New Mexico Thunderbirds

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New Mexico Thunderbirds
New Mexico Thunderbirds logo
League NBA Development League
Founded 2001
History Huntsville Flight
Albuquerque Thunderbirds
New Mexico Thunderbirds
Canton Charge
Arena Santa Ana Star Center
Location Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Head coach Darvin Ham
Ownership Sam & Jackie Bregman
Affiliation(s) New Orleans Hornets
Orlando Magic
Championships 1 (2005-06 as Albuquerque)
Division / Conference titles 0
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours

The New Mexico Thunderbirds were a professional NBA Development League minor league basketball team which played from 2005-2011. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Thunderbirds first played their home games at Tingley Coliseum as the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, then played at the Santa Ana Star Center under the New Mexico Thunderbirds name for their final season of 2010-11.

On July 7, 2011, it was announced the Thunderbirds had been purchased by the Cleveland Cavaliers and moved to Canton, Ohio for the 2011-12 season, where they now play as the Canton Charge.[1]

Franchise history[edit]

The team was formed as the Huntsville Flight and were established in Huntsville, Alabama in 2001 as a founding member of the NBDL, the affiliate minor league of the NBA. The team ended its tenure in Alabama at the conclusion of the 2005 season after finishing 3rd in the overall NBDL standings at 27-21. They became the Albuquerque Thunderbirds the following season. In 2006, the team also won the D-League Championship game over the Fort Worth Flyers in their first year of existence in Albuquerque, with Michael Cooper as Head Coach. They are directly affiliated with NBA teams the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and the Phoenix Suns. In the 2006-2007 season, along with the Tulsa 66ers (formerly the Asheville Altitude), the Austin Toros (formerly the Columbus Riverdragons), and the Florida Flame (formerly the Charleston Lowgators), who are not playing for the 2006-2007 season. The Albuquerque Thunderbirds (formerly the Huntsville Flight) are playing in their sixth season in the National Basketball Association Development League.

For the 2010 season, the Thunderbirds moved from Tingley Coliseum to the Santa Ana Star Center and were renamed the New Mexico Thunderbirds. The team was then purchased by the Cleveland Cavaliers and moved to Canton, Ohio, where they are now the Canton Charge.


Season Division Regular Season Playoffs
Finish Wins Losses Pct.
Huntsville Flight
2001–02 5th 26 30 .464
2002–03 8th 22 28 .440
2003–04 3rd 24 22 .522 Won Semifinals (Charleston) 108-100
Lost D-League Finals (Asheville) 108-106
2004–05 3rd 27 21 .563 Lost Semifinals (Asheville) 90-86
Albuquerque Thunderbirds
2005–06 2nd 26 22 .542 Won Semifinals (Florida) 80-71
Won D-League Finals (Fort Worth) 119-108
2006–07 Western 3rd 24 26 .480 Lost Semifinals (Colorado) 130-100
2007–08 Southwestern 4th 22 28 .440
2008–09 Southwestern 3rd 24 26 .480
2009–10 Western 7th 18 32 .360
New Mexico Thunderbirds
2010–11 Western 9th 20 30 .400
Regular Season Record 233 265 .468 2001–2011
Playoff Record 3 3 .500 2001–2011

Final roster[edit]

2011 New Mexico Thunderbirds roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY–MM–DD) From
F 13 United States Edwards, Shane 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Arkansas-Little Rock
G 21 United States Giddens, J.R. 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 210 lb (95 kg) New Mexico
F 24 United States Hubbard, Marcus 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Angelo State
G 11 United States Jalloh, Abdulai 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) James Madison
F 12 United States Peterson, Jamine 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Providence
G 17 United States Raivio, Nik 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Portland
F 42 United States Sharpe, Walter 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 250 lb (113 kg) Alabama–Birmingham
G 10 United States Tucker, Dar 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 205 lb (93 kg) DePaul
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (NBA) Assigned from NBA team
  • Injured Injured

Last transaction: January 21, 2011



External links[edit]