The Buffalo Rapids have an unidentified new owner and a venue for their next two games.
The Rapids will play tonight's and Thursday's games at The Park School, 4625 Harlem Road in Snyder. The Rapids play the Harlem Strong Dogs at 7 p.m. tonight, and the Newark Express, coached by Darryl Dawkins, at 7 p.m. Thursday.
American Basketball Association Commissioner Joe Newman said Monday that the Rapids' new ownership is in place, but that the owner has asked not to be identified until after the holidays. The new owner replaces Gary Nice, who was forced out of the ABA for failing to meet a variety of league requirements.
Newman said the new owner has made back payments to the Rapids' players, coach/General Manager Rich Jacob and front office staff, but is not assuming any more of Nice's debt. On Nov. 29, Nice met with the team following the Rapids' 113-112 overtime loss to the Maryland Nighthawks, and informed the players he wouldn't be able to meet their next payroll. Up until that point, most of the players had received checks, sources said, but one player told The News that his last check bounced, and another said Nice asked him not to cash it immediately.
"Gary did everything wrong and was not a good citizen," Newman said. "Even though Gary might be a nice guy, he did wrong. This guy is coming in and doing it new. He could have taken it over and not done anything."
In player developments, Jacobs said he signed 7-footer Rashid "Seven and Some Change" Byrd, a former player on the And 1 Mixtape Tour, and center Harry Good, who was recently released from the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association. Jacobs also added former Turner-Carroll guard Antoine Sims to the roster. Byrd and Good will ease the loss of Caswell Cyrus, the former St. Bonaventure center, who is injured, while Sims fills the spot of guard Julien Nze, who is returning to his native France. Also, forward Tyrone Thomas will become a player/assistant while injured guard Trevor Ruffin is considering becoming a team scout.