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December 4, 2013

NBA D-league team proposed for Wigwam

City announces creation of committee to decide iconic gym's fate

ANDERSON, Ind. —

The Wigwam gymnasium could become the home of an NBA development league if plans proceed from a former area basketball coach.

A plan has been presented by Terrry Thimlar, a former basketball coach at Muncie Central High School and former general manager and assistant coach of the Florida Flame, a now-defunct Fort Myers team in the NBA D-League.

On Wednesday, Anderson city officials announced the creation of a task force charged with resurrecting the iconic gym.

The city's Economic Development Department has formed what it has dubbed the Blue Ribbon Community Committee for the Rehabilitation and Reuse of the Wigwam. 

A press release from the city outlined a plan for the historic arena, which has been vacant and without a tenant since 2011, to be used by an NBA Developmental League team. The plan was presented by Thimlar, currently a sporting event coordinator in Florida. 

Part of the release reads: "Thimlar’s connections to and work with the NBA and its D-League teams brings some hope for an economically viable reuse of the Wigwam. Despite this opportunity, the time is short and challenges many. While Thimlar continues to promote his plan with Anderson community leaders, other leaders in Central Indiana and across the sporting world, time is running out as the ACS considers demolition of Wigwam in the near future."

On Wednesday, Thimlar said the building is too much of a community icon to be demolished. Thimlar's investment group is Wigwam Sports and Entertainment. He said he's received support from investors in Madison County, Indianapolis and Carmel. While the creation of a D-League team is something Thimlar hopes to materialize at some point, he said he's not putting the cart ahead of the horse.

"We have a plan for the Wigwam to be used in a lot of different ways," Thimlar said "One of the possibilities would be a D-League team, but it's much more than that. Right now our major focus is to bring it back to life and make it a viable entity."

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