News 12 at 6 o'clock, June 23, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---"I'm ready to get my groove on," said Augusta mayor Deke Copenhaver.
The Augusta Groove is a new professional basketball team looking to dribble their way into a home near you.
"I'm ecstatic about it. This is something I've been waiting for a while," said Mike Lindo.
Believe it or not Mike Lindo actually played semi-pro basketball 10 years ago. "For me personally...you know basketball is where my heart is," said Lindo.
He can still sink a few, but Mike's looking to play a different role lately..."Just as a fan...for the love of the game and being able to get out there and follow the team...follow the games," said Lindo.
It's not the NBA, but it is called the Premier Basketball League...boasting 16 teams. The games would cost 5 to 10 dollars.
"That's great. It is affordable for everybody...so everybody should be able to come out to games and cheer for the groove," said Lindo.
"When you consider what it would cost to drive to Atlanta to see a Hawks game...with 4 dollars a gallon I think people will come out and support the team. It's affordable and family friendly," said Mayor Deke Copenhaver.
So why Augusta? "Second largest city in Georgia...and you know Augusta is up and coming and it's growing," said Gary Perry who is General Manager of the team.
The team has had it's share of growing pains trying to find a place to call home. First they were considering the James Brown Arena...now they're in talks with Augusta State University.
"Pricing...pricing is everything. You got the economy...so we're just trying to do what's feasible for us," said Perry.
With 20 scheduled games...10 of those at home...it's time to get the ball rolling. Mike has a few words of encouragement. "Lets get the groove on," said Mike Lindo.
Team managers will be recruiting players in Atlanta on Sunday. They'll be in Macon on July 12th. They will recruit locally in September.