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Timberwolves to Start Camp with Dunks

Public welcome to attend event.

Chad Courrier, Mankato Free Press, 9-16-2014

Mankato, Minn. -- It’s been a long summer for the Minnesota Timberwolves, with head coach Rick Adelman resigning, the organization preparing for the draft, a coaching search and the drawn-out trade of Kevin Love.

In two weeks, Flip Saunders, the owner/ coach president of basketball operation, said it’s time to have some fun and celebrate the upcoming season. He’s devised Dunks After Dark, an event modeled after the collegiate Midnight Madness when he will unveil his new roster.

“There is a lot of excitement around the team,” Saunders said. “We have a nice mixture of veterans and young guys, and this will be the first opportunity to show off our team. It’s a great way to kick off our week in Mankato.”

The Dunks After Dark will be held at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 30, which will be open to the public. The Taylor Center doors open at 11 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 29, and will feature some scrimmaging and a dunk contest. The event will be aired live on NBATV.

Free tickets will be distributed at the Minnesota State University, Mankato Student Union Center at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 29.

The Timberwolves have held their week-long training camp at Minnesota State Mankato for several years, but this will be the first time the organization has done something to start the camp. The Timberwolves will practice eight times over six days at Bresnan Arena.

The roster has undergone major changes since the team practiced here before the 2013-14 season. Love is gone, but Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin remain. Zach LaVine was the team’s top draft choice, but Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and veteran Thaddeus Young came in the Love trade. Mo Walker was added as a veteran guard.

“There’s a lot of excitement and intrigue, internally, about the unknown and the potential of our team,” Saunders said. “We’ve got a lot of young, athletic guys, and we have a lot of guys back. We’ll have some growing pains, but we’re a team that’s building, not rebuilding.”

Saunders said the team gets a lot out of its week in Mankato, from team bonding to the now-famous lasagna dinner held at owner Glen Taylor’s home. Saunders said that Taylor takes a lot of pride in all of his companies, and he enjoys the opportunity to show off the Timberwolves to the Mankato community.

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at

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