Wade Jewkes, Deseret Morning News
Scott Fields, new coach of Utah Eagles, holds up a jersey during a press conference announcing the arrival of the new CBA team.

The Continental Basketball Association is coming to Utah.

On Thursday, the announcement was made that the Utah Eagles are the newest member of the CBA for the 2006-07 season. The Eagles plan on doing what previous minor league basketball teams haven't — sticking around.

In joining the sturdy CBA, and with solid financial backing from Randy Mellor and Signature Alert, the Eagles plan on being in Utah for a while.

The Eagles have named Scott Fields as head coach, and president of basketball operations. Fields is well-known overseas for his coaching, and has coached three former Jazz players, Carlos Arroyo, Steven Howard and Jamie Watson. Two of Fields' former players finished in the top six for scoring at the World Championships in Japan last month. Fields feels confident that his type of coaching, and the style of basketball he'll bring to the Eagles, will be exciting to the people of Utah.

"It's a very up-tempo style of basketball. We're fast-breaking, we're up and down the court. It's high tempo and exciting for the fans, for myself and for the players. We're going to have a lot of fun. The fans really seem to get behind it and support it."

There will be a draft held later this month to determine the roster for the Eagles. Past CBA players include: Raja Bell, Bruce Bowen, Keith Mcleod, Smush Parker, and Rafer Alston, to name a few.

A reason this venture looks more promising than previous ideas is the joining of a more solid, noteworthy league. The CBA currently has 11 former coaches now coaching in the NBA, including Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, Rick Carlisle, Maurice Cheeks, and George Karl. In addition, 37 more NBA assistants have ties to the CBA.

Thirteen players were called up from the CBA to the NBA last year as well, showing the level of talent that will be on display.

The CBA is thrilled with the addition of Utah to the league. "This is another great day for the CBA," said CBA director of operations Dennis Truax. "The combination of Randy Mellor and Scott Fields is a win-win situation not only for the CBA, but also for the city of Salt Lake."

The Eagles will call Salt Lake Community College their home court. Home games will begin on Dec. 1, and they'll have eight home games in December alone. Information regarding ticket sales, tryouts, contact numbers, and more, can be found at www.utaheagles.com.


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