Tag: Southwest Division

New Mexico Bluetails triumphant in home opener, defeating Plainview Knights 128-102

Bernalillo, NM – The New Mexico Bluetails hosted the Plainview Knights last night in a battle of New Mexico and Texas. The Southwest Division Bluetails win at home over the South Division Knights 128-102. Bluetails moved to 1-0 on the season and Knights open at 0-1. Both clubs played with determination and grit in what is a promising season ahead for both in the Pro Basketball Association.

New Mexico Bullsnakes join the Pro Basketball Association

Albuquerque, New Mexico – The Pro Basketball Association announced on Sunday that the New Mexico Bullsnakes had been awarded a franchise for the 2021 PBA Spring-Summer Season. Owner Nick Lourneco has been a very successful team owner in the ABA in the Fall-Winter season and now brings his brand to the PBA for Spring-Summer.

Nick Lourenco – New Mexico Bullsnakes

It was all a dream and then it became a reality. For Nick Lourenco, it has always been about dreaming and taking on the world both figuratively and literally. Nick has seen the world from his native country of Angola. It has been quite a journey from Angola to Los Angeles to now planting roots in Albuquerque. Many experiences have lead him here to the Duke City to take on professional sports in a city that primarily follows college athletics. Nick Lourenco is the founder and owner of the New Mexico Bullsnakes of the American Basketball Association.

New Mexico Bullsnakes

The Bullsnakes started just over a year ago as a franchise hoping to make an impact in the Duke City and a lasting impression on a city that loves basketball. If you’ve been to a Bullsnakes game, you’ll see Nick on the sidelines emotionally engaged with every play the Bullsnakes make on the court. For Nick Lourenco, it’s not just about business, but a passion. “I have always had a desire to get into professional sports and entertainment.” Nick said, “The Bullsnakes are a perfect opportunity to do that.”

But to really know Nick is to go back in time to his native country of Angola. Angola is a country located in south-central Africa between Namibia and Zambia. Angola was originally a colony of the European country of Portugal. The official language is Portuguese. If one were to fly to Angola from Albuquerque it would take exactly 21 hours and 13 minutes.

Yes, Nick is a long way from home where he has six siblings living in his native country. The journey around the world started when Nick entered the officers’ program of the Angolan Army. Nick completed his service to his country as a retired Army Captain. Nick can say “Go Bullsnakes!” in several different languages with Portuguese being his first language. Spanish and two dialects of his native Angola are also part of his language repertoire. After the military, sports were on Nick’s mind. He became a member of Angola’s National Team in European team handball. Yet, that wasn’t all Nick did in sports; he was a star in college as a member of the Cuban handball team.

Nick considers himself as a world explorer after having traveled to 20 different countries throughout his life. “Basketball, team handball, and soccer are my favorite sports.” Nick said. After sports, Nick began his professional career by achieving a degree in Engineering in Industrial Automation (BS) from ISPJAE located in Havana, Cuba. While Nick was at ISPJAE, he started a basketball team that regularly competed against other schools in Cuba. During his time in school, Nick met his wife which would bring him to the United States.

“I had never thought about immigrating to the U.S. until I met my wife who is a U.S. citizen.” Nick said “The whole process took two years before I could enter the country.” Nick and his wife moved to Los Angeles, CA where, for 18 years, Nick became involved in corporate America serving as a senior manager in human resources. Nick later remarried and found that entrepreneurship was really in his blood. For 18 years, Nick hit the ground running; starting several businesses from event staffing to even a Mexican restaurant. But in a city like Los Angeles where many Pro Sports teams reside, Nick knew that is what he wanted to do next. But why Albuquerque? “I left Los Angeles because of the stressful and fast-paced environment.” Nick said, “I wanted my children to grow up in a peaceful environment and have a better quality of life.” That quality of life started with the Bullsnakes being what Nick calls “his baby.”

This has been a dream and now a reality. But what is the plan going forward with the Bullsnakes? “The plan is to have a long-lasting impact in Albuquerque.” Nick said, “We want to have our own facilities and be a place where the basketball community comes together.” The Bullsnakes have made an impact and continue to grow in the new year. Nick spends a large amount of time operating the franchise. During his off time, he loves to spend it with family and go Salsa dancing. The inaugural season is halfway over, and the Bullsnakes Organization is running strong. The future is bright, and Nick Lourenco continues to live the dream.

Southwest Division – Current, pending, and proposed markets

“Wow! Talk about checking all the boxes. Nick and his team in New Mexico are first class all the way. He’s a savvy businessman and has really worked hard to build his brand in the community. They’ve been covered by multiple media outlets in the last couple years, have a strong local following, is great with his business partners in helping to bring exposure to their brands, and it is incredible what he has brought and continue to brings to the community there in Albuquerque. We’re super excited about the New Mexico Bullsnakes. They fit perfectly between our franchises in Las Vegas and El Paso. Samantha Stukes with the Southwest Desertcats was instrumental in this process. Her relationship with Nick and their shared experience having worked together in the ABA, really allowed us to get together on having the organization in the PBA and to continue to play on into the Spring-Summer Season. Nick and the fans there in New Mexico and the PBA as a whole, are all excited about the coming season. Let’s go Bullsnakes!!!” PBA Commissioner Chris Terrell

If you want Pro – You want the PBA

The Pro Basketball Association 2021 PBA Pro Combine and Draft will be held in two locations beginning with 3/27 in Rochester, New York and then 4/3 in Dallas, Texas. With pending announcements the PBA will have a minimum of 42 teams (From Seattle to New York City and everywhere in between – America) in the two round draft which means 84 draft eligible players will become a part of the Pro Basketball Association. Players and/or their representation is encouraged to email profile/video to league@PBAplayers.com or visit Pro Basketball Association Combine and Draft – Pro Basketball Association (pbaplayers.com) or follow FB/IG @probasketballassociation

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