The Royse City Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting and press conference welcoming the Rockwall 7ers of The Basketball League to the county on Jan. 6. The Basketball League President David Magley, Rockwall 7ers Owner Sammie Howard, Rockwall 7ers Head Coach Kendrick Bryson and his wife Katie Bryson – who serves as the team’s General Manager – greeted a sizeable crowd during the event at the Mike McKinney Building in Royse City.
The event marked the realization of a longtime dream for Howard. After witnessing her son receive a basketball scholarship to play at the collegiate level, only to be plagued by injuries that never let him see playing time on the court, Howard felt a calling to help other players like her son to get noticed for their skills and talent.
“By becoming a part of The Basketball League as the owner of the Rockwall 7ers, I feel that I’m giving back – to my son, and to all of those who become a part of the team,” Howard said. “These young men will learn values and how to manage their money. We’re going to help them become better at themselves, and also at basketball.”
From left: John Vick, Deputy District Director to Texas State Senator Bob Hall; David Sweet, Rockwall County Judge; David Magley (back), The Basketball League President; Sammie Howard (middle with ball), Rockwall 7ers Owner; Janet Nichol, Rockwall County Commissioner; Katie Bryson, Rockwall 7ers General Manager; Kendrick Bryson, Rockwall 7ers Head Coach
The Rockwall 7ers will play their games at Royse City High School, with their first game of the season on March 4th versus the Potawatomi Fire. The 7ers will play a total of 12 games at home and 12 on the road. Stay tuned to the team’s website at www.Rockwall7ers.com for upcoming info on how to get tickets.
The Rockwall 7ers join a pool of 43 teams from all over the country making up The Basketball League (TBL). The TBL isn’t a rec league, but a professional league in which the players are paid to play the game they love. The TBL doesn’t compete with the NBA, but serves to showcase each of its players, coaches, dance teams, referees, broadcast crews and everyone else involved in the organization. TBL games are broadcast on the TBL network in more than 145 countries around the world, so everyone receives the opportunity to get noticed and potentially land a role in the NBA or other top-tier leagues.
The league goes beyond just basketball; it’s known for getting its players involved in their local communities. The players not only get to play the sport they love, but they can also use their celebrity to help young people and build a local asset that is worthy of support. The TBL also provides players with educational opportunities to learn from nationally acclaimed life skills classes for financial literacy, health and wellness, nutrition, preventative medicine and sports biomechanics.
David Magley, whose wife of 40 years Evelyn Magley serves as the CEO and founder of the TBL, said the teams of the league strive to become champions both on and off the court. They work to become a true asset to the communities they represent.
“Our league is unique in the fact that it’s the only professional male pro sports league owned by a woman, and the only one owned by an African American,” he said. “Evelyn is unique not because she’s a black woman, but because she’s a black mother. As a mother, she looks at this opportunity differently than even I would as a former professional basketball player. In basketball, we often look at these guys as entertainers. She looks at them as people, at how we can empower them to take their celebrity into a local community like Royse City and have an impact on people.
“The level of play you’re going to love. These are pros so it’s a lot of fun. But that’s the least important thing we’re bringing to the community. Our focus is on what we can do to volunteer our time and help out in the community, because that’s what we’re called to do.”
The 7ers will host their final team tryouts on Saturday, Jan. 22 (private location and time to be sent upon registration, $150 registration fee). To register email Rockwall7ers@gmail.com.
Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.