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On the Coast Magazine

Enjoying Emerald Coast Knights

03/04/2013 09:02AM, Published by Nancy Babin, Categories: Community

Emerald Coast Knights

Basketball always seems to take a back seat to baseball, football and even soccer here On the Coast. Not anymore! Enter the Emerald Coast Knights, our very own pro, yes you heard me, PRO basketball team that has chosen Destin to be its home base!

For myself, I find this very exciting as I spent the 80s and early 90s in Los Angeles and looked forward to the weeknight and weekend games of the LA Lakers at the Forum. Watching greats such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, AC Green, Byran Scott, and Vlade Divac manipulate that ball around other great NBA players was amazing and made me fall in love with this sport. These games filled the community’s nights with fast-paced energy, excitement, and good ole competition. It brought the city together as we cheered our guys on. The wave lasted forever and the chanting from the stands was insurmountable!

And now, the Emerald Coast Knights, with six local games under their belt and a record 6-3 as we go to press, bring that energy and excitement to the court at Destin Community Center as they play host to this pro team’s games. The games are fast and intense and you get great seats - like the ones that cost hundreds on the sidelines at those Lakers games past. Your price for all this excitement? A mere $7 for adults, $5 for seniors/veterans, $2 for kids and children under 5 are free! That's less than the price of a movie with money left over to buy snacks at the concession stand.

The Knights quickly embraced the community by hosting a free basketball clinic the very first month they arrived. Kids of all ages from Destin, Fort Walton, South Walton and Rocky Bayou attended and were privy to the skills and enthusiasm these pros bring to their sport. What great role models these guys are for our area. We are blessed to have them and they are offering another clinic in April as they finish off their season with a potential summer camp in the works!

The Knights of the ABL (American Basketball League) is made up of one of six teams in the Sunshine Conference. Players in the ABL (another 6 teams are in Texas) look to Europe or the NBA for their next move. Already gone are Knights Benjamin Colon, a much sought-after forward by teams in Puerto Rico and Australia, and Willie Irick, who was traded to Panama City in late February. 

Weymon Powell is a basketball veteran of many years and serves as the general manager and head coach of the Knights. His coaching staff consists of assistants Drew Schuch, Bob Sherwood and Pat Markey. They all bring their expertise to the courts as the Knights reign top in the Sunshine conference. Players Damon Maddox and Jason Sanders are locals. Matt Barrow, Sterling Council, DeAndre Hall, Alex Jacobson, Peter Olafesa, Caleb Sutton and PJ Turner make up the balance of the team. 

So come on out, enjoy some good family fun and support our very own Emerald Coast Knights as they truly change the culture of basketball here On the Coast!

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