On March 10, 2014 the NBA Development League and The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) joined Westchester County officials to announce that the Knicks D-League Team will make Westchester County Center in White Plains their home. The agreement is for May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2019. MSG has the option to renew for an additional five years.
As a legislator who wholeheartedly supported this agreement I was sure to be on hand to welcome the Knicks to Westchester County Center. Also as the Board of Legislators representative on the County’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board it was a pleasure to support Parks Commissioner O’Connor who oversees the operations at the County Center.
The Knicks are already present in Westchester with their training facility in Greenburg. Having the ability to now use the Development League team for rehab assignments of injured Knick players and giving coaches the ability to closely observe players that may end up in the NBA.
The Knicks’ Assistant General Manager Allan Houston will become the new team’s General Manager and Bill Boyce joins the MSG organization from the NBA D-League Texas Legends to become the team’s Vice President of Sales and Business Operations. “We are very excited to bring a New York Knicks NBA Development League franchise to Westchester, a great basketball community that has embraced orange and blue and served as our training home for 25 plus years,” said Houston. “The NBA D-League is thriving, and this opportunity allows us to develop players closer to our training facility, and to provide high level, affordable basketball entertainment to the community.”
This is an exciting addition to Westchester and will bring significant revenue to the county. The county projects to net between $2,000 and $12,000 a game, or $48,000 to $288,000 per season, not including the playoffs. The agreement carries no risk for taxpayers and has a big upside as attendance and revenues from parking, tickets, food, merchandise, and advertising sales grows.
Westchester has a rich basketball history with many high school players over the years going on to become notable college and NBA players. Peekskill for example, has Elton Brand playing in the NBA today. Another Peekskill graduate, Hilton Armstrong, presently plays for the Golden State Warriors’ D-League Team the Santa Cruz Warriors and could end up playing against the new Knicks team in Westchester.
It is important to recognize that over 30 percent of present NBA players, including five current Knicks players have spent time in the NBA D-League. More that 40 percent of NBA drafted players over the last five years have played in the NBA D-League at one time or another. So it is safe to say we will be able to witness professional level basketball in Westchester for an affordable price and in our own back yard.
The name of the team has yet to be determined and will be announced soon. Fans can submit suggestions for the team name or place a deposit on season tickets by going to nyknicksdleague.com. The team affiliations and schedules for the 2014-15 season will be announced this summer.
About John G. Testa
Former District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa is served five terms at the Westchester County Board of Legislators, spending the last 3 terms as BOL Minority Leader.
John G. Testa is a lifelong resident of Peekskill who first entered elected public service as a member of the Peekskill Common Council in 1998 and then served three terms as Mayor. He previously served on the Conservation and Parks Advisory Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. John became an elected official eager to improve the City in which his family has lived for more than a century and quickly earned a reputation as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice for fiscal responsibility.
John received a BS degree in Technology from SUNY Oswego, where his academic achievements gained him induction into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary Fraternity of Technology. He earned his MS degree in Technology from the City College of New York. He began his teaching career in 1980 at Peekskill High School, his alma mater, as an instructor in Technology and Social Studies, retiring in 2013 after 33 years teaching.
John has been a leader in support for the Arts Community in Westchester. He presided over the construction of the Peekskill Art Lofts, the establishment of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the complete restoration of the Paramount Center for the Arts, originally a 1930’s movie house and helped bring critical funding to many Westchester programs. Legislator Testa received the “Advancing the Arts in Westchester Award” by ArtsWestchester.
John has a been a leader on environmental issues for two decades and has a long record of initiatives he has supported and spearheaded. His active involvement in developing and promoting environmentally friendly policies began as mayor and continued throughout his time as Westchester County Legislator. His efforts consistently earned John the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters.
John’s most recognizable accomplishment has been his promotion and preservation of local history and historic landmarks, bringing an unprecedented focus on the region’s rich history, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. His roots in historical preservation stem from his experience as a Revolutionary War re-enactor and member of The Brigade of the American Revolution for 50 years.
John was instrumental in securing the preservation of the Lincoln Depot, now the Lincoln Depot Museum, where he now serves as President. The museum was recognized in 2015 as one of The Best Museums in Westchester. He also secured the preservation of historic Fort Hill as parkland, a 40-acre parcel that was originally a Revolutionary War encampment site. Under his leadership, the United States Dept. of the Interior declared Peekskill a “Preserve America Community.”
John was able to establish a record number of National Register designations of local structures, including the first Downtown and Neighborhood Historic Districts and supported the preservation of the historic Miller House in North White Plains. In 2017 John was named a “Champion of History” by the Lincoln Society in Peekskill.
John and his wife of 37 years, Nancy, live in Peekskill and have two adult children, John, Jr. (fiancé Courtney Kelly) and Katy (husband Mike Mearon). John and Nancy recently welcomed the arrival of their first grandchild, Lacey Mae, in 2019.