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Spurs first Black GM



SAN ANTONIO (July 23, 2019) – Spurs Sports & Entertainment today announced that RC Buford has been named CEO of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, effective Sept. 3. The two-time NBA Executive of the Year has spent a total of 29 years with SS&E.

“RC Buford is one of the most highly-respected leaders in professional sports,” said SS&E Chairman Peter J. Holt. “His vision, innovation and drive have helped shape our values and culture. We are thrilled to have RC leading the organization into the future.”

Buford first joined the Silver and Black as an assistant coach on Larry Brown’s staff in 1988. He then spent one season with the Los Angeles Clippers and one season at the University of Florida before returning to San Antonio in 1994 as a member of then-Spurs General Manager Gregg Popovich’s staff.Buford was promoted to Spurs Director of Scouting in 1997 and took on the role of vice president and assistant general manager in 1999. Buford was named the Spurs General Manager in 2002 before being promoted to President of Sports Franchises in 2008.

In addition, SS&E announced that long-time top executives Rick Pych and Lawrence Payne have elected to transition into strategic advisory roles with the organization. The two leaders, with a combined 70 years of Spurs service, will remain heavily involved with various key projects and strategic planning at SS&E.

“Rick and LP have been instrumental in the success of the Spurs for many years,” said Holt. “Their passion, influence and leadership have allowed all of us to succeed. It’s impossible to list the numerous contributions they’ve made to the organization. All of us are grateful that we’ll be able to continue to tap into their knowledge and intelligence for years to come.”

Pych, who begins his 27th season with SS&E, has served as the organization’s president and co-CEO since 2016. He started with the organization as the team’s CFO in 1993. In 2000 he was named an executive vice president before assuming the role of president of business operations in 2008.

Payne, currently an executive vice president, is the longest tenured full-time employee in franchise history, starting with the Spurs in 1976 after receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

At the same time, the organization has announced that Brian Wright has been promoted to Spurs General Manager while Lori Warren and Bobby Perez have been elevated to executive vice president roles. Warren and Perez will lead the business side of SS&E.

Wright, who will manage day-to-day basketball operations duties, spent 10 seasons working with the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons before being named the Spurs Assistant General Manager in 2016.

Warren, who has been with the organization for 26 years, most recently served as SS&E’s senior vice president of corporate finance and brand strategy.

Perez, a San Antonio native, joined SS&E in 2013 as the organization’s senior vice president general counsel and corporate relations after spending 20 years at Shelton & Valadez P.C.

SS&E has grown to include 400-plus full-time employees and over 1,000 part-time staff. In addition to capturing five NBA Championships, the Spurs were named the top franchise in professional sports four times in ESPN’s annual fan survey. The SS&E family also includes the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), Austin Spurs (NBA G League), San Antonio FC (USL) and Silver & Black Give Back (501(c)(3)), as well as the AT&T Center, Toyota Field and the STAR Soccer Complex.

Black Life Texas

I’m Not Back, I’m Better!



Two Black female athletes recently brought their magic to premier competitions – silencing haters who doubted them. 

Sha’Carri Richardson, 23, now has her sights set on the Olympics in Paris in 2024 after snagging two gold medals at the World Championships in Hungary. She won gold in the women’s 100m final to take the race in 10.65 seconds for her first international title. Her U.S. team easily took another gold in the 4x100m relay final, beating the top Jamaican sprinters. Richardson finished her medal collection, taking bronze in the 200m final. 

To take part in Paris 2024, athletes must be selected by their National Olympic Committee (NOC). NOCs have the final say about whether these athletes will be chosen for their respective NOC teams for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Richardson, from Dallas, tested positive for cannabis in 2021 in the U.S. Olympic trials –  a substance banned under World Anti-Doping Agency rules. Her one-month suspension cost her a spot on the American team for the Tokyo Olympics. The following season proved difficult as she failed to qualify for the U.S. World Championships team.

Richardson has coined the quote, “I’m not back, I’m better.”

Back in America, during the World Championships, gymnast Simone Biles clinched her eighth win in the U.S. Championships in Northern California – something no male or female gymnast has done until now. 

Biles, a seven-time Olympic medallist, competed in just her second competition since withdrawing from the women’s team final and four subsequent individual finals to focus on her mental health at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

It’s been 10 years since Biles, now 26, first soared to the top of the gymnastics world, claiming her first U.S. title at the 2013 nationals. Not bad for the newlywed who married Jonathan Owens, a safety for the Green Bay Packers, earlier this year.

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Black Life Texas

Spurs Fans Have “Wembamania”



San Antonio Spurs fans celebrated hope on May 16 as news broke for the third time in franchise history that it won the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. People were honking their car horns downtown, packing bars, and the Spurs sales office was fully staffed, making thousands of dollars from ticket sales.

It’s no secret that basketball phenom Victor Wembanyama, also known as “Wemby” will be headed to San Antonio when the Spurs are predicted to pick him on June 22 in the draft. Spurs fans once had Manu Mania, and now “Wembamania” is surfacing on t-shirts. 

The Spurs celebration is a sign of relief for many fans who witnessed their beloved team lose 60 games during the regular season, which tied for the second-worst record in the league with the Houston Rockets. The Spurs have had two other No. 1 draft picks in franchise history – David Robinson and Tim Duncan. The news of the No. 1 pick this year couldn’t be sweeter since this year also marks the Spurs’ 50th anniversary. 

When Wembanyama was sporting a Tony Parker jersey at a young age, who would have known he would be heading to the Alamo City years later? Now at the age of 19, who is he? He is a 7’2 French pro baller who has played for French teams owned by former Spurs players Tony Parker and Boris Diaw. Parker is the most notable French NBA player who was drafted in 2001.

Wembanyama is said to have an eight-foot wingspan, meaning he likely won’t have to jump to block shots. And he is dearly loved in his home country since he’s already played for France’s junior and national basketball teams. 
Wembanyama said in an NBA interview he’s excited to go to “Texas and help the Spurs compete for championships.”

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Black Life Texas

XFL’s San Antonio Brahmas Begin Season



The San Antonio Brahmas opened their 2023 campaign at the Alamodome on Feb. 19 against the St. Louis Battlehawks. About 24,000 fans cheered on the two teams. The game, which was broadcast on ABC, featured guest appearances by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and XFL co-owner Dwayne Johnson.

Even though the Brahams (15) fell to the Battlehawks (18), XFL Chairwoman Dany Garcia announced before the game that the XFL Championship Game would be played in San Antonio at the end of the season. The XFL will play a 10-week regular season, consisting of each team playing 10 games, five at home and five on the road. The teams will play their division rivals twice and teams from the other division once. The season will conclude with the XFL Championship game on Saturday, May 13, at 3 pm on ABC.

Dwayne “The Rock,” Johnson told San Antonio fans he began his wrestling career at the Alamodome. Johnson has since starred in more than 50 films. 

Brahmas head coach, Hines Ward, is a bit of a celebrity himself. He competed in and won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2011. He also starred as a football player in the 2012 Batman blockbuster, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Ward played 14 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning two Super Bowls — including Super Bowl XL MVP — and earning a spot in the team’s Hall of Honor. He participated in the 2013 Ironman World Championships. Ward started his coaching career as an intern with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He followed that as an assistant coach with the New York Jets and then Florida Atlantic University and spent time as the Alliance of American Football’s director of player development.

The Brahmas play their next game on Feb. 26 in Orlando against the Orlando Guardians and play their last game on April 22 back in the Alamodome against the DC Defenders.

The eight teams of the XFL are split into two divisions – the North Division is home to the D.C. Defenders, Seattle Sea Dragons, St. Louis Battlehawks, and Vegas Vipers. At the same time, the Arlington Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Orlando Guardians, and San Antonio Brahmas will do battle in the South Division.

The league will build on what was started in 2020 by carrying over several rules and includes innovative changes in clock management, play reviews, and late-game possession designed to improve gameplay and enhance the fan-viewing experience. 

San Antonio Brahmas Quarterback Jack Coan said his team and coach have been developing chemistry that will hopefully translate onto the field.

“You come into this new league and don’t really know what to expect. You really don’t know any of the guys on the team, what the offensive is going to be, what the scheme is going to be,” he said on the XFL website. “Just trying to learn as much as you can each and every day…I think a really important part of that is just really good to know everybody. I think Coach Ward’s has done a great job of building a family atmosphere here. I think we have a really close-knit team. I feel like the chemistry has grown each and every day throughout camp. I’m really happy with where we’re at right now. We’re going to just continue to get better each and every day.”

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