SlamBall, the fast-paced, gravity-defying sport that combines elements of basketball, football, hockey and trampolines, today revealed its eight team names, logos, coaches and seven-man rosters for the Leagueâ€™s relaunch. The mix of standout athletes with basketball, football and track backgrounds will be led by veteran coaching staffs in SlamBall League: Series 6, opening on ESPN July 21 at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
Three legacy teams â€“ the Mob, Rumble and Slashers â€“ will be joined by five newcomers: the Buzzsaw, Gryphons, Lava, Ozone and Wrath. Each squad is helmed by a former SlamBall player or coach, including Ken Carter, the inspiration for the acclaimed film Coach Carter, who is back with the Rumble, the team that he led to a championship in the initial 2002 SlamBall campaign.
Players were assigned to teams via a draft held earlier this month. With the first overall pick, the Lava selected former Florida A&M basketball standout Bryce Morange (Tampa, FL), who SlamBall co-founder Mason Gordon said, â€œmight be the most complete player weâ€™ve seen in the sport.â€ With the seventh pick in Round 1, Ozone head coach and SlamBall legend Trevor Anderson called the name of his son, Bryan Bell-Anderson (Sarasota, FL), who previously played defensive back at Columbia University.
â€œWhen we look at Bryce and Bryan, they represent high level basketball talent and high caliber football talent coming together in SlamBall, where basketball and football cultures collide,â€ said Gordon. â€œWe were incredibly gratified to see that on draft night.â€
For complete player and coach bios and team logos visit http://www.slamballleague.com.
Of the 56 players drafted, 68% have basketball backgrounds, while 16% played football, 9% were on track and field squads, and 7% participated in multiple sports . The average age of the players is 26.9 years. The tallest SlamBall player is the Ozoneâ€™s 6â€™9â€ Vincent Boumann (Newberg, OR), a former Western Oregon basketball player, while conversely the Slashersâ€™ Tony Crosby II, a former track star at Grand Canyon University and international slam dunk champion(Inglewood, CA), stands at 5â€™6â€.
â€œThe players selected to compete in SlamBall are a cross-section of the best athletes in basketball, football, track and more,â€ added Gordon. â€œThey possess the wide variety of abilities needed to excel in our unique mix of several sports that highlights their versatility, speed, strength and skills.â€
The logos and color schemes were designed by Gameplan Creative, the Chicago-based branding team that has been instrumental in creating designs for a host of teams, leagues and organizations, including the WNBA and eight of its teams and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Gameplan also created the league logo, unveiled last week.
â€œThe team names and logos are a nod to our history, with the Mob, Rumble and Slashers mirroring the original franchises, and also a reflection of the sportâ€™s exciting future,â€ added Gordon.
SlamBall recently announced an exclusive, two-year national broadcast partnership with ESPN for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. The partnership begins on Opening Night, as SlamBall relaunches on ESPN live from Las Vegas on July 21 from 7-9 p.m. EDT. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+ will combine to air more than 30 hours of live SlamBall programming across five weekends, culminating August 17-19 with the SlamBall Playoffs and SlamBall Championship Game. All games will be played at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, with ticket sales beginning in late June.
The eight teams with coach and player rosters are as follows (draft round in parentheses):
Buzzsaw, Head Coach: Hernando Plannels
Malik Abdul-Haqq, Gunner, 6-7, Seattle, WA (6)
Jamaal Barnes, Gunner, 6-3, Los Angeles, CA (3)
Ralph Bellamy, Gunner, 6-5, St. Louis, MO (4)
Michael Kolawole, Handler, 6-5, Rowlett, TX (2)
DeVonteâ€™ Pratt, Handler, 6-1, Toledo, OH (5)
Tyquan Scott, Stopper, 6-7, Long Beach, NY (1)
Raymond Taylor, Handler, 5-10, Wichita, KS (7)
Gryphons, Head Coach: Jelani Janisse
Jordan Grant, Handler, 6-3, New London, CT (4)
Justin Holmes, Gunner, 6-3, Roseville, CA (1)
Connor Hollenbeck, Stopper, 6-6, Ontario, NY (2)
KyShawn Jones, Gunner, 6-2, Danville, VA (3)
Ermias Kassa, Gunner, 6-5, Aurora, CO (7)
Darion Slade, Handler, 6-0, Winston-Salem, NC (5)
Adam Stanford, Gunner, 6-4, Fontana, CA (6)
Lava, Head Coach: Josh Carlson
Alex Doche, Stopper, 6-7, Rochester, NY (7)
Nathanial Harris, Handler, 6-0, Hammond, IN (2)
Greg Helt, Gunner, 6-5, Denton, TX (5)
Paxton Henry, Handler, 5-11, Prescott, AZ (6)
Bryce Morange, Gunner, 6-5, Tampa, FL (1)*
Josh Shannon, Gunner/Stopper, 6-2, Louisville, KY (3)
Jihad Shockley, Stopper, 6-6, Columbus, OH (4)
*overall #1 draft pick
Mob, Head Coach: Brendan Kirsch
Dionte Byrd, Stopper, 6-7, Gainesville, FL (7)
Darius Clark, Gunner, 6-2, Blue Springs, MO (2)
Cameron Hollins, Handler/Gunner, 6-1, Avon, IN (5)
Justin Holloway, Handler, 6-1, Columbus, OH (6)
Cameron Horton, Handler, 6-2, Jacksonville, AL (1)
Brandon Simpson, Gunner, 6-4, Germantown, MD (4)
Gage Smith, Stopper/Gunner, 6-6, Elizabeth, CO (3)
Ozone, Head Coach: Trevor Anderson
Bryan Bell-Anderson, Gunner, 5-10, Sarasota, FL (1)
Vincent Boumann, Stopper, 6-9, Newberg, OR (3)
Donavin Byrd, Gunner, 6-6, Jacksonville, FL (7)
LaQuavius Cotton, Gunner, 6-6, Cleveland, MS (5)
Jordan Jones, Gunner/Stopper, 6-6, Clovis, NM (4)
Keenan Love, Stopper, 6-3, Kankakee, IL (6)
Keith McGee, Handler, 6-3, Rochester, NY (2)
Rumble, Head Coach: Ken Carter
Marcus Bradley, Stopper, 6-6, Highland, CA (4)
Bakari Copeland, Gunner/Stopper, 6-6, Decatur, GA (1)
Victorious Dean, Gunner, 6-6, San Diego, CA (5)
Tamyrik Fields, Gunner, 6-7, Augusta, GA (2)
Kaylon Tippins-Hill, Gunner, 6-7, Fort Worth, TX (3)
Richard Washington, Gunner, 6-6, Williamsburg, VA (6)
JaeTuan Williams, Handler, 6-2, Warren, OH (7)
Slashers, Head Coach: Stanley Fletcher Jr.
Tony Crosby II, Handler, 5-6, Inglewood, CA (4)
Brian Gentry, Stopper, 6-2, Winston-Salem, NC (7)
Naradain James, Gunner, 6-7, Kalamazoo, MI (6)
Bradley Laubacher, Gunner, 6-3, Bend, OR (2)
Alonzo Scott, Gunner, 6-4, Petersburg, VA (3)
Amir Smith, Stopper, Missouri City, TX (1)
Matthew Wilkerson, Stopper, 6-7, Citra, FL (5)
Wrath, Head Coach: James Willis
Christian Gray, Stopper, 6-6, Riverside, CA (1)
Ryan Johnson, Gunner, 5-10, Willowbrook, IL (6)
Steven Julian, Gunner, 6-7, Louisville, KY (3)
Trey Landers, Stopper, Handler, 6-5, Dayton, OH (4)
Ty McGee, Gunner, 6-5, Littleton, CO (2)
Nick Parks, Handler, 6-4, Lithonia, GA (7)
Shawn Stith, Stopper, 6-8, East Oakland, CA (5)
Launched originally in 1999 by founders Mason Gordon and Mike Tollin, SlamBall is a one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment property with a rich history of success in the United States and in markets around the world. It is a compelling hybrid combination of the best elements of basketball, football and hockey, infused with the essence of a video game come to life. The new, enhanced league is set for relaunch in the summer of 2023. Amid the current resurgence of interest in alternate sports, the hashtag #BringBackSlamBall has garnered more than 200 million views on social media, offering a powerful foundation of fandom for the sportâ€™s revival.