Santiago Mackrey against Davenport’s J.P. Van Antwerpen. Van Antwerpen won handily in the first set 6-1. Mackrey took Van Antwerpen to a tiebreaker before losing 7-4 to lose the set 7-6. “I did not play a good first set but in the second one I believe that I played well,” Mackrey said. Mackrey was disappointed with the loss, but was playing after being sick the last few days. “I tried to be focused in the match, but it was hard because of the fever, the headaches and the body pain,” Mackrey said. “Every time I have difficulties in a match I try to think of my family. I love them and everything is easier when they are in my mind. When my mind is focused on them and not in how bad I feel, I start to play better.” Mackrey is a transfer student from the Instituto Superior Deportea in Argentina. He is starting on the second best doubles team for CU and is the third best singles player. Mackrey started playing soccer originally but eventually switched to tennis. “It was a good decision,”

Sam Stearns/Courtesy Photo

Match: The Golden Eagles lost a match against Davenport University on April 8.

Sam Stearns/Courtesy Photo

Tennis: Santiago Mackery plays against the top-ranked players of Davenport University. Mackrey said. “Thanks to tennis I could get to know different countries in South America and now I have the chance to be part of a team and study in the United States.” Mackrey started late this season after transferring to CU for the spring semester.

His teammates are happy to have him and his ability quickly secured him a spot on the team. “Santi is new this semester and has been on fire since he got here,” teammate Chris Selva said. “He’s only lost a couple of times and he has

pulled some huge wins over teams like Southeastern, St. Francis of Illinois, and Grace College. I think he’s a great addition to the team and is always ready to leave it all out there on the court.” Singles matches are played the first to six games in a set, and the best two of three sets. In order for a player to win a set they must win by at least two games or there will be a tiebreaker. It was a similar story for CU in its singles

matches. Davenport won every match in two sets. All three of CU’s doubles teams lost. Doubles matches are played first to 8 games. The first doubles team of Elijah Yi and Austin Hunt lost 8-2 to Davenport’s Matheus Carvalho and Jordan Parker. CU’s second doubles team of Santiago Mackrey and Andrew Son lost 8-3 to Sam Rogerson and JP Van Antwerpen. The Golden Eagles’ third doubles team of Alex Tarnow

and Brad Miedema also lost 8-3 to Tyler and Zac Chambers. “We have to get better at all facets of the game and handle ourselves right now, and we will,” Erickson said. “We came out totally flat in doubles, which is strange when we’re playing a conference rival. After this match, CU’s record is now 10-9 overall and 0-2 in the WHAC conference. Davenport improved to 16-4 overall and 2-0 in the WHAC. They are now ranked No.19 nationally.

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