BUFFALO, NY (May14, 2015) — The Buffalo 716ers are returning to Los Angeles this summer to participate in the NBA sanctioned Los Angeles Summer Pro League (SPL). The team will be holding open tryouts starting on Saturday, May 16th at The Park School of Buffalo, 4625 Harlem Rd., Buffalo, NY, 14226.
There will be three total tryout sessions, two sessions on Saturday, one on Sunday. Interested players are only required to attend one session. The sessions have been designed to give each participant the maximum opportunity to showcase their talent.
The registration fee is $100 in advance, or $150 at the door. An important note: college athletes with eligibility remaining are ineligible to participate in the tryouts. Advance registration can be completed at Buffalo716ers.net
This is the second time the 716ers will participate in the Los Angeles Summer Pro League. Head coach and team owner fielded a team in the summer of 2013. Slaughter received the SPL “Coach of the Year” award in 2013.
“This tournament can really open doors for the players. Last time we were out there two of our players received private invitations to work out with NBA D-League teams. Not to mention the coaches, agents, and scouts that attend. This is a huge opportunity,” said Slaughter.
Amir Billups (SUNY Fredonia) averaged 22.8 points per game over five games. This was enough to get the attention of the D League Bakersfield Jam and Mexico’s LNBP league. Billups missed the team’s first game due to a flight delay. In Billups first game in the tournament he scored 35 points, including 8 three-point shots. Billups earned the SPL “Best 1-2-3 Backcourt” award. Billups signed a contract and played with the LNBP before returning to Buffalo to play two seasons with the 716ers. Billups was entertaining offers to play in Europe at the time of his passing in February 2015. Billups lost his life in a multi-car pile up during a snowstorm in Morrow County, OH.
Ajay Rutledge (Daemen College) also secured a private workout with the Bakersfield Jam as a result of this tournament. Rutledge joined Billups for the 716ers inaugural 2013 – 2014 season. Rutledge spent the 2014 – 2015 season playing for the AMK Bravehearts of the Singapore Basketball League (SBL). The Bravehearts made it to the championship game, but fell 89 – 81 to the Singapore Falcons.
The final roster spots for the 2015 tournament will be announced no later than June first.
BUFFALO, NY (May 3, 2015) — The Buffalo 716ers, of the American Basketball Association (ABA), and the 716ers Elite, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) program, have jointly launched a social media campaign to attract Maya Moore, a top-level WNBA player, to Buffalo to host a youth clinic before her season begins in June.
Moore recently published an article on The Players Tribune showcasing the passion she has for women’s basketball, and the passion she has to help continue to grow the women’s game starting at the youth levels.
“When I saw that article I knew that I wanted to reach out to her,” said 716ers owner and 716ers Elite president Tawan Slaughter. “She is the type of positive role model that I would like to give young females in Buffalo the opportunity to meet. Growing up my passion was always basketball. I looked up to players like Sheryl Swoops and Lisa Leslie. I can relate to Maya’s story, because I would always be working on my game growing up. I have already sent her an e-mail inviting her to Buffalo. I hope this campaign shows Maya the support that young girls, their families, and all of our fans, have for not only her but the entire game of basketball.”
BUFFALO, NY (April 20, 2015) — The American Basketball Association (ABA) today announced that the Buffalo 716ers has been added to its growing list of expansion teams. The 716ers will compete in the Northeast Division.
“We are thrilled to have Tawan Slaughter and her team in the ABA,” stated Joe Newman, ABA co-founder. “She has proven herself to be a great leader both on and off the court – and the 716ers will be a wonderful addition to our Northeast Division.”
For the first two years of their existence, the 716ers were members of the Premier Basketball League’s (PBL) Eastern Division. During the inaugural 2013 – 2014 season the team finished in third place in the division with an 8 – 7 record. The season did not start out promising, with the 716ers standing at 1-7 at the midway point. Those seven losses were the only ones the 716ers would see for the season before embarking on an impressive six game winning streak. On April 3, 2014 the PBL dismissed the undefeated, and two-time defending league champions Bloomington Flex. This changed the entire playoff structure, and the league announced that the second place Indianapolis Diesels would represent the Midwest Division in the finals and the Rochester Razorsharks would represent the Eastern Division.
At this time there was one remaining regular season game, which would not count for anything. The Carolina Pee Dee Vipers announced to the league they are refusing to travel to Rochester, NY for a meaningless game unless a revised playoff structure was implemented. The Eastern Division would have remained the same for the playoffs, with the Razorsharks in first, the Vipers in second, and the 716ers in third. All teams in the Midwest division would have moved up one position, making the Diesels the first place team, the Lima (OH) Express in second, and the Lake Michigan Admirals in third.
All owners, except for Dr. Sev Hrywnak, the Razorsharks owner and PBL Chairman, agreed to this proposed change. Had the PBL revised their playoff format and not declared division winners, the 716ers would have made the playoffs in their first season. The Razorsharks defeated the Express to capture the 2013-2014 PBL Championship.
The 716ers started the 2014 – 2015 season the same way they finished ‘13 – ‘14, winning the first two games and extending their winning streak to nine. The 716ers finished the season 7 – 10, good for third place in the PBL Eastern Division. Even with a sub .500 record the PBL announced that Buffalo had earned the third and final playoff spot in the division. Less than one week later the PBL announced that the Razorsharks would represent the East and the Lake Michigan Admirals the Midwest in the finals. The Razorsharks defeated the Admirals to capture the 2014 – 2015 PBL Championship.
Tawan Slaughter, owner and head coach, began developing the idea for bringing a professional minor league basketball team to Buffalo in the fall of 2012. Slaughter graduated from Christian Central Academy, Williamsville NY, where she played point guard for the Crusaders. As a four year varsity starter she broke the all-time leading scoring record with 2256 points, averaging 38.9 points per game. She started her collegiate career at Fredonia State before transfering to Buffalo State College for her final two years. Slaughter graduated from Buffalo State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. She continued her education at Canisius College, where she earned a Master’s of Science in Education.
Since forming the 716ers Slaughter established the Erie Hurricane, who were also members of the PBL Eastern Division for the last two season. She also formed Royalty Sports Management as a tool to help players live their dreams by playing professional basketball.
“When you have been successful in this business for three years,” stated Slaughter, “you pretty much know the ins and outs. It is refreshing to be a part of a league that celebrates all of its teams and actually allows teams to participate in the playoffs.
The 2015 – 2016 ABA season starts in November. The 716ers will host a six team preseason tournament in Buffalo prior to the start of the regular season.