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Bakersfield Jam bought by Suns & leaving town

Posted at 11:34 AM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 22:11:23-04

The Bakersfield Jam has been bought by the Phoenix Suns, the club’s NBA affiliate, and the team will be moved to Prescott Valley, Arizona for the 2016-17 season and will begin with a name change to Northern Arizona Suns. The team will play at the Prescott Valley Event Center.

Bakersfield owners Stan Ellis and David Higdon are reportedly working to bring a new D-League expansion franchise to Bakersfield for the 2016-17 season. According to a press release, "Several NBA teams have expressed their interest in having a team in place next season to play at the Dignity Health Event Center." 

“I want to personally thank all of our Jam partners and employees that we have worked with these past 10 seasons,” said Stan Ellis. “It’s because of their hard work and dedication to our franchise that we have been able to train NBA players and staff here in Bakersfield. David and I have been blessed to make so many wonderful relationships and we are looking forward to continuing those friendships.”

Bakersfield and Phoenix entered a single-affiliation partnership in 2014, but have been working together since 2011. In its two-year hybrid partnership, the Suns assigned a total of four players to the Jam (Reggie Bullock, Tyler Ennis, Archie Goodwin and T.J. Warren) and called-up two Bakersfield players (Earl Barron and Jerel McNeal).

The 2015-16 marked Bakersfield’s 10th season in the NBA Development League. Since the inaugural 2006-07 season, the Jam’s milestones include the 2015 NBA D-League Showcase Championship and the 2013 Western Division Championship. Overall, Bakersfield produced 14 Gatorade Call-Ups to the NBA, contributed to the development of 27 NBA players on assignment and have seen another 11 staff members receive Call-Ups to NBA staffs. 

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