Nevada Smith is starting his third season as the Skyforce head coach. His teams have missed the G-League Playoffs the past two years. Smith hopes to change that.
"I love this group, they're working really hard, extremely talented. We've got length and we've got athleticism. We can shoot. We don't have a center, we don't have a five, but we're doing it a different way and these guys have really bought in. It's been fun so far." says Smith.
The Force have four returning players from a year ago. Briante Weber and Bubu Palo are among those Deandre Liggins is also back. He was big part of the Force's championship team in 2016.
"My job is to be a leader. From what I've learned in the NBA, teach them how to practice and work hard." says Liggins.
"A lot talented guys in this group, a lot of moving pieces, a lot of versatility to help us get up and down to really challenge teams defensively. So the possibilities are very high for this group, we're looking forward to it." says Palo.
Sioux Falls also starts the season with two two-way players from the Miami Heat in former Michigan Wolverine Duncan Robinson, along with Yante Maten.
"I think our two ways are very good. Duncan is going to have games where he hits 9 3's and Yante will have games where he has 20 rebounds and 20-20 games." says Smith.
The Skyforce will also celebrate their history this season. At 30-years old, it's longest minor league pro basketball franchise in US history.
"We're doing a five game series where we'll be wearing the Sioux Falls flag jersey. And just looking back at our history and how we got to where we are today, and the people and the players who got us here.
The city has embraced us over the last 30-years, we wouldn't be here without their support. Many minor league teams have come and gone during that time, we've been able to stick around and thrive. 30-years, we're very proud of that accomplishment and we want to celebrate with as many people as we can." says owner Mike Heineman.