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Team History

Skyforce Team History

Team History All-Time Assignees | All-Time NBA Call-Ups | All-Time Roster | All-Time Head Coaches | All-Time Home Attendance | Season-by-Season Records

February 14,1989 – The Kemper Lesnik Organization announced its intention to place a Continental Basketball Association (CBA) expansion team in Sioux Falls, S.D. Based in Chicago, the company provided the city of Sioux Falls with its first professional sports team. The team's nickname, Skyforce, was selected from 1,045 entries submitted in a "Name the Team" contest.

November 16, 1989 – The Skyforce played its inaugural game against the Rapid City Thrillers at the Sioux Falls Arena. Sioux Falls fell 85-79 in front of a crowd of 5,125. The first-ever starting lineup included guard Terry Gould, guard Eric Brown, forward Steve Grayer, forward Leo Parent and center Jim Lampley.

December 7, 1989 – The Skyforce defeated the Omaha Racers 127-120 at home to pick up its first ever-win. Ralph Lewis scored 46 points which tied for the most points scored in a game for over 25 seasons.

February 2, 1990 – Quintin Dailey became the first NBA Call-Up for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, as he inked a deal with the Seattle SuperSonics.

May 13, 1993 - Local ownership took hold when Sioux Falls businessmen Bob Correa, Greg Heineman, Roger Larsen and Tom Walsh purchased the Skyforce from the Kemper Lesnik Organization. The four community business leaders quickly established three goals:

  • Provide Sioux Falls, fans and corporate partners with the best family entertainment value in the area.
  • Those goals remain the focus of the organization to this day. The HEAT and Heineman continue to build upon the foundation set up by him and his partners in 1993. With their leadership, the organization is stronger than ever.

    November 17, 1996 – NBA legend Darryl Dawkins suited up for the Sioux Falls Skyforce for the first time. As a CBA All-Star that season, he averaged 13.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in 22 appearances.

    April 24, 1996 – The Skyforce defeated the Fort Wayne Fury 118-117 in Game 5 to capture its first CBA Championship. With the Skyforce trailing 117-116 in the final seconds, rookie forward Devin Gray drove past his defender and swished a leaning 10-footer at the buzzer to stun the 4,377 fans at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Henry James was named the 1996 CBA Playoff MVP after averaging 23.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game during the 1996 CBA Finals. Head coach Mo McHone led Sioux Falls to a regular season record of 32-24.

    April 2, 1999 – Troy Hudson signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, becoming the 10th NBA Call-Up of the season. This set the franchise record for most NBA Call-Ups in a single season.

    March 21, 1999 – General Manager Tommy Smith earns his third CBA Executive of the Year in four seasons. Smith would go on to be inducted in the Skyforce Hall of Fame.

    April 2, 2005 – The Skyforce defeated the Rockford Lightning 135-126 in Game 4 to capture its second CBA Championship. Corsley Edwards was named the 2005 CBA Playoff MVP after averaging 21.1 points and 12.4 rebounds in nine postseason contests. Head coach Dave Joerger, who has either been an NBA head coach or assistant since 2007-08, led Sioux Falls to a regular season record of 31-17.

    April 6, 2006 – The Skyforce joined the NBA G League following 17 seasons in the Continental Basketball Association.

    December 7, 2007 – The Skyforce defeated the Idaho Stampede 122-113 for the organization’s first win in the NBA G League at Sioux Falls Arena.

    January 8, 2007 – Detroit Pistons forward Amir Johnson became the first-ever NBA player assigned to the Skyforce. The 6-9, 210-pound forward went on to average 18.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks in 22 games (all starts). Johnson, who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors, is known as one of the most electric players in franchise history.

    August 7, 2007 – The Skyforce named former Sioux Falls Roosevelt and University of South Dakota standout Nate Tibbetts head coach. In two seasons as head coach, he guided Sioux Falls to a 53-47 mark including a playoff berth in 2008. Tibbetts currently serves as an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic.

    February 27, 2008 – The Skyforce played in the team’s 1000th game in franchise history against the Dakota Wizards in Bismarck, ND.

    April 6, 2008 – Kasib Powell was named NBA G League MVP for the 2007-08 season. The 6-7, 218-pound forward averaged 22.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 40 games (39 starts). Powell, who earned two call-ups to the Miami HEAT that season, was the only MVP in franchise history for the first 26 seasons.

    March 11, 2011 – David Bailey becomes the franchise’s all-time leading scorer in a 91-76 victory over the Tulsa 66ers. Bailey compiled 2,677 points during his Skyforce tenure. Bailey has also played the most games in franchise history, with 207.

    April 7, 2012 – Legendary coach and Skyforce Hall of Fame member Mo McHone coaches his last game for Sioux Falls against the Austin Spurs at Sioux Falls Arena. McHone owns the franchise record for all-time wins, with 195 in parts of seven seasons, which was highlighted by the 1996-97 CBA championship season.

    June 10, 2013 – The Skyforce and Miami HEAT entered a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2013-14 season. This partnership, also referred to as a hybrid affiliation, allows an NBA team to control the basketball operations, while existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

    November 22, 2013 – After spending 23 seasons at Sioux Falls Arena, the Skyforce defeated the Reno Bighorns 86-85 in the first game at the team’s new arena, the Sanford Pentagon.

    February 24, 2015 – Scotty Hopson shattered a 26-year franchise record, scoring 52 points on 21-28 FGA, in a 141-128 victory over the Reno Bighorns at the Sanford Pentagon.

    March 18, 2016 – The Skyforce defeated the Canton Charge 113-93 at the Sanford Pentagon for the organization’s 250th victory in the NBA G League.

    April 6, 2016 – Under the guidance of then-head coach Dan Craig, the Skyforce set the NBA G League ablaze with a regular season record 40-10, winning 18 of their last 21 games. The team also posted a franchise best 22-3 record at home. Craig currently is an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers.

    April 14, 2016 – Forward Jarnell Stokes is named the 2015-16 NBA G League MVP. He averaged 20.6 points on 66.5 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals per 30.7 minutes a game in 28 starts.

    April 26, 2016 – David Bailey, Mo McHone, Kasib Powell and Tommy Smith are inducted into the inaugural Skyforce Hall of Fame. The foursome are the only members of the illustrious group.

    April 27, 2016 – Sioux Falls earned its third league championship and first as a member of the NBA G League, defeating the South Bay Lakers 2-1 in a three-game series. Finals MVP Jarnell Stokes led the Skyforce with 25 points and 12 rebounds in a 91-63 victory over the Lakers in Game 3 at the Sanford Pentagon.

    March 14, 2018 – Briante Weber earned an NBA Call-Up with the Memphis Grizzlies, as he became the 50th player in Skyforce history to earn an NBA Call-Up. Weber averaged 16.1 points on 51 percent shooting, 6.5 rebounds, 7.0 rebounds and 2.6 steals per 34.4 minutes in 28 games for Sioux Falls.

    February 8, 2019 – Raphiael Putney broke the NBA G League all-time record for blocks (349), as he secured four against the Stockton Kings at the Sanford Pentagon.

    February 20, 2019 – After earning an NBA Call-Up with the Miami HEAT, Emanuel Terry becomes the 50th assignment to the Skyforce in franchise history.

    March 19, 2019 – Duncan Robinson solidified his then-record for the most three-point makes in a season in franchise history (157 3PM) in just 33 games. The NBA G League All-Rookie First Team player helped lead the HEAT to the 2020 and 2023 NBA Finals. He also inked what was the largest contract for an undrafted player in 2021, with a five-year, $90 million dollar contract with Miami.

    February 15, 2020 – Former two-way players Duncan Robinson and Derrick Jones take part in the 3-Point and Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend at United Airlines Arena in Chicago. Jones would go on to win the Dunk Contest with scores of 46, 50, 50, 50. They are the lone Skyforce alumnus to compete in NBA All-Star Weekend.

    June 22, 2020 – Gabe Vincent is named NBA G League Most Improved Player. He would go on to sign a multi-year deal and start 22 games in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, including five games in the NBA Finals.

    September 21, 2021– The Miami HEAT named NBA G League MVP and Skyforce Hall of Fame member Kasib Powell as the team’s 21st head coach in franchise history and sixth in the HEAT single affiliation era.

    October 31, 2021 – The Skyforce played their first game back in Sioux Falls since March 7, 2020, after over a year-and-a-half away due to COVID-19.

    January 14, 2022 – Sioux Falls signed two-time NBA champion Mario Chalmers, who became the first player to win multiple Larry O’Brien Trophy’s and play for the Skyforce.

    April 8, 2022 – Brandon Knight earned an NBA-Call Up with the Dallas Mavericks, which marks the Skyforce’s seventh NBA Call-Up of the season, which sets a franchise record in the NBA G League era.

    February 8, 2023 – Jamaree Bouyea earned an NBA Call-Up with the Miami HEAT. It marked the 100th NBA Call-Up in franchise history, as Bouyea would go on to earn another NBA Call-Up later in the season with the Washington Wizards.