There’s a sports buzz in Wichita.
First the city announced an affiliated baseball team. Now, a semi-pro basketball team wants to fly high in the air capital.
But will it happen?
The Wizards believe so, They presented a jersey to Mayor Jeff Longwell at the mayor’s briefing Thursday morning.
Wichita Wizards General Manager Daniel Ferris says, “That was probably one of the coolest moments of my life to see him do something that we have worked so hard for and look great in it and be happy to have it.”
Ferris and owner Marc Creed are flying high after announcing the Wichita Wizards coming to Wichita.
“We are going to be the premier place to go.”
No doubt this tandem is feeling good but ask a man who has been in this sports market for decades and the Wizards still need to pull off some magic.
Wichita Sports Commission CEO Bob Hanson says, “There is a lot of pieces to put together to get a team like this. I have met with them several times to talk about having a business plan and having your sponsors and getting your players and your schedule.”
Hanson says he sees the potential in the team in this market but he remains cautiously optimistic.
“Well at this point in time I don’t think it is a guarantee but they are working towards that guarantee,” says Hanson.
But ask the Wizards if it is a guarantee.
“Yes, no doubt,” says Ferris. “No doubt.”
These two say they are not exactly where they want to be with funding but believe they are only a few phone calls away from making that a reality by February.
“I think we are getting there. We are on a really good footing we have a couple of great sponsors that we are working with. Adidas is a big one we announced yesterday that is our apparel apartment,” explains Ferris.
Creed moved here from Oklahoma with to start this dream team in Wichita with his GM by his side they are ready to host their first tryout in December.
“We have a lot of things in the works but people were kind of waiting for this kind of announcement to happen,” says Ferris.
Diamond in the Rough tryouts being November 30th for high school players with no college or pro experience. Tryouts for players with college or professional experience will be on December 9th following a second tryout on the 16th at the Wichita Sports Forum. Coaches will make a final decision at the last tryout on December 30th with plans for the first games in April