Oklahoma City Thunder: Watch out for the Potawatomi fire. It’s the state’s new professional basketball team, and it’s owned by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
This is the first time that an Oklahoma tribal nation has had a professional sports team, and its home will be at FireLake Arena in Shawnee.
The Tribal Nation and Town of Shawnee say the new sports team will bring jobs and entertainment dollars to the area, while appeasing basketball fans who might not be able to make it to an OKC Thunder game .
Fire’s head coach Derrick Rowland is a former State University of New York at Potsdam star and NBA player. Rowland recently coached the Albany Patroons at the 2019 TBL Championship.
“Fans are going to love this brand of basketball. The players who will fill the Potawatomi Fire roster are young men who live and breathe basketball, and that passion will show every night we play,” Rowland said in a statement.
Potawatomi Fire is part of The basketball league, a minor league basketball organization, and will play its first home game in 2022.
“We are very excited to bring professional sports to Shawnee,” said John “Rocky” Barrett, CPN Tribal Chairman. “Families and sports fans who live in the area deserve high quality, affordable entertainment, and we are sure the community will come and support their team.”
The Fire schedule includes 12 home games in the FireLake Arena.
Recently, the Town of Shawnee and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation announced Shawnee Aligned, a new initiative to promote economic development and better infrastructure in the region. This happened after the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the Town of Shawnee ended a decades-long battle for land along the North Canadian River.