Birmingham Squadron draws nearly 5000 fans for inaugural game (PHOTOS)

Birmingham Squadron draws nearly 5000 fans for inaugural game (PHOTOS)
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Last night, the Birmingham Squadron played its inaugural NBA G League game in front of 4872 Magic City basketball fans at the newly renovated Legacy Arena. 

Despite a 35-point and eight assist performance by former Auburn University standout Jared Harper, the Squadron, a New Orleans Pelicans affiliate, lost their home opener to the Mexico City Capitanes 123-114.

Squadron Teamwork and Unselfish Play

Birmingham
Birmingham Squadron’s John Petty, Jr and Jared Harper helping a teammate up. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

“The unselfishness that we came out with was very good,” said Squadron Head Coach Ryan Pannone at the news conference after the game. “I thought we were pretty unselfish the entire game, which I really liked —I liked when the guys did that. I thought it would have been easy to cave when we got down 11 to 12 points but our guys did a really good job fighting back and competing.”

Pannone thanked the fans for coming out and for their support.

Birmingham Squadron
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

“Fans impact the game, if there are no fans I don’t think we make that comeback. The energy that they gave us and the positivity that they gave us after the game was really nice.”

Squadron New Home Feels Like the NBA

Birmingham Squadron
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

College basketball fans in the state of Alabama not only got to see Harper’s return to the hardcourt, but also popular former University of Alabama and all-time three-point scoring leader for the Tide John Petty. Jr.  Petty thrilled the crowd by hitting several 3-point rainbows during the game.

After the game, both players said the newly renovated Legacy Arena provided a genuine “NBA feel.”  

“It’s the best—simply the best,” stated Petty bluntly.

Birmingham Squadron
John Petty, Jr. addresses press after Squadron’s first game.. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Family Friendly — Next up! 5 games in 9 days

Birmingham Squadron
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

While we are in the midst of the holiday season, now is a great opportunity to check out Birmingham’s newest professional team. The Squadron are scheduled to play five games in the next 9 days at Legacy Arena. 

Birmingham Squadron
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Family friendly — below are the games for the current homestand.. Each game tips-off at 7:00pm.

December 7 – Mexico City

December 9 – Lakeland Magic

December 11 – Lakeland Magic

December 13 – Memphis Hustle

December 14 – Memphis Hustle

Plenty of single, group and season tickets are available.

Birmingham Squadron
Birmingham Squadron’s first home game at the newly-renovated Legacy Arena. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Joining the Squadron this week? Tag us on social media @bhamnow so we can see you there.

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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