Kyle semi-pro basketball team gets new local owner

For the past several months, Kyle resident and District 6 city council member Daphne Tenorio had envisioned herself as a potential franchise business owner.

Little did she realize her dream was quite literally a phone call away.

By fielding a call from friend Leticia Luna earlier this year, Tenorio was given, and ultimately accepted, the opportunity to buy ownership of the Kyle Stallions basketball team.

Stallions guard Michaeal Knight tries to dribble into the lane against a Blaze player earlier in the season. A Kyle resident has obtained ownership of the team, which was founded in 2016. (photo by Moses Leos III)

For Tenorio, the call and the opportunity came as a welcome surprise.

“One day, I got a phone call and she said she wanted to sell the team and asked if I was interested,” Tenorio said. “It was extremely surprising.”

Tenorio said the phone call had impeccable timing.

Prior to receiving the opportunity, Tenorio said she had been to business expos and had sought to bring a business that could “be good for the city.”

She also wanted something that could offer a family friendly atmosphere that was cost effective as well. She said someone can bring in a family friendly venue, but if it’s not cost effective, “there’s no sense in bringing it in.”

Tenorio said she had been looking at “a few things” prior to the phone call and was in the process of pursuing them. She said she had looked at the Small Business Administration and was committed to bringing a potential business to the area before she took that phone call.

“It all fell into place,” Tenorio said. “I was looking, she was selling. I could see where it could go and I jumped on it.”

Tenorio accepted the offer and bought the team from Luna, who was the organization’s owner since it was founded in 2016. Tenorio did not disclose how much the transaction to purchase the team was.

Kyle Stallions player David Smith goes up for a slam dunk during an American Basketball Association game against the San Antonio Blaze at Lehman High. (photo by Moses Leos III)

The role was a completely new experience for Tenorio, who said she had never played basketball in her youth, much less owned a sports franchise.

Because she wasn’t initially prepared to take on the role, Tenorio said she made the call to end the 2016 season early, as she needed time to plan.

Her motive, however, was driven by the prospect of potential profitability in the business.

“I can see the potential of what it can bring to the community and what it can bring financially (to the city),” Tenorio said. “It’s a chance for people in Kyle to see there’s another avenue of things to do.”

Tenorio said she obtained the help of Yoli Romo, who will handle public relations and marketing aspect of the team.

In addition, she is in negotiations with a new general manager of the team, who will oversee team operations.

While Tenorio said she couldn’t announce who the new GM hire would be, she said the GM will bring “good quality players” to the team.

The ability to partner with the community is also what Tenorio envisions.

She said promotions could include giving free tickets to students who make the honor roll, or are involved in clubs.

Traveling to road games also provides a chance to brand Kyle to other audiences.

Tenorio said the team’s schedule has them travel across the state, with games as far away as Laredo.

“If I could branch out and have people see Kyle more than a dot on the map and to stop in Kyle, I thought it could only help everyone,” Tenorio said. “You don’t have to go to Austin to find a professional team. It’ll be here in our own backyard.”

Tenorio hopes her role will help further the fanchsie and the city as well.

“It speaks to me because it’s a business for Kyle, it supports the city by giving us a new face,” she said. “We’re basketball ambassadors for Kyle. We’re representing our city and that’s important to me.”

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