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Tuckered out; Mavs forced to open without head coach - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Tuckered out; Mavs forced to open without head coach

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SHREVEPORT, La -

The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks ABA professional basketball team is played its home opener Thursday night at the refurbished Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport.  It's part of a full weekend of basketball in a round robin involving eight teams.  Mavericks head coach and general manager Steve Tucker is not be there after literally having had the scare of his life last week.  Tucker had heart surgery on Saturday and made a surprise visit to practice Thursday morning.   Alex Anderson was there as tucker and his team saw each other for the first time since the surgery.

It was an emotional scene as Tucker's appearance was a big surprise.  He hugged his players and thanked God for giving him a new lease on life.

Tucker, who proudly wears the title Coach of the Decade awarded by the American Basketball Association (ABA) for the most wins in ABA history, was expecting to open yet another winning season with resounding victories when the Mavericks host the ABA Tip-Off Classic this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the historic Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport. 

Games are scheduled at two hour intervals Thursday beginning with South Houston Assault vs. Hattiesburg Hornets at 2:00 p.m. The Shreveport-Bossier City Mavericks play the Denton Destroyers at 8:00 pm. Also taking the court are Gulf Coast Flash vs. Jackson Showboats at 4:00 p.m., and Monroe Magicians vs. Mobile Bay Hurricanes at 6:00 pm.

Play-off games are scheduled at two hour intervals Friday beginning again at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday is slated for the consolation game at 6:00 p.m. and the championship game at 8:00 pm.

"Coach T still expects a sweeping victory this weekend, but he'll have to rely on fans and the team to provide commentaries," said Nelson.

During Tucker's absence, the Mavericks will be led by interim head coach Albert Waldvogel, and assistant coaches Jonathan Greenaway and Larry Haygood. 

Tucker led the fledgling Mavericks to back-to-back National Championships in 2010 and 2011, earned three consecutive National Coach of the Year Awards from the American Basketball Association, Euro/USBasket, and Pro Basketball News, and was named Pro Basketball News' #1 professional basketball coach not coaching in the NBA.

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