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BIG3 Skips San Antonio

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On July 19, 2019 the Big3 announced that a brand new major basketball festival will be taking place in Dallas, TX on August, 17th, the day the league was scheduled to play in San Antonio. It is my understanding that this is the third season the BIG3 has skipped San Antonio.

It is unfortunate that ticket holders like myself had to find out through individual sources and Facebook that the game was canceled. So, in the event you are a Big3 ticket holder and was not aware that the San Antonio games have been canceled, it is a fact. If you purchased your tickets through Ticketmaster online you will want to follow up on your refund by calling the Ticketmaster Fan Support line.

The “New” Basketball Festival is supposed to include additional events throughout the entire weekend to included musical performances by rappers T.I. and Yella Beezy. The festival is also set to feature all six weekly games on one day at American Airlines Center with fans being able to watch six games with just one ticket and experience a series of Young3 clinics for area youth throughout the weekend, with player meet and greets for fans.

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Former Longhorn Benson dies

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AUSTIN, Texas — Former NFL and Texas Longhorns running back Cedric Benson, one of the most prolific rushers in NCAA history, has died in a motorcycle crash in Texas. He was 36.

Benson’s attorney, Sam Bassett, said Austin law enforcement told him that Benson was killed in the wreck Saturday night. Bassett said he did not have details about what happened.

“Cedric was not just a client, he was my friend,” Bassett said. “He was immensely talented and fierce on the football field, yet most have no idea the difficulties he overcame to achieve what he did. Though imperfect in some respects, once Cedric was your friend you understood how kind, sensitive and loyal he was as a man.”

Benson was one of the top high school recruits out of the West Texas town of Midland. According to Texas Football magazine, he is eighth on the career rushing list for Texas high schools. He led Midland Lee to three straight state championships, the only three in school history, from 1998 to 2000.

He then went on to be a key player in the Longhorns’ resurgence under coach Mack Brown. Benson played at Texas from 2001 to ’04, and his 5,540 yards ranks second at the university behind Ricky Williams’ total and ninth in NCAA history. He scored 64 career touchdowns with the Longhorns and won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back, in 2004.

He was the only player in school history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in four seasons and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Honor in 2014.

Brown and Williams took to social media to pay tribute to Benson after learning of his death.

Tom Herman, the current coach at Texas, also expressed his condolences.

“It’s an unbelievably sad day with the news of the passing of Cedric Benson,” Herman said in a statement. “We lost a true Longhorn Legend, one of the best running backs in college football history and a really special man. He was far too young, and my heart aches for his family, friends and the entire Longhorn community. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.”

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The Legend Returns

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SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs on Monday announced that Will Hardy and Tim Duncan will be added to Gregg Popovich’s bench as assistant coaches.

Hardy first joined the Spurs as a basketball operations intern in 2010 after graduating from Williams College.

“Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich.

Duncan, a 1997 Wake Forest graduate, played 19 seasons with the Spurs before retiring in the summer of 2016.

“It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor,” said Popovich.

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Spurs first Black GM

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SAN ANTONIO (July 23, 2019) – Spurs Sports & Entertainment today announced that RC Buford has been named CEO of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, effective Sept. 3. The two-time NBA Executive of the Year has spent a total of 29 years with SS&E.

“RC Buford is one of the most highly-respected leaders in professional sports,” said SS&E Chairman Peter J. Holt. “His vision, innovation and drive have helped shape our values and culture. We are thrilled to have RC leading the organization into the future.”

Buford first joined the Silver and Black as an assistant coach on Larry Brown’s staff in 1988. He then spent one season with the Los Angeles Clippers and one season at the University of Florida before returning to San Antonio in 1994 as a member of then-Spurs General Manager Gregg Popovich’s staff.Buford was promoted to Spurs Director of Scouting in 1997 and took on the role of vice president and assistant general manager in 1999. Buford was named the Spurs General Manager in 2002 before being promoted to President of Sports Franchises in 2008.

In addition, SS&E announced that long-time top executives Rick Pych and Lawrence Payne have elected to transition into strategic advisory roles with the organization. The two leaders, with a combined 70 years of Spurs service, will remain heavily involved with various key projects and strategic planning at SS&E.

“Rick and LP have been instrumental in the success of the Spurs for many years,” said Holt. “Their passion, influence and leadership have allowed all of us to succeed. It’s impossible to list the numerous contributions they’ve made to the organization. All of us are grateful that we’ll be able to continue to tap into their knowledge and intelligence for years to come.”

Pych, who begins his 27th season with SS&E, has served as the organization’s president and co-CEO since 2016. He started with the organization as the team’s CFO in 1993. In 2000 he was named an executive vice president before assuming the role of president of business operations in 2008.

Payne, currently an executive vice president, is the longest tenured full-time employee in franchise history, starting with the Spurs in 1976 after receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

At the same time, the organization has announced that Brian Wright has been promoted to Spurs General Manager while Lori Warren and Bobby Perez have been elevated to executive vice president roles. Warren and Perez will lead the business side of SS&E.

Wright, who will manage day-to-day basketball operations duties, spent 10 seasons working with the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons before being named the Spurs Assistant General Manager in 2016.

Warren, who has been with the organization for 26 years, most recently served as SS&E’s senior vice president of corporate finance and brand strategy.

Perez, a San Antonio native, joined SS&E in 2013 as the organization’s senior vice president general counsel and corporate relations after spending 20 years at Shelton & Valadez P.C.

SS&E has grown to include 400-plus full-time employees and over 1,000 part-time staff. In addition to capturing five NBA Championships, the Spurs were named the top franchise in professional sports four times in ESPN’s annual fan survey. The SS&E family also includes the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), Austin Spurs (NBA G League), San Antonio FC (USL) and Silver & Black Give Back (501(c)(3)), as well as the AT&T Center, Toyota Field and the STAR Soccer Complex.

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