Fayette County

Macy's team ready to Tip Off season

Aubrey White can't wait any longer.

Thursday is when the Bluegrass Stallions play their first game ever in the American Basketball Association.

"I've been counting the days for so long," White, a 6-foot-3 energizer out of Henry Clay High and Georgetown College, said Tuesday during the team's media day.

The Stallions debut in the ABA Tip Off Classic at Beaumont, Texas.

According to Tony Chase, team president, the Stallions begin ranked ninth in a 56-team league. Their foe Thursday is No. 3 Music City. The second half of the event, Saturday, will pit the Stallions against No. 2 Southeast Texas, and Music City will face the No. 1 Kentucky Bisons.

White helped the Bisons, from Owensboro, to the league title last season.

"I got to see what it feels like to win a championship," he said. "I think we've got the team to do it again this year."

Although Tip Off results will not count in the standings, they can affect rankings. That's big, Chase said, because rankings are among the factors included when playoff seeds are made in March.

Coach Kyle Macy, a former University of Kentucky standout, has a 13-man roster and a 30-game schedule.

The team will make its home debut, at the Kentucky Horse Park on Nov. 29 against the Music City Stars.

Macy said his team is ready.

"The scary thing is I don't know the competition. We don't have any films to scout and see what's going on," Macy said. "So the first round or two will be a little interesting to kind of get a better feel for what type of competition we're playing against.

"We feel like we've got a pretty good mix. We've got some good athletes, we've got some size and it's just a matter of getting everybody on the same page."

Macy said everybody will play because the pace promises to be frenetic.

ABA rules have quirks, including a 24-second clock and even a four-point basket (shot from beyond halfcourt).

"I don't even know the rules in the league yet, honestly," said Ravi Moss, the former University Heights Academy and UK player. "But basketball's basketball for the most part. It'll be putting the ball in the hole and stopping the other team from doing that."

Moss is aware of the so-called 3-D Rule.

"You get ... an added point if you get the steal in the backcourt. So if you get a two (-point basket) it's a three, and (if you get) a three, it's a four," Moss said. "I can't say I'm fond of that rule. I don't know — if it helps me get my point average up, that's fine."

The ABA is made up of eight divisions. The Stallions and Bisons are in the South Central Division, with the East Kentucky Miners, Smoky Mountain Jam, St. Louis Stunners and West Virginia Blazers.

"We have very high expectations," said William Harris, out of Clark County High and Mountain State University. "Definitely, we're trying to win the championship."

Said White: "We're going to do a lot of things very well. Hopefully, putting up the 'W's' is the most important (goal) on everybody's mind right now."