Birmingham Squadron names new general manager
PELHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Leslie Claybrook’s tenure as the Birmingham Squadron’s General Manager started as if she was already running a fast break. Immediately after winning the job in mid-June, she went to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas to represent the G-League at meetings with the parent club, New Orleans Pelicans. And when the Squadron announced her hiring this week, it was already her second week in the office.
She plans to keep things moving and building on last year’s top five attendance ranking by taking advantage of not having to leap last year’s hurdles including COVID protocols for fans and Legacy Arena renovations.
“I think biggest thing that they’ll see is we’re going to start the season on schedule with a home schedule in November versus last year in December, when the facility was still being renovated,” says Claybrook. “And so we’re going to hit the ground running, I believe, Veterans Day weekend. We’ll be our opening weekend all the way through March with a 25-game home slate against all the top teams in the G League.”
The former University of Alabama star coached at Mercer University and Troy University before serving in Associate Athletic Director roles at Birmingham Southern, Samford and Rice universities. In 2011 she joined the Southeastern Conference as an Assistant Commissioner running women’s sports championship events.
The fact a woman who once refereed G-League games when it was a developmental league is now running a G-League franchise fits with the culture the NBA has built according to Claybrook.
“The NBA’s been at the forefront of providing those opportunities and giving women with experience a chance to be general managers and to run the show and to show that they’re, they’ve got the basketball skills and knowledge and the management tools to be successful in these areas and I’m honored and humbled to be one of three (women) in the G-League to run the Birmingham squadron and to be the general manager for this organization.”
Claybrook says the Squadron will start their season around Veterans Day weekend, but did not say whether ticket prices will increase. She says though that tickets are available for the NBA pre-season game between the Pelicans and Hawks at Legacy Arena on October 14, 2022.
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