Gayle Benson, staff quotes on Birmingham Squadron unveiling

Official Release | July 26, 2021

Gayle Benson – Governor, New Orleans Pelicans

On the decision to move the team to Birmingham…
“Bringing our G League team closer to home and to such a deserving city like Birmingham was of the utmost importance in deciding where to launch our new G League franchise. Our organization’s vision is to grow the game of basketball in the Gulf South and we couldn’t be more excited to bring the NBA to the amazing people of Birmingham. We look forward to being a part of the community for many years to come.”

Dennis Lauscha – President, New Orleans Pelicans

On the selection of the team name…
“As we began the process of selecting a name for our G League team, it was important to us that its name would be closely tied to the Pelicans brand, while uniting us with the foundation of the Birmingham community. After careful deliberation and input from fans, we knew the name ‘Squadron’ was the perfect fit.”

David Griffin – Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, New Orleans Pelicans

On the Birmingham Squadron…
“The Squadron will provide us with an invaluable opportunity to develop players close to home. It gives us the ability to get our younger guys important in-game reps and gives us access to a
full roster of players with knowledge of our system to pull from when we need to.”

David Lane – General Manager of Business Operations, Birmingham Squadron

On the name “Squadron” …
“The ‘Birmingham Squadron’ is more than just a team name; it is a brand and identity rooted in the passionate pursuit of bringing sustained success to the Pelicans. The name ‘Squadron’ is just
one of the many ways our organization is aligned with the brand and vision in New Orleans, as the team will play such a vital role in training and developing NBA talent for the Pelicans.”

On the military background of the team name…
“From the 99th Pursuit Squadron – the first all-black flying squadron in the Air Force – to the city of Birmingham’s production of planes during WWII, the state of Alabama has played a
significant role in our nation’s military history, and we felt it was important to highlight that in the Birmingham Squadron brand.”

On the goal of the franchise…
“A ‘squadron’ is defined as a group that is working together toward a common goal. As the Birmingham Squadron, our goal first and foremost is to make a significant positive impact on the community around us. We’ve already begun the process of planting our roots in the community, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.”

On Legacy Arena…
“After the renovations are complete, Legacy Arena will be a premiere destination for events in the region. We’re looking forward to the arena being the best in the G League and even rivaling
some NBA arenas. We couldn’t ask for a better venue for our fans, and we can’t wait to bring the experience of live professional basketball to the people of Birmingham like they’ve never seen before.”

Trajan Langdon – General Manager, New Orleans Pelicans

On the team coming to Birmingham…
“We’re looking forward to integrating ourselves into the fabric of the Birmingham community, particularly the downtown area since our players will be living and playing downtown. For professional sports teams, the more people get to know the players, the more connected they feel to the team. It’s super exciting to get there and entrench ourselves in Birmingham.”

On why it’s so great to have the G League team so close to New Orleans…
“We’ll be able to get guys in a car in the morning or the next day to be able to participate in a game or a practice. It will get more reps for our younger players, which is incredibly important. If we are full strength in New Orleans, we can get a guy back to Birmingham for a game that night. It’s super exciting.”

Tad Snider – Executive Director and CEO of the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex

On the Squadron playing in Legacy Arena…
“We’re thrilled with the announcement of the Squadron playing in Birmingham at Legacy Arena. The BJCC and local leaders are thrilled that the modernization project for Legacy Arena and the
G League affiliate of the New Orleans Pelicans have aligned to provide a first-class experience for Squadron fans. We know the team will be a great asset for our community, our economy and the BJCC.”

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