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West Virginia Blazers Sign First Seven Players

August 20, 2008 - American Basketball Association (ABA) News Release

Blufeield, WV. The newly formed ABA West Virginia Blazers are pleased to announce the first seven players selected to fill positions on the Blazers' team roster.

The WV Blazers are owned by the Bluefield Housing Authority in Bluefield WV. The goals of developing this team are to provide positive activities for young men, to provide southern West Virginia with the benefits of a professional basketball team, and to raise money to continue to support programs and activities which will serve at-risk youth in the community. All net proceeds from the Blazers will be used to fund crime, drug and tobacco prevention programs in southern WV.

The Blazers' 15 home games in the 2008-2009 season will be held at the Raleigh County Armory and Convention Center in Beckley WV. The first home game will be January 4, 2009. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students. Courtside tickets will be $15, but must be purchased in advance by visiting our website, www.wvblazers.com (currently under construction) or calling 304 325 9653. Sponsorship packages are also available to help support the Blazers and these packages contain courtside tickets.

The first round of tryouts was held on August 10th in Princeton WV. From these tryouts, the following players have been selected to play with the Blazers and each has officially accepted:

1. Brian Kidd (Beckley WV): Career: Woodrow Wilson HS, Mountain State University, WV. 2. Chris Nichols (Hico WV): Career: Midland Trail HS, Concord College, WV 3. Brad Surface (Lochgelly WV): Career: Fayetteville HS, Fayetteville WV 4. DeNelle Hale (Baltimore MD): Career: Paul Lawrence Dunbar HS, Frostburg State U MD, Dallas Diesel 5. Neil Rasnake (Bee WV): Career: Council HS VA, Western Carolina U, WBA 6. Joey Preast (Fayetteville WV): Career: Fayetteville HS, Davis and Elkins College, WV, Concord Coll. 7. Maurice Davis (Sophia WV): Career: Meade HS DC, Mountain State U, WV.

**for complete player profiles, visit www.wvblazers.com (currently under construction).

"We believe that we have selected talented young men who will make the WV Blazers very competitive in the ABA and who will be excellent role models off the basketball court as well," stated Head Coach Tony Webster (Bluefield). "We are excited about the upcoming season and we are looking forward to filling the remaining positions on our roster."

The roster will be completed after the second and final tryout which will be held on September 14th at the Beckley YMCA. "We anticipate a good turnout for the next round of tryouts, especially after young men find out the quality of players that have been selected so far. We are sure they will want to join these players for an exciting and successful season," added Coach Webster.

Tryout registration forms may be obtained from www.wvblazers.com or by calling 304 325 9653. There will be a $50 tryout fee for those who pre-register. Anyone registering at the door or after September 10th will be required to pay a $100 cash registration fee at the door. Tryout fees will help to offset startup costs for the Blazers. The WV Blazers may be reached by emailing wvblazers@live.com or by calling 304 325 9653 (Bluefield Housing Authority) or visit www.abalive2.com. -

Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.

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