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New BayHawks Coach Gene Cross To Join Team at Open Tryouts in NYC

New Erie BayHawks head coach Gene Cross is ready to hit the ground running and will join the team at open tryouts in New York City.

As expected, the Erie BayHawks officially introduced Gene Cross yesterday afternoon as the team's new head coach.

With a wealth of experience both on the collegiate and D-League level, Cross comes to Erie after spending the past season as an assistant coach with the Iowa Energy.

And after 16 years of coaching and proving himself worthy of such an opportunity, an array of basketball hopefuls will now have the chance to prove they, too, are deserving of a different opportunity.

Coach Cross will be on hand this coming Saturday (September 30th), when his new team hosts open tryouts at Baruch College in the heart of New York City.

"I’m looking for people who are hungry to get into the gym and get better," Cross said. "I beat the bushes to find those players, the guys that the Knicks want to keep their eyes on to make sure they grow and learn. I don’t want to just work guys out, I want to get them to understand the nuances of the game like where to make their shots, where to look for reads. I want to make them students of the game."

His immediate attendance shows he's certainly ready to hit the ground running.

In a report published on Erie's official website, the coach was quoted as counting Knickerbocker legend and BayHawks General Manager Allan Houston as a friend. What's more, Cross asserted he's dedicated to closing the gap between the Knicks and BayHawks, embracing the NBA squad's culture.

"I actually had gotten to know Allan Houston over the last year and a half or so ever since the Knicks took over operations for the BayHawks," Cross said. "We had a good rapport and being around the same age and both being fans of the game, you start to develop a friendship. So he called me up recently and asked if I was interested and of course I was.

"We can mirror the culture in New York and make sure we have the same ideals and hold people responsible and accountable," Cross said. "I want people to understand we’re the same organization - it’s the same culture that is flowing between the Knicks and the BayHawks."

As NBA teams build stronger foundations and relationships with their D-League affiliates, there is no reason why the Knicks can't use the BayHawks and the D-League on a more intimate to develop their own talent, as well as scout potential others. In addition to being able to send players to Erie during the season, New York is also allowed to "protect" up to three players they cut in training camp for the BayHawks to sign.

With this already potentially in mind, the Knicks are bringing six players with non-guaranteed contracts into camp with them next week.