The Salt Lake City Stars return to Salt Lake Community College for another exciting season of minor league basketball.
As the NBA G League affiliate for the Utah Jazz, the Stars will play their 2017-18 home schedule — 24 games in all — in Bruin Arena, the Lifetime Activities Center at Taylorsville Redwood Campus. Ticket prices start at just $5.
“It’s a good atmosphere,” says Gina Calvert, the public and community relations manager for the Stars. “There isn’t a bad seat [in the arena].” Calvert also says the NBA G League is fulfilling its goal of developing young players.
While the Stars enter their second season playing in Bruin Arena, SLCC has a long history of hosting NBA talent.
Bruin Arena was the venue for the Rocky Mountain Revue from 2000-08. The summer league tournament showcased many future NBA stars, including 2017 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who played in front of a sellout crowd in 2007.
While the current summer leagues still offer opportunities, future NBA players often get their start in the minor leagues. During the 2013-14 season, Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert spent some time with the Bakersfield Jam. Gobert earned All-NBA 2nd Team honors last season for the Jazz.
The NBA G League, formerly known as the NBDL from 2001-05 and the NBA D-League from 2005-17, went through a rebranding before the start of this season. The G League stands for Gatorade League, signifying their partnership with the sports drink powerhouse.
The G League has seen tremendous growth since its inception, increasing from eight teams in 2001 to 26 teams after a four-team expansion this offseason.
More G League players are also earning NBA roster spots. To give some perspective on the progression, 15 G League alums were on NBA opening night rosters in 2004; at the start of this season, a record 167 former G League players — 38 percent of all NBA players — were on opening night rosters.
Supporting the Stars is a fun way to get involved with the community. They do their part in giving back to the community with themed nights, including the Teddy Bear Toss.
“We ask fans who purchase tickets to purchase a teddy bear. Then, at the end of the game, they toss it on the court and all the teddy bears collected will go to a local school to be given out to children who are in need,” Calvert says.
The Stars begin their season Friday, Nov. 3 as they travel to Texas for a game against the Austin Spurs. Their first home game will be played at Bruin Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.