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The Legendary Phil Jackson

The best coach in the National Basketball Association officially announced his retirement last night, and it’s time for us to say “Congratulations Phil Jackson!”  That isn’t just because his 1,155 wins and career .704 winning percentage is the best in NBA history, it’s also because North Dakota is proud of this hometown hero and hopes he has a heck-of-a-fun retirement!

Jackson was raised in Williston, North Dakota, and began his legendary basketball career there – leading the high school team to two state titles.  Jackson went on to the University of North Dakota (in Grand Forks), where he helped the team to third- and fourth-place finishes in the NCAA Division II tournaments in 1965 and 1966.

In 1967, Jackson was drafted by the New York Knicks.  He played professionally for 13 years and in 1987 began a coaching career with the Chicago Bulls that included a promotion to head coach in 1989.  Jackson coached the Bulls to 6 championships in nine seasons.

In 20 years of coaching (9 with the Chicago Bulls and 11 with the Los Angeles Lakers), Jackson notched 11 championships and numerous other accolades.  He coached some of the best in professional basketball, including Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

In 1992, Jackson was honored with a Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.  His portrait hangs in the Rough Rider Hall of Fame, on the lower level of the Capitol building.

While we honor this great coach from Williston whose career took him across the nation, we recognize that dream starts wherever you play – including here in Bismarck with the NBA D-League Team, the Dakota Wizards.

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Get Some March Madness in ND

You know that saying, “March comes in like a lion“?  I’m curious if there’s a connection to the roar of crowds during playoffs and tournaments?  It’s March Madness month and that certainly doesn’t leave out North Dakota.  There’s still time to catch some slam-dunk fever court-side at a Dakota Wizards game or at this weekend’s Summit League Quarterfinal round – let’s go Bison!

And with the Final Five just around the corner it’s time to cheer on #1 ranked University of North Dakota.  The Fargo Force and Bismarck Bobcats are both defending titles this season as well.

Let your roar out in North Dakota this March!

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Events, Sports, Winter Fun

 

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Let’s go Wizards!

The Dakota Wizards have kicked off their 2010-2011 season this week, and are at home tonight against Sioux Falls.  This NBA development-league team is a former division champion with several players who have been called up to NBA rosters.  Games are played in the Bismarck Civic Center – a first-class facility for first-class basketball.

Check the season schedule and buy tickets online.  Ticket prices range from $10 to $60 at courtside.  Cheer loud for some Wizard magic!!

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2010 in Entertainment, Family Fun, Sports

 

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Happy 65th Birthday to Phil Jackson!

Wildly considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NBA, Legendary Phil Jackson turns 65 today! Before his professional career took off, Jackson grew up and attended high school in Williston, North Dakota and proceeded to play basketball at the University of North Dakota.

Now, head coach of the Lakers, Jackson earned his 11th NBA championship (as coach) when the Lakers overtook the Boston Celtics this year in the 2010 NBA championship. He will continue to coach the Lakers for the 2010-11 season which begins in late October.

Experience North Dakota’s own professional D- league team, the Dakota Wizards! They jump-start their season on November 19 against the Iowa Energy at the Bismarck Civic Center. This will be a year not to miss out!

 
 

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