Houston Gets Another Minor-League Franchise Not Named the Astros

The Rockets' immediate future may be up in the air, but the same doesn't apply to the East Houston Heat, a professional basketball franchise that will debut in spring 2012.

First-time general manager Hellion Knight, who played professionally in Europe for three seasons, is heading the minor-league club. He tells Hair Balls that in April, the Heat, following a draft in February, will play ten home games at San Jacinto Community College-North and ten games on the road beginning in April.

The team will compete in the just-christened New Era Basketball Association, which currently boasts six teams in the Houston area (including Katy, Cy Fair and The Woodlands) but may expand into New Mexico, Florida and Louisiana, according to Knight. Along with the 20-game regular season that will be aired on television and/or online, Knight says the league will include an all-star game as well as playoff contests, two things the 2011 Astros know nothing about.

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