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Community Welcomes Maine Red Claws to the State

November 13, 2009

PORTLAND – At an event to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, Governor John E. Baldacci and First Lady Karen Baldacci were among an enthusiastic crowd that welcomed the Maine Red Claws players, coaches and their families to the State.

In welcoming the Red Claws, the Governor said, “You should know that you do not just join one city or one region, but you are now part of a big family that is the State of Maine. Maine has a long and proud basketball tradition – from State high school tournament time to our beloved Boston Celtics. That’s why we are honored to become a part of the NBA family, especially with a development team.”

The inaugural season of the Maine Red Claws begins with a preseason game at the Augusta Civic Center on Nov. 23. The first regular season home game is on Dec. 4 in Portland.

Governor Baldacci praised the Red Claws for showing their dedication to the State through the numerous charitable events and fundraisers they have already been a part of. According to the Red Claws, the team has already raised $40,000 for local charities.

The event this evening celebrated the establishment of an official affiliation between the Maine Red Claws and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine.

“The Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine stands out as a tremendous resource for youth,” said the Governor. “It’s these kinds of partnerships and this kind of support for our kids that make Maine so special. Working together, we’ll ensure a brighter future for all our children. I know that the Red Claws will help the Boys and Girls Clubs continue to make a difference by supporting children and families in this region.”

The Governor said that Maine people appreciate the commitment from the Maine NBA ownership group to establish this team.

“More than two years ago, I met with Jon Jennings, now President and General Manager of the Maine Red Claws, to highlight the many reasons why making Maine the home of a Development League team made sense,” said the Governor. “Tonight, we celebrate a new chapter to Maine’s rich basketball history with the addition of the Maine Red Claws, and we look forward to the first of many exciting seasons.”

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