a professional sports team never even crossed the mind of Waukesha
resident Elzie Flenard when he was playing high school basketball in
Illinois. Now, Flenard, 29, is the new owner of the expansion
Milwaukee Blast. The Blast will open its inaugural season in the
American Basketball Association this November. "Even as we get
closer to tip-off, it’s still really surreal," Flenard says.
In many ways,
though, this is a natural fit. Flenard has always loved basketball,
and he’s an entrepreneur at heart. In 2005, he founded Flenard Music
and is president and CEO of Flenard Enterprises.
name is the same, the ABA is not trying to replicate the old American
Basketball Association that merged with the NBA in 1976. The games are
mostly on the weekends so players can work regular jobs during the
regular season schedule will include 15 home games at Wisconsin
Lutheran College. By design, the team will be made up largely of
players with ties to the Milwaukee area. "This is about more than
just basketball," Flenard says. "We want high-character guys
who will be involved in the community and just happen to play
basketball at a high level."
The team will be
coached by former UW-Milwaukee standout Marc Mitchell, who played pro
ball in Europe and the Middle East and whose name is on UW-Milwaukee’s
All-Century Team for the 1990s. Of Mitchell, Flenard says: "He
understands the game of basketball and, more importantly, he buys into
our philosophy as it pertains to reaching into the community, helping
people to be better and making a difference in people’s lives."
reasons to see an ABA game
It is hard to beat high-level basketball for $10 a ticket.
Autographs: Players will sign autographs and interact with fans
after each game.
basketball: The 3-D Rule light flashes when the offensive team
loses possession of the ball in the back court. As long as the
3-D rule is on, an additional point is added to the value of
each free throw or basket.
and Forth: Everything about the ABA is designed for up-tempo
Milwaukee Made: The focus is on players with Wisconsin ties.