Make your home page

Meet Evelyn Magley, the first woman to own a professional men’s sports league

Indiana woman the first to own American sports league

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Evelyn Magley is the only woman to own a professional men’s sports league in the United States. She says a moment of crisis launched her into the chief executive officer role of The Basketball League.

“It was a vision, and when it came to me, I did write down what it would be and it was using the game of basketball as a tool to show love to community,” said Magley.

As the league’s president and CEO, Magley now oversees 38 teams.

“Evelyn is fantastic when it comes to telling her own story and inspiring your story. Our ‘why do Lebrachons exist?’ is different than every other team, but it fits within the TBL mission of uplifting communities and giving people a spotlight,” Preston Myers, team market owner of the Lebanon Lebrachons, said.

So far, there are four TBL conferences. The games are broadcast in 145 countries.

“It’s really about family and community in a lot of different countries are wanting something of this magnitude in their countries. So we are talking and looking at putting some things international.”

Magley says TBL is different from other pro basketball leagues. The players meet with fans after the games. Each team has a chaplain, psychologist, psychiatrist, and counselor. When they are not on the court, players take life skills and financial literacy classes.

“I have two sons and of which both played sports and, in a lot of ways, people see them as being athletes. They don’t see them as being a person these young men are not robots, they’re not slaves,” explained Magley. “I believe that there is a God that loves you so much that that he would take a skinny, knock-kneed Black woman with $20 and start a league to manifest something that is in your heart.”

Magley touts TBL as the most diversified team of market owners in America. She hopes more philanthropists and investors step up to lead more teams. “

“This is another part of the vision that makes it pertinent to people’s lives. To show young girls that they can do anything when they put their minds to it. There’s purpose for your life and no one can stop your destiny. That’s the reason I stepped forward and there’s plenty of room. There is plenty of room for all women not just me to do something that’s never been done before.”