HOLLYWOOD — Basketball administrator, evaluator and recruiter are among the many titles that belong to Federico Brodsky. Finding players and building teams are part of the repertoire for the 2014-15 American Basketball Association (ABA) general manager of the year.
Brodsky, 44, has visited reservations enough times to watch “amazing untapped talent.” He said it’s one reason why he and Seminole Jerome Davis are forming a professional team comprised solely of Native Americans.
“The idea is to have 100 percent Native American players from all over the United States,” Brodsky said.
Brodsky said the team, whose name had not been unveiled as of late July, is slated to play in the ABA’s Southeast Division with teams from Coral Springs, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. The ABA featured 92 teams last year spread across the U.S. Brodsky said players are paid and most have other daily jobs.
“It’s a second-tier professional league in the United States. After the NBA and the D-League, this is the strongest one that I find in the market,” said Brodsky, who is also involved in the management of the Miami Midnites that reached the ABA finals last year with Davis in its starting lineup.
Brodsky said the Native team will be based in Florida and will play about a 30-game schedule starting in late October. A tryout in July was held in New Mexico. Although details were still being worked out, Brodsky said another tryout is slated for August in the Broward County area.
Brodsky would like to see the team play home games on Seminole reservations.
“My idea is rotate the team in each reservation so everybody can see what this team can offer and also have the kids from the schools play in a preliminary game, cheerleaders, all that kind of stuff,” he said.
Brodsky is CEO and president of Press On Sports, which helps run youth baseball and basketball events, including on the Seminole reservations. He said the company’s nonprofit arm, known as Enhancing Communities Through Sport, will manage the Native team.
“We see this as a continuation from what we do with the young so we can show this is something they can do after they graduate from school and finish college,” Brodsky said. “They can pursue their professional careers through something in the community and help to mentor the young kids.”
Brodsky said the Native team would be the first pro basketball team in the United States comprised of all Native Americans.
“It’s one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my life,” he said. “I cannot sleep thinking about this because it’s a historic moment.”