“It means everything:” Pro basketball returns to Flint this weekend

FLINT, Michigan -- Kevin Mays, owner of Flint United, Flint’s newest professional sports franchise, can’t quite put into words what he’ll feel like the first time the team takes the court at home this weekend at Dort Financial Event Center.

“It means everything,” Mays said. “Our city is starving for more things to do, so to be in a position to bring this here is amazing. I am excited to see people come out, especially kids, to see the joy and looks on their faces. I don’t even know what I’ll feel like stepping in the arena (on Friday).”

The team has games on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. On Friday, they play the Indy Express (ticket information) and on Saturday they play the Detroit Hustle (ticket information). Season ticket packages are also available. Masks are required in the arena, and the crowd will be spaced out to properly social distance. In the courtside area, seats are in pairs of two. In the bleachers, groups can be up to 4-6 people or two households.

Flint United will be taking over Flintside’s Instagram account on Friday and Saturday to give a behind-the-scenes look at the team and preparations for the home opener. 

Mays is confident fans will connect with the team that’s on the floor.

“We have some great talent, guys who can score, guys who can get on the rim,” he said. “The city is excited and I hope they’re excited. We want to put up a couple of wins and want fans to know we’re working hard and bringing great energy to the city.”

Flint Unbited opened its season on the road last weekend, with losses to Dayton and Kokomo. The team has had limited practice time, so their performance has been up and down so far, but having a chance to play last weekend, practice this week, and watch film have all been beneficial.

“We didn’t play a preseason and we barely practiced together, so there’s a lot to learn about how to play together and how to communicate,” Mays said. “We’re figuring out lineups that work best together on the floor. The number of variables are unlimited, but we’re hoping to get back to .500 this weekend.”

After months of preparations and work behind the scenes and assembling a roster, all with a goal of putting a great product on the floor in Flint, Mays is excited that the home-opening weekend is finally here.

“It’s very surreal to go through each day and know there are 12 or 14 guys depending on us to make decisions that truly impact their futures,” he said. “We’re in it, though. We’re excited for Flint to see us play.”

Read more articles by Patrick Hayes.

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