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WNCP gets the call up to the minors
By Oliver Forde
WNCP Sports is composed entirely of students in the Mass Communications department, and is overseen by Mike DeCinti, an instructor within the department.
In the past, students worked together in helping to broadcast games for the UNCP Braves men’s and women's basketball games over Channel 6.
The plan was originally developed by the NBA, which is attempting to expand the reach of its development league through NBA TV.
After learning that UNCP broadcasts its own sports programs, the channel contacted the school asking if it would be willing to provide the same coverage for NBA TV.
The two groups discussed a number of possible ways to approach the games including scenarios which involved full game coverage to interview segments.
Robert Warren Mobile Television Productions will be providing UNCP students with an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with professional equipment, by donating their cameras, mobile control room and other equipment for the games.
"I think it's probably the closest thing any of our students will have to working for a professional organization while still being a student," DeCinti said. "We're offering a service for a professional group and we'll be using the most advanced equipment that any student will have."
The NBA D-League is a development league for NBA players who are not quite up to the challenges of the highest level of professional basketball.
It is similar to the minor leagues in baseball.
Players who are inexperienced or struggling are sent to the D-League to help work on whatever problems they're having adjusting to the NBA.
Although no official date has been set for an airtime, WNCP will cover games on March 31, April 1 and April 7 at the Crown Center of Cumberland County.
The games will be shown on NBA TV, a paid channel which reaches some 65 million viewers, as well as local channels.
The Patriots are one of eight teams in the D-League, each of which has specific NBA affiliates.
The remainder of the D-League is comprised of the Fort Worth Flyers, Arkansas RimRockers, Austin Toros, Florida Flame and Tulsa 66ers.
The Patriots are currently in last place of the D-League with a 15-31 record, while Fort Worth is leading with a 27-17 mark.