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Big3 Nets $30 Million, Three Cities In: League Eyes Expansion

The Big3, a professional 3-on-3 basketball league co-founded by Ice Cube, announced the sale of its third franchise to a group led by energy executives Eric Mullins and Milton Carroll.

This latest deal brings the league closer to its goal of 16 total franchises, representing specific cities by the 2025 season.

The Houston franchise was acquired for a reported $10 million, following similar sales in May 2024 for franchises based in Los Angeles and Miami. This marks a total of $30 million raised by the Big3 through these franchise sales.

Ice Cube, the Big3’s CEO and co-founder, expressed his enthusiasm about bringing a team to Houston, a state with a loyal Big3 fanbase. He believes Mullins and Carroll’s combined experience will be instrumental in building a successful Houston franchise.

Eric Mullins is an alumnus of the 1984 Houston Oilers. He is the Chairman and CEO of Lime Rock Resources, a private equity firm focused on oil and gas.

Milton Carroll brings leadership experience from his roles as Executive Chairman of CenterPoint Energy and the Board of Health Care Service Corporation. Carroll also holds a minority stake in the Houston Astros.

Eric D. Mullins

Both Mullins and Carroll highlighted their admiration for how Ice Cube and co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz run the Big3 league, not just on the court but also in their dedication to the communities they visit.

“Eric and I could not be more excited to bring BIG3 basketball to Texas permanently,” said Carroll. “The BIG3 has a rabid fanbase across our state and we could not be more excited to create a home for those fans in Houston next season.”

Milton Carroll

Clyde Drexler, the Big3 Commissioner, echoed Ice Cube’s sentiments, praising Mullins and Carroll as ideal stewards for the Houston franchise. He believes their leadership qualities and commitment to community engagement perfectly align with the Big3’s vision.

This announcement comes during a strong seventh season for the Big3, with nearly sold-out venues in Oakland, Tampa, and Baltimore.

The league continues to reach millions of fans across various platforms. The addition of Houston and its focus on city-based franchises paves the way for significant growth and a more traditional sports league structure in the upcoming season.

by Tony O. Lawson

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