Sep. 15—The College Park Skyhawks, the NBA G League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, unveiled their 50-game schedule for 2021-22 on Wednesday, marking their return after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team's last regular-season action was March 11, 2020 and its last home game was Feb. 29, 2020.
The Skyhawks will welcome fans back to Gateway Center Arena @ College Park on Friday, Nov. 5, when the club hosts the Maine Celtics at 7 p.m. in the first of seven scheduled theme games this season.
"We are beyond excited to return to action and welcome our fans back into the building this season," said Janice Koon, vice president of G League Operations and 2K League Operations for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena. "Now, more than ever, the Atlanta metropolitan area is on fire for basketball, and we can't wait for our passionate fans to cheer us on in person."
The Skyhawks' seven theme games for the upcoming season feature ticket bundles, which begin at $15 and include a seat for the contest as well as a team-branded hat and water bottle. Those dates are listed below:
Friday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. — Maine Celtics (Home Opener)
Friday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m. — Delaware Blue Coats (Hoops and Heroes)
Sunday, Jan. 2, 2 p.m. — Cleveland Charge (Kids Day)
Thursday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. — Westchester Knicks (Education Day)
Saturday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. — Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Celebrating Black History)
Friday, March 4, 7 p.m. — Greensboro Swarm (Faith and Family)
Friday, March 18, 7 p.m. — Wisconsin Herd (Fan Appreciation)
The club's other home games are Nov. 7 (2 p.m./Maine Celtics), Nov. 21 (2 p.m./Delaware Blue Coats), Dec. 14 (7 p.m./Raptors 905), Dec. 16 (7 p.m./Raptors 905), Dec. 31 (4 p.m./Cleveland Charge), Jan. 11 (7 p.m./Grand Rapids Gold), Jan. 25 (7 p.m./Long Island Nets), Feb. 4 (7 p.m./Motor City Cruise), Feb. 14 (7 p.m./Fort Wayne Mad Ants), Feb. 23 (7 p.m./Capital City Go-Go), Feb. 26 (6:30 p.m./Delaware Blue Coats), March 6 (2 p.m./Greensboro Swarm), March 10 (7 p.m./Raptors 905), March 12 (6:30 p.m./Windy City Bulls), March 16 (7 p.m./Wisconsin Herd), March 22 (7 p.m./Maine Celtics) and March 29 (7 p.m./Lakeland Magic).
The Skyhawks enter the season with a new coaching staff led by head coach Steve Gansey, who was head coach of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA G League from 2015-20, where he recorded a 123-120 mark and became the club's all-time wins leader. Highlighting the roster are two players on two-way contracts with the Atlanta Hawks — Sharife Cooper, a former Mr. Georgia Basketball and Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year at McEachern High School in Powder Springs; and Skylar Mays, a second-year professional who saw action in 33 games for the Hawks during the 2020-21 regular season. Cooper was a standout freshman last season at Auburn, and Mays also is a former SEC product who played at LSU.
"After more than a year away from our fans in College Park, our players, coaches and staff are enthusiastic about returning to competitive action," said Skyhawks general manager Tori Miller. "Coach Gansey and his staff are diligently preparing to lead our team to the next level on the court."
Only players with three-or-fewer years of NBA experience are permitted to sign two-way contracts. Per league rules, teams are allowed to have up to two two-way players on their roster at any given time, in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. A two-way player for the Hawks will spend time with the Skyhawks but can be on the Atlanta Hawks' active list for up to 50 games during the 2021-22 regular season.
In a change from past seasons, the NBA G League will crown two champions at separate points this year to compliment the fluidity of rosters and fluctuation of players during the season. The league is implementing an innovative structure for 2021-22 which will include two parts: a 14-game Showcase Cup to begin the season; and a 36-game regular season in advance of the traditional NBA G League Playoffs.