SLAM DUNK

Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers of­fer more than just bas­ket­ball

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: LISA HAR­LOW

If you’re look­ing for fun fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment in a fast-paced sports en­vi­ron­ment, the Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers will score ma­jor points with you! And this sea­son, Bal­ti­more’s semi-pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball team is even get­ting a makeover. Pre­vi­ously the Bay Area Shuck­ers, the team has changed its name to the Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers and moved to a new league, the Cen­tral Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (CBA).

In ad­di­tion to the Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers, the CBA, which started in 2013, is also home to the Wash­ing­ton Stars and teams in other mar­kets such as Indianapolis, Nashville, and Mem­phis. The Shuck­ers tip-off their sixth sea­son on March 25 at the Stars, and on April 14 they play the Stars again at their home opener.

Es­sex res­i­dent Brian K. Marchetti has been co-owner of the Shuck­ers since their in­cep­tion in 2011. The team is owned by a group of five part­ners op­er­at­ing as Bay Area Sports LLC.

“Own­ing a pro­fes­sional, mi­nor league, or a semi-pro team is re­ally no dif­fer­ent than own­ing the Ori­oles or the Ravens, it’s just a dif­fer­ent scale,” said Marchetti. “We have all of the same con­straints and goals as any struc­tured sports team. I love the ex­pe­ri­ence and growth we have achieved to­gether.”

“At the con­clu­sion of our last sea­son, we made a de­ci­sion to pur

sue a new league, of­fer­ing even more ex­po­sure for our play­ers and dance team, and changed our name to the Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers,” he said. “This change re­flects our new con­nec­tion to the Bal­ti­more metro com­mu­ni­ties, and has al­lowed us to ex­pand into a larger mar­ket.”

“Our re­cent move to the CBA was a care­ful de­ci­sion we made. This league is a step up for our or­ga­ni­za­tion, and is af­fil­i­ated with com­pa­nies like Un­der Ar­mour, South­west Air­lines, and Hil­ton Ho­tels. It’s truly a step into the cor

po­rate world of spon­sor­ships and ex­po­sure,” said Marchetti.

“Un­der Ar­mour’s de­ci­sion to spon­sor the CBA speaks vol­umes about this league. The Shuck­ers will never be stag­nant. We will al­ways grow and al­ways con­tinue to ex­pand on the skills of our play­ers and dancers, as well as our own­er­ship group and sup­port per­son­nel,” said Marchetti.

“It’s truly about step­ping up for the play­ers and dancers, and to date, over 200 of the league’s play­ers have moved up to play pro­fes­sion­ally over­seas,” he said. “The Shuck­ers as an or­ga­ni­za­tion have also had our share of play­ers and dancers move up. Leagues like ours of­fer post col­le­giate play­ers an op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue to build their skills and play pro­fes­sion­ally. “

In the CBA, the Shuck­ers will play an eight game reg­u­lar sea­son, fol­lowed by the post sea­son. Games will be played at both An­napo­lis Area Chris­tian School and Anne Arun­del Com­mu­nity Col­lege to give more fans the op­por­tu­nity to check out the games.

“We could eas­ily just be a bas­ket­ball team that shows up, plays, and goes home. We could also eas­ily be medi­ocre, but that’s just not who we are. The Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers are en­ter­tain­ment for the en­tire fam­ily, and we work very hard to give ev­ery fan a mem­ory be­fore they leave us at the end of the night,” said Marchetti. “We fo­cus on en­ter­tain­ment, and not just bas­ket­ball.”

Theme nights in­clude Mil­i­tary Ap­pre­ci­a­tion, Star Wars, and Su­per He­roes nights. Spon­sor Buf­falo Wild Wings brings their mas­cot, Blaze, to en­ter­tain the fans, and the Shuck­ers in­clude con­tests, give­aways, mu­sic and singers, to keep the au­di­ence en­gaged. Even Santa (played by Marchetti who is a Santa for Hire) has vis­ited with fans dur­ing games in De­cem­ber. The Shuck­ers also be­lieve in giv

ing back, and they of­fer fundrais­ers to schools and other or­ga­ni­za­tions, work with var­i­ous char­i­ties, pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for high school cheer­lead­ers to work with the Pearls dance team, and of­fer clin­ics to youth teams.

“Bas­ket­ball is just a part of what we do,” said Marchetti.

Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers home games are listed be­low. Doors open one hour prior to event time. Gen­eral Ad­mis­sion is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids. For more in­for­ma­tion about the Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers, go to: http://www.play­cba.com/page/show/ 2644474bal­ti­more-shuck­ers https://www.face­book.com/Bal­ti­moreShuck­ers/?fref=ts

Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers Reg­u­lar Sea­son Home Sched­ule Fri­day, April 14 at 8 pm Home Opener & Free Comics Night

An­napo­lis Area Chris­tian School Kilby Ath­letic Cen­ter, 109 Burns Cross­ing Rd., Sev­ern, MD 21144

The Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers make their home Cen­tral Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion de­but when they take on lo­cal ri­vals, the Wash­ing­ton Stars. En­joy fast, ex­cit­ing bas­ket­ball ac­tion, the Pearls Dance Team and con­tests and prizes! Cel­e­brate Free Comics Night with the first 150 re­ceiv­ing Free Comics from Third Eye Comics.

Satur­day, April 22 at 7 pm Mil­i­tary Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Night

Anne Arun­del Com­mu­nity Col­lege Jenk­ins Gym­na­sium, 101 Col­lege Park­way Ring Road. Arnold, MD 21012

The Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers take on Cen­tral Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pow­er­house, the Mid­dle Ten­nessee Storm, as we cel­e­brate Mil­i­tary Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Night.

Fri­day, April 28 at 8 pm Star Wars Night

An­napo­lis Area Chris­tian School The Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers bat­tle the de­fend­ing, un­de­feated CBA Champs, the Fort Wayne Flite as we cel­e­brate a Lu­cas Films ap­proved Star Wars Night with Star Wars Char­ac­ters in the house.

Satur­day, May 6, 7 pm Ghostbusters Night

An­napo­lis Area Chris­tian School The Bal­ti­more Shuck­ers take on the Wash­ing­ton Stars as we cel­e­brate Ghostbusters Night with the Charm City Ghostbusters.

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