March 31, 2016
Slam set to return to the court this summer
Team accepts invitation to join Seattle Pro-Am league
The Bellingham Slam will be making a long-awaited return to the basketball court this summer.
The Slam, sidelined for nearly two years following a nine-year run in the American Basketball Association and International Basketball League, has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2016 Seattle Pro-Am league.
Heading into its 21st season, the Seattle Pro-Am has established itself as one of the top summer leagues in the country. It was originally founded in 1996 by former NBA player and Seattle native Doug Christie, before being taken over in 2006 by another NBA veteran with local roots, Jamal Crawford. In addition to serving as a platform for local athletes to showcase their talents, the league attracts a number of big-name NBA stars each summer.
"The Seattle Pro-Am is very excited to have an established and professional organization such as the Bellingham Slam participating," commented Seattle Pro-Am Commissioner Rashaad Powell. "The Slam has built and established a well-respected professional organization that competes at a high level. The Pro-Am welcomes the Slam with open arms, as we know they will undoubtedly raise the level of competition of our league."
In previous seasons, the Seattle Pro-Am has featured appearances from Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Spencer Hawes, Zach LaVine, Isaiah Thomas and others.
The Slam had been without a league to compete in since the IBL ceased operation following the 2014 season and shifted its focus to operating a summer league in Portland, Oregon. Bellingham had won the last three IBL championships up to that point.
The team’s roster for the Seattle Pro-Am will be selected by General Manager Kip Leonetti this spring, with a goal of bringing back as many players as possible who competed with the Slam during its time in the IBL. Head Coach Tyler Amaya will retain his role of player-coach with the squad.
The Seattle Pro-Am season begins July 2 and runs through August. All games will be played at Royal Brougham Pavilion in Seattle.
Prior to the team’s participation in the Seattle Pro-Am, the team will hold its second annual Back 2 Bellingham Battle against the Western Washington University alumni team in mid-May. The exhibition will take place on Sunday, May 15 at 5 p.m. at the Wade King Center on WWU's campus.