Thank you for visiting Paducahsun.com, online home of The Paducah Sun.

June 2012
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Kentucky Mavericks to cease operations

By JOSEPH RUSSELL The Messenger-Inquirer

OWENSBORO -- The Kentucky Mavericks organization is closing its doors.

After two successful seasons in Owensboro, including a runner-up finish to the Premier Basketball League championship this past year, the former four-time national champions have ceased operations. The PBL is a men's basketball minor league.

Head coach and team president Steve Tucker met with owner Jerry Nelson for two hours Monday morning in Beaumont, Texas - where Nelson resides and owns businesses - when he received the news.

"Jerry Nelson, our owner, prayed about it and thought about it for several weeks," Tucker said. "It wasn't a rushed thing. He just made a decision that it was time. He's invested a lot of time, and he's invested a lot of money. He's done a lot for this organization and the people within it. I give him nothing but praise for the support he's given all of us and the platform he's given us."

Tucker said the decision had nothing to do with Owensboro, but that it was simply time for the franchise to come to a close after nine years of operations.

"We've been extremely pleased with the support we got there from the city, from the fans, from the sponsors and everyone," Tucker said. "We've just come to a point in our organization where we felt like it was time to move on."

Debra Green, the Mavericks' director of marketing and finance, said it was simply a cost-cutting move for Nelson. She even left the door open for a return if the right financial deals or partnerships came along.

"There's nothing negative at all from our standpoint," she said. "Mr. Nelson made a business decision, not that the decision couldn't be changed with some conversation, either with the city or people within the city. No decision is unchangeable.

"Our owner is a businessman. He's always open to business ventures of any type. He runs several other businesses. We do professional rodeo, professional bull riding, monster truck shows, concerts, basketball -- he's always open to listening."

The Mavericks relocated to Owensboro as new members of the PBL for the 2016 season after winning back-to-back ABA championships in Shreveport, Louisiana. The franchise had also captured ABA titles in 2010 and 2011 as the Southeast Texas Mavericks.

Green said the organization spent more than $100,000 in advertising to help make its mark within Owensboro, and the Mavericks attracted a number of die-hard fans at the Sportscenter along the way - but ticket sales haven't been enough to offset the expenses.

"(It's) just a wonderful town," she said. "These fans are great, my gosh. This year we've really, really gotten a following of loyal fans. Our games have been consistently attended this year. But the bottom line is, it's still a huge cost."

Tucker, who considers Nelson one of his closest friends, ultimately supports the decision but leaves behind what he called "a big part of my life."

"I'm going to hate to leave Owensboro, like all of our staff and everyone," he said, noting that he'll look for other head coaching jobs elsewhere. "We'll just have to move on.

"This is the greatest sports town, the greatest basketball town I've ever been a part of, seen or coached in. It is a tremendous sports city. A great city, a lot of great people there, and the families there are wonderful. The support we got was outstanding. I just want to thank everyone. And who knows? My path might cross with Owensboro's again some day."

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 5a306fbdd6da44298ea23dcbb41eada9
Top Classifieds
  • Purebred Yorkie puppies, no papers, t ... Details
  • FNB Bank, Inc. will be accepting seal ... Details
  • Men's Trek 7300 andWomen's ... Details
  • HandymanSpecial 3 BR 1 BA fenced inba ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • Details
  • FISHING RETREAT 4-SALE Older Mobile ... Details
  • AUTOMOVER SPECIAL6 lines - 14 dayson ... Details
  • 26ft Coachman Cascade (2004) 13ft sli ... Details

Most Popular
  1. Kentucky leads nation in hepatitis C infections
  2. Rollover wreck sends 3 to hospital
  3. Bike park on track to open in June
  1. Columbia project gets $100,000
  2. Calloway takes top spot in journalism competition
  3. Kentucky leads nation in hepatitis C infections
  1. Kentucky leads nation in hepatitis C infections
  2. Rollover wreck sends 3 to hospital
  3. Bike park on track to open in June

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...