Miami Heat Makes NBA history with connection to Sanford Sports

The Miami HEAT are making NBA history with connections to Sanford Sports.

On May 29, the HEAT topped the Boston Celtics 103-84 to complete a 4-3 victory in an Eastern Conference Finals best-of-seven series. Miami, led by All-NBA second-teamer Jimmy Butler, is only the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals, joining the 1998-99 Knicks.

The HEAT owns and operates the Sioux Falls Skyforce, an NBA G League franchise that plays and trains at the Sanford Sports Complex. The team had a tremendous 2022-23 season, making a run to the conference finals.

“This team competed hard for each other,” HEAT head coach Erik Spoelstra told the media in April. “They committed to being part of something that was bigger than themselves. And in the G League that’s even more challenging, and they truly did enjoy each other’s success and rooted for each other and bring life into each other.”

The HEAT are among the best in the NBA at developing talent through the G League:

  • Seven members of the HEAT’s playoff roster, including starter Gabe Vincent, have played for the Skyforce.
  • Four members of the coaching staff have spent time with the Sioux Falls squad.
  • Three members of the support staff – strength coaches and certified athletic trainers – worked for Sanford Sports before being hired by the HEAT.

The HEAT tip-off the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets at 7:30 p.m. June 1 on ABC.

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