Viborg to host pro exhibition team Friday, Nov. 8 Viborg will be the first to get a glimpse at America's newest professional basketball league Nov. 8 in the Viborg High School Gymnasium. The Xtreme Basketball Association (XBA) will be bringing a team comprised mostly of their rookie players to compete against the Turner County All Stars, a group of former area high school and college players.
The purpose of the event is to prepare the XBA Rookie Stars for their college exhibition tour which kicks off on Nov. 9 in Moorehead, MN, and to help raise some money for youth basketball in the area.
The players will also conduct a free clinic for boys and girls in grades 5-8 from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The clinic is open to all students from area schools. The clinic is sponsored by Viborg Ace Hardware and Merchants State Bank.
After the Friday exhibition, the team begins their college tour which will have them playing Moorhead State, the University of North Dakota, St. Cloud State, South Dakota State and Chadron State all in a seven day span.
The XBA begins its regular season on Jan. 3 in six Midwestern towns. Huron, Aberdeen, Minot, ND, Jamestown, ND, Marshalltown, IA and Ft. Dodge, IA all will feature teams in the new league and will play a 30-game schedule.
While this will be the league's first season in the Midwest, it has already completed a very successful summer season in the Carolinas where it featured many former NBA players as well as stars from the country's top college conferences. The league has several rules which separate it from the existing minor leagues and are intended to make it more fan friendly.
These differences include awarding three points for a slam dunk, playing under International rules which allows teams to play zone defense, and requiring all of their players to give back 10 hours of volunteer service to the community each week as part of their player contracts.
The league also requires each team to have a minimal of four regional players on each roster in an effort to help build better fan support. The regional players are what many of those attending the game in Viborg will see. Among the players expected to play for the XBA Rookie Stars are: Former Minnesota and Huron University stand-out Russ Archambeau, former USD star Jimmy Foster, former Pine Ridge and Junior College sensation Jess Heart as well as ex-Watertown and Missouri Star Jason Sutherland. Sutherland will also be serving as an assistant coach on the team and a head coach in the XBA Midwest regular season.
In addition to these known local commodities, the XBA team will also feature a couple of veterans in former Houston Rocket Mitchell Wiggins and the high flying 6'5" Franklin "Superfly" Paul. The team is coached by Derek Howard who was head coach of the Wilmington (NC) Wave Rockets during the XBA summer season.
and will be head coach of the Marshalltown, IA team during the winter campaign. Howard has also served as an assistant under current Golden State Warrior head coach, Eric Musselman.
"We are greatful for the support the area businesses and Viborg High School CEO, Pat Kraning have provided us. It gives me a lot of personal satisfaction to be able to help bring this type of talent to the area," said XBA Commissioner John Jordan.
Tickets for the game are $2 for students and $3 for adults. The players will be signing autographs after the game in the gym and will follow with a social hour at Garvey's Creamery Bar sponsored by Jordan Sports Management.