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Vernon Davis Joins NBL as First NFL Limited Partner in DC connection – Sportico.com


Vernon Davis starred within the NFL but deep-down has all the time been a basketball fan. He’s turning his longtime passion into an investment with the Brisbane Bullets of the National Basketball League.  

While several current and former NBA players have invested within the Australian league, Davis is the primary NFLer to turn into a minority owner within the NBL. He purchased roughly a 5% stake within the team, in response to people conversant in the transaction.

It’s a hometown connection of sorts for the Washington, D.C., native, who’s joining forces with Jason Levien, co-owner of the Bullets and CEO of DC United of Major League Soccer. The Bullets ownership group also includes former NBA guard Kevin Martin, Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton and Toronto Raptors forward Thaddeus Young.

“I didn’t start playing football until the tenth grade,” Davis, whose 14-year NFL profession included two Pro Bowls at tight end and a Super Bowl title with the Denver Broncos, said in an interview. “Basketball was all the time something for me to do, and it’s at the muse of who I’m, so when the chance got here about, I couldn’t pass that up.”

Davis is the newest to affix the ownership group after Stormlight Holdings CEO Jake Silverstein bought roughly a 20% stake earlier this 12 months. Silverstein, an investor in DC United in addition to U.K. soccer club Swansea City, runs day-to-day operations for the Bullets. The club, which was last valued at $30 million, is one in all the NBL’s 10 teams and harbors plans to grow the sport and its home city.

The team has turn into more attractive since Brisbane was named the host city for the 2032 Summer Olympics. Bullets ownership group has significant plans ahead of the Games, seeking to execute a public-private partnership that will create a recent 12,000-to-14,000 arena and $250 million adjoining multi-use development.   

“I believed that was one other big plus with me coming in and being a part of this group,” Davis said of Olympic-related opportunities. “The team is growing, and the league is continuous to evolve, so all of it is smart.”

After ending near the underside of the standings last season, the Bullets need to be a top destination for overseas talent within the emerging league, which has produced NBA players like LaMelo Ball, R.J. Hampton and Melbourne product Josh Giddey.

The NBL, owned by Larry Kestelman, inked a recent media deal last 12 months and appears to seek out progressive ways to deliver more content to the masses on various platforms. The Aussie league has taken a page from the NBA by tweaking its postseason format with the introduction of a play-in tournament for the upcoming season. The NBL will host its first Christmas Day game in league history this 12 months, with the reigning champion Sydney Kings facing the Melbourne United.

The NBL’s forty fifth season begins on Oct. 1 with a doubleheader featuring the Melbourne Phoenix against the Tasmania JackJumpers, followed by the reigning champion Sydney Kings facing the Illawarra Hawks. 

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