Southwest Desertcats join the Pro Basketball Association

El Paso, Texas – The Pro Basketball Association announced on Sunday that the Southwest Desertcats had been awarded a franchise for the PBA Spring-Summer Season. Owner Samantha Stukes is an El Paso, TX native determined to change the culture of basketball in the Southwest! Her passion and purpose for community and change is the driving force on what has taken her down the path of professional basketball. She has studied the game all her life and is constantly on a mission to learn, improve, and evolve her knowledge of the sport both on and off the court.

Samantha Stukes – Owner Southwest Desertcats

Stukes’ is the founder of Bonafide Basketball, an El Paso based youth program dedicated to teaching student-athletes from ages 4 to 18 the importance of intangibles like discipline, dedication, persistence, and integrity. These same traits are the backbone to placing over 50 student-athletes to college scholarships since 2014. In 2019, People Magazine and Arm & Hammer named Samantha Stukes the face of their “Thank You Coach” campaign and commercial, along with being featured in three issues of the magazine with her Bonafide Basketball girls. Together, with her teams over the years the Bonafide program earned 12 NCAA-Certified events at the open elite divisions at tournaments throughout the country. Her young primary teams are following suit competiting and placing in local and regional tournaments and leagues as well. 

Now with new ventures on the horizon, it is the goal for Stukes to be able to combine the youth and community work she is so passionate about into the business side of professional basketball bringing it all full cycle with the Southwest Desert Hoops, El Paso’s Premier Men’s and Women’s basketball organization. No one is doing what the Desert Hoops Organization is doing in this region with the Desertcats (currently ranked #2 in the ABA) and Desert Lynx teams and they are happy to pioneer it and bring more change and  pride to the city of El Paso and the Southwest region!

“We’re super excited about Samantha, the Southwest Desertcats, and the Southwest Division. We’re currently reviewing teams and considering options in Midland-Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo, San Angelo, Abilene, Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Tuscon, and Phoenix to fit with the Desertcats in that division. They have a great coach in Jesus Aragon. Coach Laselle Taylor, who is our International Scouting Director told me about Coach Aragon and then I got a chance to talk to Marcus and Tim with their organization. Wow what a great program they have! So excited about these terrific mentors and teachers of the game. Samantha will also be named Regional Director of League Operations for the Pro Basketball Association and be over our Southwest Division. It’s a great day for El Paso and the Southwest.” PBA Commissioner – Chris Terrell

Southwest Desert Hoops

“Bringing respect, credibility, and integrity to a game that has changed so many peoples lives for the better is what it’s all about. Somewhere, we got lost in the hype and the clout and forgot about the leg-work. We have to start back at the beginning and transform the culture back to what makes this sport so special. Not just for us but so we don’t lose the beauty in the art of hoop and the hard work that makes it all worth it. Keeping respect for the game at the forefront of the mission.” Samantha Stukes – Southwest Desert Hoops


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