LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A former NBA and ABA all-star who was an All-American at the University of Kentucky has been chosen to lead a group working to bring an NBA team to Kentucky.
Dan Issel was named the president of the Louisville Basketball Investment and Support Group.
The initiative, referred to as NBA 2 Louisville, is a group focused on making sure the city is ready should an opportunity to get a team arise.
"There is speculation that the NBA could grant an expansion franchise to the West Coast, which would open the door for a franchise to be located in the eastern U.S.," Issel said in a press release. "This development - plus the impressive list of local investors - is the impetus for the formation of the NBA 2 Louisville initiative. And, it is the reason why I am so excited to be involved in trying to bring professional basketball back to the Commonwealth."
NBA 2 Louisville established an advisory committee that will support the staff and board to implement the five strategic initiatives below:
- Continue to accelerate the civic and business support for an NBA team in Louisville, Ky.
- Demonstrate to the NBA the positive business case as to why Louisville should be considered a franchise city
- Validate feasibility studies with city officials to show why Louisville has a legitimate opportunity to attract and successfully operate an NBA franchise
- Attract and secure a qualified majority owner/investor
- Continue to assess the opportunity to attract to Louisville an existing NBA team that is considering relocation
More than 20 local investors have contributed $750,000 in startup capital to support NBA 2 Louisville.
Issel played at Kentucky from 1967-70, earning All-American honors in two of those seasons. He is the school's all-time leading scorer. In a 2015 survey, WAVE3.com readers voted Issel the best player ever at UK.
He was drafted by the NBA's Detroit Pistons, but chose instead to play for the ABA's Kentucky Colonels, whom he led to the league championship in 1975. He played for the Colonels from 1970-75, then played for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA from 1975-85. He also coached the Nuggets from 1992-95 and again from 1999-2002.
For more information on NBA 2 Louisville, click here.