Sheboygan Armory would be used for more than Bucks basketball

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.

SheboyganCountyHeroin
Click to enlarge

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.

Feigin: D-League affiliate will have “serious” nickname

MILWAUKEE — While the Milwaukee Bucks have yet to finalize a host city for their future NBA Development League franchise, team president Peter Feigin believes the team will not have a cutesy nickname.

“[The D-League team] is a direct brand extension,” Feigin said Sunday on “The Neighborhood.” “…We’re going to be awfully serious about what the connection is. This will not be the [American Hockey League’s] Albany River Rats; this will not be interesting — [International League’s] [Toledo] Mud Hens. This will be…something that’s true and authentic.”

The Bucks have set a soft deadline of mid-September for when they’d like to name a finalist for the affiliate’s host city. It would then go to the NBA for league approval, which is a streamlined process based on the number of times they’ve gone through the process before. By the 2017 season, the Bucks hope to have that team fully functioning as their D-League franchise.

Feigin said there are no team names currently in discussion for whichever city ends up hosting the Bucks’ affiliate, but joked that they’re running out of time to think of one.

There are now three finalists in the running for Milwaukee’s D-League affiliate, and although Feigin didn’t specify, the likely candidates are Oshkosh, Racine, and Sheboygan.

Sheboygan a strong contender for Bucks affiliate site

MILWAUKEE — The city of Sheboygan should be considered a strong contender to host a future Milwaukee Bucks NBA Development League team, given its proximity to Milwaukee and ownership group.

As the Bucks aim to announce a host city for their D-League affiliate by September, team president Peter Feigin praised the efforts being made by Lakefront Jewel Group to potentially host a team. In a Sunday interview on “The Neighborhood,” Feigin specifically mentioned former Bucks player and assistant coach Joe Wolf, who leads the charge for LJG in reconstructing the Armory.

 

While each city hoping to make a bid for the Bucks affiliate was required to fill out a privacy agreement, it’s no surprise Sheboygan is in the running, considering the connection with Wolf. He has experience coaching in the Continental Basketball Association (2004-2006) and the D League (2006-2008), as well as the NBA as an assistant coach (2008-present).

Wolf posted a number of renderings on Twitter of what the Armory could look like once the renovation project is completed.

Armory1

 

Armory2

Other cities reported to be in the hunt for a new Bucks D League team include Racine and Oshkosh, while La Crosse was ruled out last weekend.

LISTEN: Bucks delay D-League decision by two weeks

MILWAUKEE — The process of naming a host city for a Milwaukee Bucks NBA Development League team is taking longer than expected, pushing the decision date into September.

In an interview with the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network, team president Peter Feigin says he expects that decision to come down in the next four to six weeks, with the longer end of that time frame bumping up against Milwaukee’s start of training camp.

 

While Feigin said the team is now considering “about three cities” as the affiliate’s host, the decision comes down to more than just location. Location was a factor, however, in ruling out La Crosse, despite being the only reported city with an arena already in place.

Among the cities believed to be in the running, Sheboygan has launched a site with renderings of a proposed arena. Oshkosh and Racine are also considered strong contenders.

According to Feigin, the city which wins the bidding war will have “attendance, a [built-in] fan base, and then actually have the financial support to do it.” The partnership group and excitement level will also come into play.

Sheboygan’s ownership group, Lakefront Jewel Group, is headed by former Milwaukee Bucks player and assistant coach Joe Wolf. Wolf was also an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets for the 2014-15 season and has experience coaching NBA Development League teams. The Group’s Web site lists 2017 as the year in which the proposed arena will be completed, which falls in line with Milwaukee’s plan to have a team established by that time frame.

At this time, no team names have been generated and no sponsorship opportunities have publicly been announced.