BUFFALO, NY (September 24, 2015) — Life in the world of professional basketball can be cyclical.  You start your career as a player before moving on to either a front office position or coaching position.  For the lucky few that cyclical journal leads you back to the same city where your professional basketball career got started.
Ernie DiGregorio started his professional basketball career as the 1973 first round draft pick for the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association (ABA), which he turned down so he could try his luck at being drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA).  DiGregorio was selected in the first round, third overall, in the 1973 NBA draft, by the Buffalo Braves.  Today DiGregorio, known as “Ernie D” during his playing days, returns to Buffalo as the Director of Operations for the Buffalo 716ers of the ABA.  DiGregorio’s cyclical journey not only returns him to Buffalo, but now gives him an opportunity to be a member of an ABA team.
DiGregorio’s flame burned brightest his first season with the Braves when he lead the league in free-throw percentage and assists per game, on his way to being awarded Rookie of the Year. DiGregorio spent four of his five NBA seasons with the Braves, before short stint with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

When asked why bring DiGregorio in, 716ers owner and General Manager Tawan Slaughter wants to pay homage to the Braves while building a new successful basketball culture in Buffalo.
“Our city was very blessed to have the Braves in the ‘70’s, and it’s a shame they left. We didn’t have a quality, stable, basketball franchise since then.  Going into our third season I’ve listened to our fans. I keep hearing how they want the best players and want a championship. I’m working hard on player acquisition now, and Ernie will help steer the organization to keep growing and keep bringing in new fans. I’m excited, we’ve got big things planned this season,” said Slaughter.

DiGregorio will now oversee and manage all off-court activities for the 716ers organization, as well as deliver the highest quality fan experience on game day.

Fans will get their first opportunity to see DiGregorio courtside during the second annual Thanksgiving Weekend Pre-Season Tournament, hosted by the 716ers.

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