This journey over the last 5-6 months since I took over the online business duties for the franchise for my big brother Brandon Miller, who is co-owner as well as a player on the team, has been one to remember. Rewind back to 1 and half year prior, I was accompanying my brother to his first ever professional tryout which was for the San Diego Surf another ABA franchise in which he actually made the team but due to some franchise deficiencies and issues the marriage just could not happen. So from there I watched my brother turn a dream of playing into this seemingly unimaginable dream to own a professional team here in Tucson. I rarely feel doubt when it comes to doing things so maybe it’s the ambition in us that made us believe in what we could accomplish. Tucson is a basketball city and even the mention of a semi-pro team coming to the city turns people ears up at us. There has been several attempts at bringing a team to the city but have not been able to garner the support and attention to make it last. We are far from the traditional professional organization we resemble more closely the people who were beat down so long and denied so much the only alternative was to do it themselves.
Brandon and I returned from that trip to San Diego and discussed his aspirations with his now Business partner and Co-owner of the Tucson Buckets Jatai Gonder who just like Brandon has pursued his professional basketball career for many years but saw the value of bringing the team to Tucson and from there the seed was planted.
Growing up in the south and having grandparents and older friends who raised cattle and cultivated many fruits and vegetables in gardens and farms we have seen the process of growth first hand. Growing something from its seed takes patience and proper nourishment. The Tucson Buckets has been a seed we have been nourishing and continue to nourish to this day and this past weekend was the perfect indication of how patience and pure organic seed planting is done. Through stormy weather and even a circumstance that could be categorized as tornadic that happened the night of our debut in the American Basketball Association we overcame and were able to provide the people who support us with a quality basketball game. High Scoring and action packed we believe we have built something that can withstand the test of time and surpass all of the negative opinion that will come our way.
Before the game, Monica Grimaldo the news correspondent from CBS 13 here in Tucson asked Brandon, Jatai and I what we thought about the people who had doubts and didn’t believe what we were attempting to do would be successful. Our response was simple, we DID NOT think about the people who didn’t support us, we only look to the people who has shown us so much support in this process. This has been a process as divine as any, we have been able to attract people who see the value of this venture through our constant work with the youth in our Junior Buckets program and our outreach into the community events. We take the roll as the underdogs very serious and as we grow we continue to have that chip on our shoulders to show people that this is much bigger than basketball but an opportunity for people to see young men who are molded by this city flourish in what they are passionate about it. If that isn’t inspiring then I don’t know what inspiring even means anymore. The Tucson ABA Journey has begun and we look forward to bringing the city something they can be proud to represent..
We want to take the time to thank everyone who helped us pull off our first official game in the ABA this weekend. Despite the issues we handled everything like champions and made it work. Our volunteers and our staff did an amazing job. Sporting Chance Center took an amazing gamble by opening their doors for us on minutes notice to provide our fans and supporters with quick and easy location change. These things happened so fast that it was nearly overwhelming to see people take ownership of our franchise. It was powerful and everyone who made it possible, Tucson Buckets organization, Jatai, Brandon and I really do appreciate it. The pictures of the crowd will be with us for the rest of our lives and we hope to add to those numbers and bring a lot of wins to the city. If you have pictures or video please send them over to Tucsonbucketsaba@gmail.com when you get a chance. Post them to your blog and send us a link and we will share it on our page. Let’s continue to build something powerful for the city of Tucson!! #GetBuckets