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|Rapid City Thrillers|
|History||Tampa Bay Thrillers|
Rapid City Thrillers
Florida Beach Dogs
Rapid City Thrillers
|Arena||Rushmore Plaza Civic Center|
|Location||Rapid City, South Dakota|
|Team colors||red, white, blue|
|Head coach||Bill Musselman 1985-1987|
Tom Nissalke 1988
Flip Saunders 1989
Eric Musselman 1990
Keith Fowler 1991
Jim Calvin 1991
Eric Musselman 1992-1997
|Championships||3 (1985, 1986, 1987)|
The Rapid City Thrillers were a semi-professional basketball team in Rapid City, South Dakota, that competed in the Continental Basketball Association beginning in the 1987 season. They were reincarnated in 1998 as an International Basketball Association franchise. One of the many notable players of the team was Keith Smart, who played for the Indiana Hoosiers when they won the NCAA tournament in 1987.
The Thrillers had some very notable head coaches in its time. First, Bill Musselman coached the team to three consecutive CBA titles during the 1980s. Musselman then moved to the NBA as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Later, Flip Saunders coached the Thrillers for a season and later became head coach of the NBA's Washington Wizards. Keith Fowler coached the team during one of their only losing seasons. Eric Musselman (son of Bill Musselman) coached the team successfully for seven years but was never able to bring the championship back to the franchise, although the team was runner-up three separate times during its existence.
This team traced its history back to the Tampa Bay Thrillers of the Continental Basketball Association. They won consecutive CBA titles in their first two seasons. However, the team never drew well, and abruptly changed cities in 1987. The Thrillers moved to Rapid City at the conclusion of the regular season, but didn't stop the team's momentum, as they won their third consecutive title.
After eight and a half seasons, the team moved to West Palm Beach where they became the Florida Beach Dogs. The Beach Dogs lasted only two seasons folding after losing the championship series to the Oklahoma City Cavalry.
After the Thrillers left Rapid City, professional basketball continued in the form of the Black Hills Posse of the International Basketball Association. In 1998 the Black Hills Posse were sold to John Tuschman (former owner of the original Thrillers). Tuschman tried to spark the old spirit the Thrillers had from the late 1980s and early 1990s, by renaming the Posse to the Thrillers and bringing back the original "flaming basketball" logo. Tuschman was unsuccessful and the new Thrillers folded after the end of the 1998-99 season. The IBA continued for one more season in Rapid City, as the Black Hills Gold played in the 1999-2000 season for one year, before moving to Michell, South Dakota and becoming the South Dakota Gold. Rapid City has been without professional basketball since.
|1987/88||CBA||6th, Western||Did not qualify|
|1988/89||CBA||1st, Western||Western Division Finals|
|1989/90||CBA||1st, National Midwest||Finals|
|1990/91||CBA||2nd, National Midwest||National First Round|
|1991/92||CBA||1st, National Northern||Finals|
|1992/93||CBA||1st, National Midwest||National Conference Finals|
|1993/94||CBA||1st, National Midwest||National Conference Finals|
|1994/95||CBA||4th, National Midwest||National First Round|
|1995/96||CBA||1st, National Southern||National Conference Finals|
|1998/98||IBA||3rd, West||West Division Finals|