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Illinois Coal Miners join CBA for the 2017 season, bringing valuable basketball experience to the league - Sep 24, 2016


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EUROBASKET NEWS
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John Spezia
ith the most recent announced new teams in the Central Basketball Association coming from the East Coast, it may be easy to forget that the heart of the league's competition has always been rooted in the central portion of the nation, specifically in the basketball-rich areas of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that another team from this fertile region of basketball has associated itself with the CBA, as the Illinois Coal Miners have joined the league for the upcoming 2017 season. The Coal Miners are based out of Danville, Illinois, a popular basketball city approximately 90 miles west of Indianapolis, Indiana, which has hosted the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division-II Postseason Tournament for over 20 years. The team is expected to play at either Danville Schlarman Academy or Danville Area Community College in their inaugural season in the CBA. With over 30 years of coaching experience and currently a licensed FIBA coach, John Spezia will lead the Coal Miners organization as their general manager and head coach in the team's first year. Spezia brings to the CBA an incredible resume featuring a variety of national and international basketball accolades, including some of the following personal achievements:
NJCAA Division-II Championship Coach (1991)
NJCAA Division-II Coach of the Year (1991, 2000)
General Manager and Head Coach for the Derby Storm in the British Basketball League (BBL)
President of the NJCAA Men's Basketball Coaches Association
24 seasons as Athletic Director and Head Coach for Danville Area Community College
Assistant Head Coach at NCAA Division-I Valparaiso University
Assistant Head Coach for USA Basketball Olympic Festival team
Inducted into Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted into NJCAA Men's Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame
Inducted into Danville Area Community College Athletic Hall of Fame
In addition to the aforementioned individual accomplishments, Spezia has also improved the talent level of athletes around the world through his year-round Reach-1-Coach-1 basketball development program. Through this global initiative, he has led basketball camps during the last three decades for the Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, University of Illinois, Valparaiso University, and within a dozen international countries such as Antigua, Barbuda, England, Greece, Italy, Philippines, St. Kitts, Trinidad, and Turks & Caicos. Joining Spezia's front office staff with the Coal Miners, will include Assistant General Manager, Jim Sheppard, who from 1985 to 2007 was the public address announcer for the University of Illinois' men's basketball and football games. Sheppard was also inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame six years after Spezia in 2007. The assistant coaches for the team will be Kristopher Bell, Zack Patterson, and Matt Neaville. The Coal Miners are scheduled to conduct their official press conference and introduction to the region at the end of this month on Wednesday, September 28 at 10:00 a.m. at the City of Danville Council Chambers on 17 W. Main Street in Danville, Illinois. The organization will be joined by Illinois State Representative, Chad Hays, and Danville Mayor, Scott Eisenhauer, during the formal announcement.
Courtesy of: playcba.com   




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