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Get to know the Salt Lake City Stars

The Salt Lake City Stars open up the season on Saturday night as they travel to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to face off against the defending league champion Sky Force.

With the season just days away, it is the perfect time to get to know the players who will be on the floor for the Stars in their inaugural season in Utah.


Jaylen Bland, UC Riverside

Height: 6-3

Weight: 205

Position: Guard

How acquired: D-League draft

What you need to know: Bland was the 15th overall pick by the Stars in the first round of the 2016 D-League draft after spending his last two seasons at UC Riverside. He averaged 15.6 points during his time with the Highlanders on 39.6 percent shooting from 3-point range while taking 8.4 attempts a game.


Eric Dawson, Midwestern State

Height: 6-9

Weight: 250

Position: Forward

How acquired: Affiliate player

What you need to know: Dawson has played basketball all over the world since he left Midwestern State in 2007. He has spent time in the D-League, Europe, China, Japan, the Dominican Republic and even played four games with the San Antonio Spurs in 2012.

He has played parts of six seasons in the D-League with the Austin Toros with some success. His best season came in 2011-12 where he started 27 of 29 games and averaged 17.2 points and 10.6 rebounds in 29 minutes a night to be named the league's Impact Player of the Year.


Quincy Ford, Northeastern

Height: 6-8

Weight: 225

Position: Forward

How acquired: Affiliate player

What you need to know: Ford is in his first season of pro basketball after playing a big role for Northeastern for the last five years. The athletic wingman had his best season as a senior in 2015-16 when he averaged 16.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 34.8 minutes a game.


Evrik Gary, Francis Marion

Height: 6-3

Weight: 154

Position: Guard

How acquired: D-League draft

What you need to know: Gary was drafted with the sixth pick of the fifth round by the Raptors 905 before he was traded to the Stars. He spent the 2015-16 campaign playing for Beroe in Bulgaria, where he averaging 13.8 points on 48.7 percent shooting from the floor, including a blistering 44.3 percent from beyond the arc in 29 games of NBL play.


J.J. O'Brien, San Diego State

Height: 6-7

Weight: 215

Position: Forward

How acquired: Returning rights

What you need to know: O'Brien is back in Utah after spending the 2015-16 season split between the Idaho Stampede and the Utah Jazz. He started 44 of 46 games he played for the Stampede where he averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 36 minutes.


Marcus Paige, North Carolina

Height: 6-0

Weight: 164

Position: Guard

How acquired: Affiliate player

What you need to know: Paige is in his first professional season after starring for the North Carolina Tar Heels for the last four years. He is an elite outside shooter who had his best season as a sophomore in 2013-14 when he averaged 17.5 points on 44 percent shooting from the floor, including 38.9 percent from beyond the arc. He added 4.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 34 games.


Da'Shonte Riley, Eastern Michigan

Height: 7-0

Weight: 240

Position: Center

How acquired: Returning rights

What you need to know: Riley is in his second year with the organization after spending the 2015-16 season with the Idaho Stampede. While he played just 14.4 minutes a night over 33 games, he showed that he could be a solid rim protector with 1.3 blocks a contest.


Patrick Simon, Seattle Pacific

Height: 6-8

Weight: 220

Position: Forward

How acquired: Tryout

What you need to know: Simon joins the Stars after a very successful stint in Japan where he averaged 17.5 points on 47.6 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 9.4 rebounds in 47 games. He also showed a propensity to knock down the outside shot, connecting on more than two 3-point shots a game.


Henry Sims, Georgetown

Height: 6-10

Weight: 245

Position: Center

How acquired: Returning rights

What you need to know: Sims had played for four different NBA teams, including the New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets since leaving Georgetown in 2012.

He was at his best in Philadelphia where he averaged 9.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 57 starts over two seasons.


Jermaine Taylor, Central Florida

Height: 6-5

Weight: 205

Position: Guard

How acquired: Returning rights

What you need to know: Taylor is no stranger to the D-League, having spent five of the last seven seasons in the league with three different teams. He also has some NBA experience with the Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets where he started 12 games over two seasons and averaged 5.4 points and 1.7 rebounds.


Dakarai Tucker, Utah

Height: 6-5

Weight: 195

Position: Guard

How acquired: Tryout

What you need to know: Tucker is in his rookie season of pro basketball after playing the last four seasons with the Utah Utes. While he didn't put up big numbers in college, he showed great range on his shot where he knocked down 145 3-points shots in 125 games.


Jeremy Williams, UTEP

Height: 6-7

Weight: 200

Position: Forward

How acquired: Returning rights

What you need to know: Williams returns to the organization after playing 40 games with the Stampede in 2015-16. He was a solid contributor who made 27 starts and averaged 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 23 minutes a game.