MITCHELL — If one Kansas man is to be believed, semi-pro basketball in the Mitchell area is getting another shot.
So far, however, there’s not much to show for Alpha Sports Group’s plans for Dakota Blizzard, who are set to play in March 2023 in the Central Basketball League.
A press release from Alpha Sports Group’s Shawn Smith on July 6 stated that the Central Basketball League would form in 2023 and Dakota Blizzard would play in the “Mitchell and Sioux Falls area”.
“We are thrilled to lay the foundation for CBL and announce our first expansion club.” Smith, of Topeka, Kansas, said in the announcement.
The statement said the league is looking at other Midwestern markets such as Aberdeen; Topeka, Kansas; Sioux City, Iowa; Wichita, Kansas and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The announcement states that the Blizzard is looking for a general manager, coaches and players to participate in the upcoming season and indicates that there will be a tryout, but did not indicate a date.
Corn Palace manager Doug Greenway says there are no finalized plans for the Dakota Blizzard to play there in March, although he has had limited contact with the league and with the Alpha Sports Group. .
Mitchell is the second city in South Dakota that Smith has flirted with to create a basketball franchise. Alpha Sports Group said in June 2021 that there would be two teams in Aberdeen – the men’s Dakota Armada team and the women’s South Dakota Flight team –
To date, none of these teams have played or been formed.
There is still a lot of uncertainty around the league, but Smith said via email that he plans to have a men’s and women’s league and both teams play on the same night in an event where fans pay a ticket and can watch both games. . However, pricing and feasibility details are not known at this stage.
Smith did not make himself available for an interview regarding basketball leagues prior to the publication of this story.
The Armada was supposed to play in the Impact Professional Basketball League, not the Central Basketball League which the statement claims the Blizzard would be a part of. The report mentioned that Mitchell would house an IPBL team, but Alpha Sports Group did not mention what that team would be or if the CBL and IPBL are part of the same overall league.
An online profile indicates that Smith’s experience with amateur or semi-professional sports appears to be primarily in football. He is listed as a Topeka Twisters coach and has been involved with the Lawrence Yard Dawgz, who have two games scheduled for later this summer.
If Smith’s plans for the Blizzard come to fruition, it wouldn’t be the first effort for a semi-pro basketball team in Mitchell. The Dakota Magic played one season in 2016-17 at Corn Palace as part of the National Basketball League of America, which disbanded in 2017. The South Dakota Gold played Mitchell from 2000-2001 in the International Basketball Association after moving from Rapid City but Mitchell’s team only lasted one season before the IBA merged with the Continental Basketball Association.