Won - 27     Lost - 4
04-09-15: GIANTS Season Ends with Another Loss to MIAMI
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Shreveport, LA
  Thursday, April 9, 2015

 

Giants Season Ends with Another Loss to Miami

The #2 Jacksonville Giants faced off tonight against #3 Miami Midnites at the Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, LA. The winner would earn a chance to play in the ABA Championship series beginning this Saturday against the #1 ranked Shreveport Mavericks.

The first half was all offense with the Giants shooting 54% from beyond the arc (12/22) and the Midnites shooting nearly as good. Behind 17 first half points by Maurice Mickens the Giants took a 63-60 lead into the half, but lost starter Elijah Smith for the rest of the game due to concussion like symptoms after a foul.

‎The Midnites took a commanding lead in the third quarter ‎going up by as much as 10 points and taking an 87-80 lead into the fourth quarter. There was much of the same in the final period as the Midnites cruised to a victory.

Giants owner Ron Sholes commented after the game that the "[Giants] fought through adversity the entire season. The players gave it their all and we came up short. Our hats go off to the Midnites and wish them well in the Championship."

 

04-08-15: GIANTS cruise past the STEAM in the ABA Final Four
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Shreveport, LA
  Wednesday, April 8, 2015

 

Giants cruise past the Steam and stay alive in the ABA Final Four

The #2 Jacksonville Giants faced off against #6 Chicago Steam in the second game of the double elimination Final Four at the Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, LA. Coming off losses the night before, both team's backs were against the wall, but the Giants' defense would prove to be too much. The Giants held the Steam to just 37% shooting from the field and forced 28 turnovers in eliminating the Steam from the Finals by a score of 99-81.

The Giants were led by second year power forward Elijah Smith with 15 points, 5 rebounds and an outstanding ‎defensive effort that included 5 blocked shots. Forward Ty Thomas led the Giants in scoring with 18 followed by Jermaine Bell with 16, Jerry Tucker with 11 and Sherrod Harris, who played 38 minutes due to last night's leading scorer, Maurice Mickens, being out with a nagging knee injury. Giants' Head Coach Kevin Waters said "it was a balanced attack tonight and the team persevered. We knew Mickens would be a game time decision but Hotrod [Harris] played a great game for us. We're planning on making it to the championship but we've got one more game to win."

‎The Steam jumped out to an early lead and took a 19-16 lead into the second quarter. The teams battled back and forth the rest of the first half with Ty Thomas and Jermaine Bell leading the way for the Giants with 9 points each, but the Steam went into the locker room up 46-44.

The Steam took a 6 point lead early in the third quarter, 52-46, ‎but the Giants went on a 24-1 run to take a 17 point lead late in the quarter, 70-53. The Steam ended the quarter with an 8-2 run that closed the Giants lead to 72-61, but the Giants defense would prove to be the difference. The Giants held the Steam to just 37 second half points enroute to a convincing victory.

 

04-07-15: GIANTS fall to MIAMI in first match up of Final Four
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Shreveport, LA
  Tuesday, April 7, 2015

 

Giants fall to Miami in first match up of Final Four

The #2 Jacksonville Giants faced off against #3 Miami Midnites tonight in the first match up of a double elimination Final Four in Shreveport, LA.

Miami jumped out to an early lead and were ahead by ten at the end of the first quarter, 29-19. Behind the hot shooting of Maurice Mickens and Jerrod Tucker, the Giants went on a 12-1 run to start the second and took the lead 31-30, but the game went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter with the Miami taking the half time lead, 55-53. After several lead changes, Miami finished the third quarter with an 80-75 lead and then opened it up to 14 point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game, 92-78.

‎Miami pushed the lead to as much as 16 before a late surge by the Giants reduced the lead by 5 with less than one minute remaining. The Giants had an opportunity to pull within two points with 30 seconds remaining but missed a 3-D scoring opportunity. Miami took the first game by a final score of 109-103.

The Giants will play again tomorrow night and face the loser of the Shreveport Mavericks and Chicago Steam match up that follows the Giants game this evening.

04-04-15: GIANTS sign Elijah Smith; Jason Bennett Returns
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Jacksonville, FL
  Saturday, April 4, 2015

 

Giants sign Elijah Smith; Announce the return of 7'4" Jason Bennett

The Jacksonville Giants announce that they have resigned 6'8" Power Forward Elijah Smith to a two (2) year extension. Smith played at North Georgia State University and has briefly played overseas for the Cambridge Wildcats. At just 24 years old and in his second year with the Giants, Smith has become a key role player in the Giant's offense and defense. His near double-double average has gained him a 2015 ABA All-star nomination and has drawn attention of coaches in our division. "There are no limits on what Elijah can do on the court if he sets his mind to it," said Giants' Head Coach Kevin Waters. "He has the size and versatility to be a difference-maker on offensive and defensive, and he has been. Now, we need him to help get us another title," added waters.

"Hopefully Elijah will be playing on [this year's ABA] Eastern conference All Star team and will be able to demonstrate his talents even further," said Giants' owner, Ron Sholes. "He is one of those guys that you can count on to give one hundred percent and do things right, whatever it is. On the court or off the court, he is definitely one of our community service leaders and a role model for Jacksonville area youth. We're glad he's chosen Jacksonville." added Sholes.

Additionally, the Giants announced the return of 7'4" Center, Jason Bennett to next season's team. Bennett was an Arlington Country Day School standout that helped lead the highly touted and Nike-sponsored program to their first two State Championships under Coach Rex Morgan (Jacksonville University). Bennett went on to play for the Kansas State Wildcats, setting the school record for the most blocks in a single game, before returning closer to home for family reasons. Bennett, once an NBA prospect, played for the Giants back in 2010 but a nagging injury kept him sidelined in the Final Four where he had to watch the Giants fall to the Gulf Coast Flash by just two points. After his season with the Giants, Bennett became a father and has since concentrated his time and energy raising his son.

Giant's assistant Coach Jerry Williams commented on Bennett's return stating that "I told Jason [before he agreed to terms] that I would personally commit to helping him get into top physical shape during the off season, but I also told him that it would be a lot of sweat, tears, and hard work if he really wanted to be a Giant again." "When Jason was healthy, he was a huge asset to our low post play," said Coach Waters, who was also the Giants coach five years ago when Bennett played for the team. The Giants envision Bennett and his large 280-300lb frame, giving more versatile low post players "room to do their work." according to Sholes. Jason has told the organization that he is ready to come back and give it everything he has. He is signed to a two-year agreement.

Giants General Manager, Pam Masters, reports that the team will be working closely with several other players whose contracts are expiring and that more signings are expected soon. In the past, the Giants have delayed putting their roster together until mid-summer something they hope to avoid this next season. "We plan on improving every aspect of our organization and signing [Elijah and Jason] is a part of that process. We’re very pleased to have them and we hope to have several other players returning as well." said Masters.

 

04-04-15: GIANTS head to Final Four for the 5th consecutive year
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Jacksonville, FL
  Saturday, April 4, 2015

 

Giants head to Final Four for the 5th consecutive year

The Jacksonville Giants (27-4) are the Southeast Division Champions and are heading to the ABA Final Four for the 5th consecutive year. With one of the most challenging schedules in the league, the team's only losses were to the #1 ranked Shreveport Mavericks and the #3 ranked Miami Midnites, two teams the Giants will likely have to defeat to win their third championship. "We have played the toughest schedule out of any ABA team this year. The Miami Midnites are a real good team and as we know, so are the defending champs [Shreveport]. We think we are playoff tested and ready to go to win the Title." says Waters. The Giants went just 2-4 against the league's top teams, but those were the Giants' only defeats and "we know both these teams very well." added Waters.

This year's Final Four will be in Shreveport, LA, and along with the Mavericks, Giants and Midnites, will be the Chicago Steam. As the team prepares to take on Miami on Tuesday night (April 7) in the double elimination round, they have been focusing on building a strong defense. 7' Center, Bruce Brown was brought in late in the season to give the Giants some much needed help in the low post. "Getting rebounds and playing defense. That's why I am here," Said Brown. Brown is also expected to provide valuable relief for two-time ABA MVP Jermaine "Slim" Bell, and to also compliment him on the floor at other times. Bell will be needed for his offensive prowess if the Giants are to be successful. Additionally, Forwards Elijah Smith , Jerrel Houston and Jerrod Tucker will have their hand full trying to close the rebounding margin against some of the league's best low post teams. In the last year's Championship Finals, the Giants lost two close match-ups to the Maverick due primarily to being beaten on the low post by an average of 20 rebounds per game. "We can do better on the boards and I'm confident that we will. We have a group of players that are really coming together for one common goal – to bring Jacksonville another championship," said Giants' owner, Ron Sholes. "But, win, lose or draw, I know they will play their hearts out for this organization and to represent Jacksonville, and they will be true professionals about it," added Sholes.

The Giants' back-court has seen some shuffling around this year but with the addition of former LSU guard, Terry Martin, and Maureece Rice, the former George Washington University and NBA D-League player, the Giants backcourt has improved since the beginning of the season when the team was reeling from the loss of 3-time ABA All Star and last year's Final Four scoring leader, Anthony Jackson (now with Shreveport). Additionally the team brought in Ty Thomas, formerly of South Florida Gold and according to Coach Waters, "[Ty] will be a force to be reckoned with in the Finals." The Giants also welcomed back Maurice Mickens who missed most of last season with an injury (but is now ready to go), and have added veteran point guard Sherrod "Hotrod" Harris and defensive standout Antonio "Red" Lawrence, who both helped lead the team to its first National Championship in 2012. Defensive standout Kevin McDonald is also on the championship roster although his plat this year has been limited. Finally, the Giants also have the first year player RJ Wright who has turned in an excellent rookie year and could be a difference maker in this year's finals.

The Giants will also play Wednesday night, and depending on the whether they are successful in the first two games, possibly Thursday night, as well. The Championships series will start on Saturday, April 11th. The Giants will leave Jacksonville early on Sunday, April 5th, and will enjoy a GIANT Send Off Party on Saturday, April 4th at 4pm at Taverna Yamas! There will be photo opportunities as well as an autograph signing. Fans will have the opportunity to sign a sendoff banner for the team to take to the Final Four! Giants' fans can follow the team on Twitter at hashtag, #GiantsPlayoffs2015.

 

03-08-15: GIANTS split weekend series against Miami MIDNITES
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Jacksonville, FL
  Sunday, March 8, 2015

 

GIANTS win 5th straight division title after split weekend series

The Jacksonville Giants (27-3) lost to the Miami Midnites tonight in a very close game 101-110. Last night the Giants defeated the Midnites 97-86.

Veteran Giants star, center Jermaine Bell, led the team in an outstanding display of athleticism tonight with 25 points. Elijah Smith, in his second season with the Giants, also played an impressive game with 17 points scored and several slam dunks. Maurice Mickens was another frontrunner tonight with 15 points.

“The guys played a great game tonight but we were unable to bring in the win. It is always a great opportunity to play against the Miami Midnites, we put up a good fight but were unable to bring it back in the end,” said Head Coach Kevin Waters.

The Giants have two more games this week before heading into the playoffs later this month as they press on for another National Championship. Check our Facebook page and website for details on the upcoming games!

 

02-21-15: GIANTS crush PHILADELPHIA SPIRIT in first match-up
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Jacksonville, FL
  Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015

 

JACKSONVILLE back on winning track, beating PHILADELPHIA, 130-104

The Jacksonville Giants (22-3) defeated the Philadelphia Spirit last night on their home court after a long trip to South Florida.

Long time Giants star, Jermaine Bell, led the team in an outstanding display of athleticism with 30 points. Elijah Smith, in his second season with the Giants, also played an impressive game with 25 points scored. Ty Thomas was another frontrunner last night with 16 points.

“The guys played a great game last night. We were excited to get back on our home court and bring in another win for our dedicated fans,” said Head Coach Kevin Waters.

This weekend, the Giants play two back to back games against the Georgia Warriors at the Legends Center. The Giants will return to the Veterans Memorial Arena to take on the Fayetteville Flight next Saturday, February 28th at 7pm for Medical Appreciation Night. All employees in the medical field will get in free with an employee ID.

 

02-15-15: GOLD twice outscore GIANTS, but League awards forfeits
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Boca Raton, FL
  Sunday, Feb 15, 2015

 

Player ineligibility question results in 2-game forfeiture for GOLD

For the second straight night, the Jacksonville Giants came up on the short end of the scoreboard against division rival, South Florida Gold. Unfortunately, the game was overshadowed by the possibility that both games will likely be forfeited by the Gold due to an ineligible player on the Gold roster. The league has made a preliminary decision in favor of forfeiture, but the final decision should be made in the next day or two, said ABA CEO, Ron Tilley.

“Each team has rules to follow when it comes to their roster,” said Giants’ owner Ron Sholes. “For any team to fail to follow the rules, hurts the integrity of the game. It's kind of like the NCAA violations we hear about or sometimes, even professional sports at the highest level. It happens. And, when it does there needs to be consequences. I'm not sure forfeiture is enough in this situation,” said Sholes, speaking of the Gold actually playing a current Jacksonville Giant’s player in the last two games.

Lavell Payne was signed by the Giants and was being paid 'per game' he played. His contract specifically said that he was signed for the 2014-15 season, and that he was “not eligible to play for any other team.” Payne attempted to unilaterally terminate the contract and then proceed to tell the Gold that he was not under contract. “[Payne] just played in two games with the Giants in Miami and then less than 48 hours later he is suiting up for the Gold,” said Giants’Head Coach Kevin Waters. “I can't understand it and his teammates can’t understand it.” Besides the fact the Giants were shorthanded on the road trip with power forward Jerrell Houston unable to play due to a fractured rib and guard RJ Wright not making the trip, “the loss of Payne was unexpected and wholly unfair. While you expect contract disputes on occasion, you certainly don't expect this,” added Waters.

The ABA Rules provides for a team to forfeit any games where they have violated league policy and the opposing team timely protests. In this case, the Giants did just that.

It appears clear that the Gold blatantly failed to take the necessary steps to ensure player eligibility, and then, after notice by the Giants and warning from the league, still proceeded to interfere with the Giants’ contractual rights to the player. “The league was provided a copy of the player contract today and the CEO [Ron Tilley] agreed with the clearlanguage of the agreement that the player was ineligible,” added Sholes.

The Jacksonville Giants will return home to the Veterans Memorial Arena next Friday, February 20th at 7pm for City of Jacksonville Night, where all city employees and their families will be admitted into the game free of charge. The Giants will play host to the Philadelphia Spirit. It will be the first ever matchup between the two clubs.

 

02-13-15: GIANTS split two-game series against #3 ranked MIAMI
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Miami, FL
  Thursday, Feb 13, 2015

 

GIANTS RETALIATE WITH GAME 2 WIN AFTER GAME 1 LOSS TO MIDNITES

After losing a close match up Wednesday night by a score of 104-96, the Giants managed to split the two game series last night, 102-87.

Behind solid defense and rebounding the Giants went up by as many as 20 in the first half and ended by 18 at the break, 51-33. After the Midnites owned the game to within 2 points late in the fourth quarter the Giants ended the game on a 15-2 run, to maintain their first place standing in the Southeast Division, and likely their #2 ranking in the ABA

Elijah Smith was the lead scorer in last night’s comeback game against the Midnites with 22 points. Kevin Thomas brought an impressive 14 points to the game and Ty Thomas came in with 13 points.

“Great bounce back win tonight. The guys played team ball and great defense down the stretch. We are looking forward to our two game series this weekend againstanother strong team, the South Florida Gold,” said Head Coach Kevin Waters last night of the win.

The Giants and Midnight will meet again in Jacksonville in early March. The Giants now travel to Boynton Beach to play the South Florida Gold, another ABA top 10 team. The Giants will be back on their home court at the Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday, February 20th at 7pm.

 

01-31-15: GIANTS fall to MAVERICKS for 2nd time this season
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Jacksonville, FL
  Sat., Jan. 31, 2015

 

GIANTS taken to school by ABA reigning champions, Shreveport MAVERICKS

Jacksonville Giants (17-2) fell at home for the first time this season at the hands of the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks, losing 115-82 tonight.

The Mavericks had a hot start and never looked back. Leading by 23 at the break, their intensity never withered as they cruised to a 33 point victory. The Giants were outrebounded 31-54 and could never establish an offensive rhythm, converting on only a disappointing 37% of their shot attempts on the night.

Forward Josh Pace and led the Mavs with 26 points to go along with 13 rebounds, both game highs. P.J. Cousinard had 25 points, and former Jacksonville Giant Brandon Davis posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 boards.

Jacksonville’s Jermaine Bell had 22 points in the loss, and Terry Fields made all five of his field goal attempts enroute to 14 points of his own. Elijah Smith chipped in 14 with a pair of athletic dunks but overall the Giants effort wasn’t enough.

The Giants will look to bounce back next week against the Atlanta Wildcats. The game will be on Saturday, February 7th at the UNF Arena.

 

01-25-15: GIANTS down Fayetteville FLIGHT in 2-game series
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Fayetteville, NC
  Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

 

Jacksonville has a winning weekend on the road

The Jacksonville Giants (17-1) completed the two game sweep of the Fayetteville Flight this evening at Robeson High School in Rowland, North Carolina, defeating the Flight 151-136.

Last night, the Giants defeated the Blackhawks 162-114 on the outstanding play of R.J. Wright who lead the Giants with 29 points. Team captain and veteran forward, Jerrod Tucker, added 27 in last night’s win.

The Giants defeated the Flight 161-117 on the fantastic athleticism of Elijah Smith who posted 20 points, veteran and former league MVP, Jermaine ’Slim’ Bell, added 18, and the Giants’ floor general Anthony Lumpkin put up a game high 26.

“I am proud of our guys’ performance today. We had to fight through adversity and we took complete control in the fourth quarter.” remarked head coach Kevin Waters following the game.

Next week, the Giants will take on the #1 ranked Shreveport Mavericks in a rematch of the 2014 ABA Finals. The Giants’ only loss this season was at the feat of the Mavericks on their home court in December. The Giants have been playing their best basketball of the season as of late and look to carry that momentum into next week’s game. With such a hyped matchup, they hope to break their previous ABA record attendance (8,354) from last season. The game on January 31st is also Military Appreciation Night and will highlight several local military charities and servicemen and women as part of the night’s in-game entertainment.

 

01-18-15: GIANTS sweep BLACKHAWKS in Weekend Series
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  Jacksonville, FL
  Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015

 

JACKSONVILLE scores two more wins before Fayetteville road trip

The Jacksonville Giants (15-1) completed the two game sweep of the Montgomery Blackhawks Sunday evening at the Bob Hayes Legends Center, defeating the Blackhawks 150-127.

The Giants defeated the Blackhawks 162-114 on the outstanding play of newcomer R.J. Wright who lead the Giants with 29 points. Team captain and veteran forward, Jerrod Tucker, added 27 in last night's win.

Sunday, the Giants had another solid win even with the absence of league MVP Jermaine Bell. Led by Jacksonville University alum, Delwan Graham’s 23 points, the Giants got off to a fast start and never looked back.

“We’ve had some good leadership and solid defense,” said Head Coach Kevin Waters. “We’ve had some roster moves the past couple weeks and we hope to have the team in playoff form for the [championship] rematch,” Waters added, of the home game on January 31st against the Shreveport Mavericks at the Veterans Memorial Arena.

Next week, the Giants are on the road to Fayetteville for a two game series and then returning home for the long awaited rematch against the Mavericks. The January 31st game will be military appreciation night and the Giants hope to break their previous ABA record attendance (8,354).

 

 


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