SIOUX FALLS, SD – The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced today that long-time owner Greg Heineman was recently named to the 2018 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Ballot as a first-year nominee. Finalists will be announced via press conference during the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, and inductees will be announced during the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
Heineman appears as a direct elect nominee, under the Contributor Committee Nomination category. He is joined in his category by other basketball notables such as Jim Valvano, Marv Albert, Johnny “Red” Kerr, and Donnie Walsh as people who have had a major impact on the sport both on and off the court, and at various levels of competition.
In May of 1993, Heineman was one of four local businessmen who purchased the Skyforce from the original ownership group in order to keep the team in Sioux Falls, a city that had grown to love its newest professional team. Heineman has continued to build the organization on three key principles:
- Provide the Sioux Falls community, fans, and corporate partners with the best family entertainment value in the area.
- Provide Sioux Falls with the best minor league basketball franchise in America, both on and off of the court.
- Enhance the image of Sioux Falls as the best place to live in America.
Over the past 28.5 seasons, Sioux Falls has won over 53 percent of its games (786 total wins), and over 65 percent of its home games. Heineman has overseen three Skyforce league championships (1996, 2005, 2016), and has seen 53 Skyforce players called up a total of 81 times to 28 different NBA franchises over the years.
The Sioux Falls Skyforce is the longest running minor league basketball team in the history of the sport (established in 1989), and the team’s success and family friendly environment has drawn over three million fans to a Skyforce game throughout the history of the franchise.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be mentioned in the same conversation as some of the all-time greats in basketball history,” said Heineman. “It speaks so highly of the Skyforce organization, the city of Sioux Falls, and the fans who have stuck with us through the good times and the bad. This community has been very supportive over the last 30 years, and without them, we wouldn’t even be here. We’d just be another name that was here today and gone tomorrow.”
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.