ST. LOUIS, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Partners Wesley Cochran and James Graham share a deep passion for basketball and are bringing that passion to life in the city of St. Louis. Owners of St. Louis Pioneers Sports & Entertainment, a company that hosts various entertainment events and fields professional teams, both Cochran and Graham are well rounded when it comes to basketball. Both on and off the court, they have thrived in the vast St. Louis entertainment industry, a noteworthy achievement in a market that has been absent from the professional basketball scene for decades.
Cochran not only understands the game of basketball, but he also grasps the business behind it. With a career and connections that spawned from his time as a player for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, he is dedicated to bringing out the best in his athletes. Graham, a recent graduate of Fontbonne University, with a degree in Sports and Entertainment Management, has finished a successful year as the owner of the St. Louis Pioneers in a different league. His decision to join Cochran stems from their shared vision of proactively promoting the entire professional basketball experience in St. Louis, and they know the PBL will allow them to do this effectively.
“St. Louis is an exciting market for the PBL. The city lives and breathes basketball in the school system, the alley pick-up games, and cheering on their favorite out-of-market NBA franchise. The new PBL team will give the local fans a team to call their own,” commented Brij M. Desai, PBL President and CEO.
Being located in a city that originally housed a professional team is an honor for this organization. While many teams have come and gone through St. Louis, the new team, that stems from the Pioneers organization, plans to stay. “Going into our second season, basketball is alive and well due to an upgrade for this team in minor league professional basketball, which has ultimately resurrected basketball in this city,” says Cochran. The ownership group is in the process of introducing the new name of the team, St. Louis Phoenix, to bring forth and revive the talented coaches and players of St. Louis.
The ownership group also will be impacting local communities around and in St. Louis with programs to help the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, schools, churches and youth groups, as well as other not-for-profit organizations. Most importantly, the Phoenix wants to immediately impact the entire St. Louis market with their influence as professional businessmen and women, athletes, artists and entertainers. This specific program will allow all students and faculty of St. Louis Public Schools to be involved in the growth and well-being of all communities in the St. Louis region. The Entertainers-Athletes Against Bullies (EAAB) is a two part program where professional athletes and national recording artists are used to diffuse and eliminate bullying.
The Phoenix will be playing their home games at one of the more prominent venues in the state of Missouri, Normandy Viking Hall Arena. The arena is located just west of St. Louis, and it will bring about the professional feel that the fans of St. Louis are looking for. The team is extremely excited about calling Premier Basketball League home starting with the upcoming 2012 season.
For more information about the St. Louis Phoenix and the Premier Basketball League visit www.thePBL.com
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