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Northern Arizona Suns will rebrand as Rodeo Clowns for Jan. 19 game

The Phoenix Suns’ G League affiliate in Prescott Valley will rebrand as the Northern Arizona Rodeo Clowns for a Jan. 19 game against the Texas Legends.

“It’s about being unique, fun and different,” Northern Arizona president Chris Presson said, according to a release. “It’s not just about Prescott Valley and Chino and Dewey, it’s about the western heritage for the region as a whole. And it’s not just about a nod to the past, but it’s also to the current and to the future, as well.

“We want to be fun and we want to be creative,” Presson added. “We want to give a nod to the past so that we’re recognizing the Fain Land and Cattle Company, the World’s Oldest Rodeo, the PBR, the PRCA Turquoise Rodeo and so much more about this area. It’s important as well that we put our own little twist on it, and that’s where this comes in.”

The team made the announcement Monday.

On gameday, the first 1,000 fans will will receive Suns-branded cowboy hats for the team’s Western Night. Northern Arizona will hold pregame fan activities, including a mechanical bull and clown face painting.

Afterward, Arizona State alumnus and country artist Davey Arnold will perform at a postgame concert.

The Suns will wear Rodeo Clown alternate uniforms, which will be auctioned off at a later date.

“I was thinking about the characteristics of a rodeo clown and how it kind of fits what we’re trying to teach our guys. It sounds silly, but two qualities really stood out to me,” head coach Bret Burchard said at Monday’s press conference. “One was the selflessness of the job. We just had a conversation with our team today and said, ‘What can you do to help your teammate get better? What skills do you bring to the event, to the game that can help a teammate look great? So, we would like to embody that, the selflessness. The second piece is just the joy in which a rodeo clown does his job.

“I think it was John Wooden who said, ‘You can’t accomplish anything without great enthusiasm.’ So we’d like our team to play with great enthusiasm and great joy, and hopefully that transcends to the fans and community.”

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