After controlling the Erie BayHawks for the last two seasons, the Hawks have officially relocated their G League franchise to College Park, Georgia. The new NBAGL team, the College Park Skyhawks, now has an official website and unveiled its primary and secondary logos today.
It was first reported back in January 2017 that the Hawks would have a G League club in College Park beginning in the 2019/20 season. In the interim, Atlanta used the Erie BayHawks as its affiliate, and now that the Hawks are no longer associated with the team in Erie, the Pelicans that will be affiliated with that squad going forward. New Orleans will eventually have a G League franchise in Birmingham, Alabama, but that’s not expected to happen until 2022, so the BayHawks will once again serve as a placeholder.
As for the Hawks’ new affiliate in College Park, the team is set to play its home games at the all-new Gateway Center, which will hold 3,500 people for Skyhawks games.
The team also announced today that rapper 2 Chainz – whose real name is Tauheed Epps and who was born and raised in College Park – has a minority stake in the Skyhawks’ ownership group. Epps told Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the opportunity is a “dream come true,” adding that he intends to use his new position as a platform.
“I’m an entertainer,” Epps said. “I’m a hip-hop musician. … I’m able to use my platform to inspire the youth, with real action though, like real time, not just stories of what it used to be. I’m able to show them a real timeline of me actually going through these steps, ups and downs, and to continue the marathon. This is a real story that people can relate to. I’m tangible. I’m accessible. I’m somebody that people can touch, get next to. I’m at Hawks games with my kids. I’m a real person. I’m very transparent. I think the Hawks see how I can help spark the next coach, assistant, owner.”
With the BayHawks remaining in the G League as the Pelicans’ affiliate and the Skyhawks beginning play in 2019/20, the NBAGL is expected to have 28 teams next season. The Trail Blazers and Nuggets are the only two NBA clubs that don’t yet have their own affiliates.