ABA 2000 Has Familiar Faces 

With many ties to the 1973 Memphis State team, the Houn'Dawgs are off and running.

The cast announcing the name of the latest Memphis pro sports franchise was a familiar one. Gene Bartow, Larry Finch, and Jack Eaton-- the coach, star player, and radio announcer for the 1973 Memphis State team-- were all at the head table when the new ABA 2000 team, the Houn’Dawgs, unveiled its name and logo at a noon press luncheon Wednesday. It was the second pro sports announcement of the week. Earlier the Memphis franchise of the XFL announced they were hiring former Tiger quarterback Kippy Brown as the head coach of the Maniax. “We felt it was very important to establish an identity with the Mid-South and also capture the history of the ABA red, white, and blue basketball on its finger,” team president Bartow said. The team mascot will be called “king” and the franchise colors will be red, white, and blue. Finch is in charge of player personnel and Eaton is the team’s radio coordinator. No contracts have been signed yet, but WHBQ-AM is in negotiations with the team for a radio deal. Jeff Weinberger and Eaton are set to do the broadcasts. Bartow said a coach will be named soon, maybe by next week. The team schedule is expected to be released by October 1st. The Houn’Dawgs will play 60 games -- 30 on their home floor in the new Desoto Civic Center in Southaven. The season is expected to begin in late December. Other cities in the new league are Anaheim, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Long Island, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and Tampa Bay. (You can write Dennis Freeland at freeland@memphisflyer.com)

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