SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Joe Wolf is spearheading an effort to bring a Milwaukee Bucks NBA Development League team to Sheboygan, but his proposal to refurbish the Armory would mean a venue for community events and youth programs as well.
“We’d like to provide a safe zone for kids,” Wolf told the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network on Sunday. “There are a lot of troubling things in the Sheboygan community that we’d like to take out of the kids’ lives and we’d like to set the right foundation.”
Wolf is the leader of Lakefront Jewel Group, which hopes to raise enough funds to renovate the Armory, which hasn’t seen much action since the 1990’s. The Armory was once home to the Sheboygan Red Skins, a National Basketball League team operating from the years of 1938 to 1949.
One of the community issues Wolf hopes his plan will protect children from is rampant drug use. According to a WHBL interview in 2015 with Samaritans Hand director Kent Kollath, one of the most common drugs used in Sheboygan County is heroin.
“Actually, the impact in Sheboygan County is bigger than anybody would even be aware of. People aren’t really aware of all the overdoses that they don’t hear about. The problem is huge and all of the problems related to the heroin problem; homelessness, crime, it could be prostitution, neglect of their children — it’s just flooding our city.”
A Sheboygan County data report from 2014 shows heroin as one of the most prevalent drugs used in eastern Wisconsin.
The Bucks have set the goal to have an affiliate team up and running by the 2017 season. It’s a lofty goal, but one Wolf says they can realistically meet.
Milwaukee has narrowed down its choices for their affiliate team to three and hopes to make a decision by mid-September before gaining NBA approval.