Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios will join five-time NBA All-Star John Wall and former NBA players Dante Exum and Al Harrington among others in an ownership stake of the NBL’s South East Melbourne Phoenix.
Announced on Thursday, Kyrgios will join the ownership group headed by investment guru Romie Chaudhari, with whom Kyrgios already has a working relationship, having invested in a Miami-based Pickleball franchise.
Kyrgios, in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open starting on Monday, is a keen basketball fan, having taken part in the Sydney Kings’ Starlight Celebrity Game last year.
In a statement released on Thursday, Kyrgios said he was looking forward to getting involved with the Phoenix, particularly in a way which can “contribute to the growth of the franchise”.
“I am thrilled to be coming on board with the Phoenix and my mate, Romie (Chaudhari)” Kyrgios said.
“I love the vision he shared with me, and my team and I are really impressed with the organisation’s accomplishments in a short period of time. I know there is plenty that I can contribute towards the growth of the franchise and I’m especially looking forward to getting down to South East Melbourne and meeting the team and fans and working together with the youth in the city.”
Meanwhile Phoenix CEO Tommy Greer said Kyrgios’ involvement in the ownership group shows just how exciting the future of the fledgling basketball team could be.
“Adding one of the most talented and biggest names in a global sport such as tennis is exciting for the club, especially given the fact that he’s Australian, loves the game of basketball, and enjoyed undertaking this venture with Romie,” Greer said.
“Getting a person like Nick to join our ownership is a testament to the club’s vision and how much we have been able to achieve over our first few seasons, two of which were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”