Former NBA star Stephon Marbury to own China Arena Football League franchise

The CAFL (China Arena Football League), China’s professional American football league, today announced an agreement with CBA and NBA basketball star Stephon Marbury that will make him the owner of the CAFL franchise in Beijing. The long-time China Basketball Association standout, who has announced that the upcoming 2017 CBA season will be his last, will begin his new career as a professional sports executive with the CAFL in China.

According to Gustavus Bass, business manager for Stephon Marbury and CFO of Mabuli Corporation:

“Stephon is following in the footsteps of other NBA greats and business/team owners like NBA legend the great Magic Johnson. One day he intends to buy a NBA team or maybe a NFL team. A CAFL team in Beijing is a natural fit for Mr. Marbury. This acquisition demonstrates his commitment to his second home and sports in Beijing. He wants to be a part of the sports scene in Beijing for a long time.”

Marty Judge, the Chairman and founder of the CAFL, who has been in contact with Mr. Marbury for several years:

“We have been talking with Stephon since we began operations here in China in 2011. He is one of the most popular and recognized athletes in all of China and will be a true key to our shared success with our professional American football league. This is historic for our league. I have no doubt success will follow for Stephon as well as all of us. He is a winner, has been in the forefront of the explosion of Chinese professional sports and now will continue to be a champion in China and worldwide in the business of sports. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Stephon into our league.”

Mr. Judge broke the news himself during a live presentation as one of the key speakers at this week’s Saupo China/US business conference in Shanghai. There was an audible reaction as he made the announcement to the assembled audience of key Chinese and international business people.

Stephon Marbury, who turned 40 last February, was the fourth overall draft pick of the NBA in 1996 after competing for just one season at Georgia Tech. The Brooklyn, New York native became an all-star and played in the NBA until 2009 before continuing his career in China, where he led the Beijing Ducks to three CBA championships. Mr. Marbury is so popular, a statue in his likeness fronts the Duck’s home arena in the nation’s capital. Mr. Marbury has received several prestigious Chinese civic awards for his outstanding efforts in community relationships and cultural exchange.

About the China Arena Football League (CAFL):

The CAFL is China’s only Professional American Football League. Each professional team is comprised of a total of 22 players, 11 Chinese and 11 Foreigners, (mostly from America). The CAFL enjoys a multi-year working formal partnership with China’s Sports Bureau’s China Rugby Football Association (CRFA), which has been a driving force behind the success of the CAFL.