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Pro basketball storms into Loudoun County

Leesburg Mayor Dave Butler, center, joins Virginia Storm owners Mardesky and Norman Blowe in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 5 at the Mason Enterprise Center.—Times-Mirror/Carl Lukat
The Storm have officially blown into Loudoun County. The Virginia Storm, who signed on as the American Basketball Association's 100th team earlier this year, will play home games during the 2016-2017 season at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville.

Formerly the Winchester Storm, the Virginia Storm moved to Loudoun County after playing six seasons in Winchester at the semi-pro level.

Franchise owners Norman and Mardesky Blowe held an introductory press conference and ribbon cutting event Aug. 5 at their new headquarters, the Mason Enterprise Center in Leesburg.

"Everyone has been great and supportive so far. We are very excited about being in this area," Norman Blowe said.

The Virginia Storm will play 18 to 20 regular-season games in their inaugural ABA season. The home schedule is expected to tip off Nov. 5 versus Fayetteville (N.C.). Season tickets go on sale Aug. 22.

Norman Blowe explained his franchise prides itself on providing family-friendly entertainment at affordable prices. Game attractions include a light show, DJ, kids' activities and the Stormettes professional dance team. "We have a basketball team and we have an event."

He described the level of play in the ABA as "high quality", adding "these guys are great athletes who play at a high level."

Harvey Grant, who played 12 seasons in the NBA after being drafted by the Washington Bullets, now Wizards, in 1988, was on hand to offer his support.

"I'm so excited to be a part of the Storm family," Grant said. "I had a chance to meet this wonderful family a couple weeks ago and I can't say enough good things about them. A first-class family."

The Storm will hold player and dance team tryouts in August. The franchise aims to add a couple area players to its roster for the 2016-2017 season.


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