Pittsburgh City Council declared today to be “Steel City Yellow Jackets” day in honor of the city’s ABA franchise which begins its final playoff pursuit of an ABA championship this weekend.
The full proclamation, sponsored by councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, reads:
“WHEREAS, Steel City Yellow Jackets are in their inaugural season of the American Basketball Association (ABA) representing the City of Pittsburgh; and,
WHEREAS, after much hard work, dedication and tryouts, the Yellow Jackets were pre-ranked 19th in the country out of 104 teams before the season began on November 8; and,
WHEREAS, their first game ever was a home game against the 9th ranking team, the Baltimore Hawks where the home crowd support lead the Yellow Jackets to a 9-point margin victory; and,
WHEREAS, by November, the Steel City Yellow Jackets were ranked number 4 in the country, but soon fell to 12th overall after a few misfortunes, but still good enough to take them to the ABA playoffs, where only the top 32 teams in the country attend; and,
WHEREAS, Regionals, the first round of the playoffs, takes place here in Pittsburgh the weekend of March 13, 14 and 15, where the Steel City Yellow Jackets will be hosting five other teams in the divisional rounds, of which the Yellow Jackets are ranked No. 1 and,
WHEREAS, the Steel City Yellow Jackets members all have ties to Pittsburgh and at least half could have played elsewhere for an actual paycheck, but the love for this city keeps them all here where they aim to build the rapport of the community through local youth sports programs; and,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby congratulate the Steel City Yellow Jackets for a successful first season and wish them luck in the playoffs; and,
Steel City Yellow Jackets: (1) Antonio Reddick; (2) Gilmore Cummings; (4) Nick Novak; (5) Ajani Ogbonna; (7) Lawrence Baker; (11) Geno Bianco; (21) Maurice Mendoza; (23) Brett Young; (24) Lamar Castille; (30) Nate Williams; (31) Albert Varacallo; (32) Robert Duck
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh does hereby declare Tuesday, March 10, 2015, to be the “Steel City Yellow Jackets Day” in the City of Pittsburgh.”
Head coach and co-owner Ace Pippens had this to say about the honor and upcoming playoffs, “It was a Blessing and an honor to receive such a Proclamation especially in the City of Pittsburgh. I’ve won many awards and never anything as close to this. This let me know that we are doing the right things and headed in the right direction with the Steel City Yellow Jackets.
“There are a lot of great organizations in Pittsburgh and most can not say they received such an honor. This proclamation has motivated the team and my staff and we are ready to show Pittsburgh we are here to stay and well worth the time as we will win this Divisional Championship and move on to the Regionals.”
The team, which is in its inaugural season, has secured the top seed in the ABA North East Division playoffs and will host three other teams this weekend to determine who earns a spot in the regional playoffs in Providence.
The New Jersey Express will take on the Philadelphia Spirit at 6 p.m. on Saturday and the Yellow Jackets will take on the Staten Island Vipers immediately following. The winners of those two games will square off Sunday. All games are scheduled to be played at Perry Traditional Academy and tickets are available at the door for $10. For more information on the team, check them out at www.catchthebuzz.net.