Former NBA star Marbury buys China gridiron team

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/20 22:13:39

The China Arena Football League (CAFL), China's professional American football league, on Friday announced an agreement with CBA and NBA basketball star Stephon Marbury that will make him the owner of the league's franchise in Beijing.

The long-time China Basketball Association standout, who has announced that the upcoming 2017 CBA season will be his last, will begin his new career as a professional sports executive with the CAFL in China.

A CAFL team in Beijing is a natural fit for Marbury, said Marbury's business manager Gustavus Bass,  also CFO of Mabuli  Corporation. "Mabuli" is Marbury's Chinese name.

"This acquisition demonstrates his commitment to his second home and sports in Beijing," Bass said.  "He wants to be a part of the sports scene in Beijing for a long time."

CAFL Chairman and founder Marty Judge broke the news during a live presentation as a key speaker at this week's Saupo China/US business conference in Shanghai.

There was an audible reaction when he made the announcement to the assembled audience of key Chinese and international business people. 

"This is historic for our league," he said. "I have no doubt success will follow for Stephon as well as all of us."

The CAFL was talking to Marbury since it began operations in China in 2011, Judge noted. Marbury, 40, was the fourth overall draft pick of the NBA in 1996 after competing for just one season at Georgia Tech.

The Brooklyn, New York native became an all-star and played in the NBA until 2009 before continuing his career in China where he led the Beijing Ducks to three CBA championships.

He has received Chinese civic awards for his outstanding efforts in community relationships and cultural exchange. 

Posted in: FOOTBALL

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