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THE KNICKS ARE BACK IN THE AREA The New York Knicks return to Skidmore College today to hold their training camp for the second straight year.

The NBA team will go through twice-a-day practices that are again closed to the general public through Saturday.

"The first year was a great experience for us," Skidmore athletic director Gail Cummings-Danson said. "I think they had a great time. It's an easy camp. They come in and get their work done and it's not an inconvenience to the college at all."

The difference this time is the Knicks will close their stay in the Capital Region by playing the New Jersey Nets in their preseason opener on Sunday afternoon at Times Union Center. It's the first NBA game in the Capital Region since 2004.

There were 3,000 tickets sold for the game by early Monday afternoon.

The Knicks are in their second season under head coach Mike D'Antoni, who guided the team to a 32-50 record last season. New York hasn't made the playoffs since 2004 or had a winning record since 2001.

Their roster includes forward Al Harrington, who led the team in scoring at 20.7 points per game, and forward David Lee and guard Nate Robinson, who each signed one-year contracts last week.

The Knicks are in the final year of a two-year contract with Skidmore, which wasn't sure the team would return this season. They had an out clause after last year amid rumors the team might train in Italy this fall.

"We don't know how they'll feel moving forward," Cummings-Danson said. "We haven't talked about (a new contract). Presumably, if it's of interest for them, it's of interest to us."

Cummings-Danson said the training camp gives the school good publicity.

"The New York writers are all up here writing and talking about Skidmore," she said. "It's always fun to have a professional team on your campus when it works so well."

The Knicks kept a low profile in Saratoga Springs last year, staying in a local hotel and usually leaving only for their meals.

"We know they're here for business," Cummings-Danson said.

In a new twist, the Knicks will allow 40 children of Skidmore employees -- 20 boys and 20 girls -- to watch their Friday evening practice.

Selected players will then take questions from the children before Skidmore players come in to conduct a Basketball clinic.

Mark Singelais can be reached at 454-5509 or by e-mail at

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 30, 2009


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