San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili buys pro table tennis team

Ginobili's purchase of the Florida Crocs comes a week after the NBA Hall-of-Famer was spotted playing pingpong at a San Antonio park.

click to enlarge Manu Ginobili's purchase of Major League Table Tennis' Florida Crocs is his latest investment since retiring in 2018. - Wikimedia Commons / Zereshk
Wikimedia Commons / Zereshk
Manu Ginobili's purchase of Major League Table Tennis' Florida Crocs is his latest investment since retiring in 2018.
San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili is trying his hand at a new sport.

The NBA Hall-of-Famer last week became part owner of professional pingpong team the Florida Crocs, according to officials with Major League Table Tennis (MLTT), the sport's first professional U.S. league.

Argentina-born Ginobili purchased the team alongside Riverwood Capital executives Francisco Alvarez-Demalde and Jeff Parks plus a "select group of technology entrepreneurs and investors," officials with the fledgling league said in a statement.

Word of Ginobili's foray into the world of pro table tennis comes a week after he was spotted playing pingpong at a San Antonio park with Spurs No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama.

MLTT will feature eight teams split into East and West divisions, according to the league's website. The teams will compete in regular-season tournaments from September 2023 through March of next year. Two teams from each division will head to the Final Four in April to compete for $100,000 in prize money.

MLTT officials said six of the league's eight teams were sold to investors last week. Table tennis olympian Dima Ovtarov was also among the buyers.

"The overwhelming interest in MLTT, selling six teams before our debut season, has wildly exceeded our expectations, league founder Flint Lane, a software entrepreneur and self-proclaimed table tennis fanatic, said in a statement. "Having Dima and Manu involved wasn't even a dream that we dared having."

Ginobili's purchase of the Florida Crocs is only the latest in a string of major investments he's made since retiring from the NBA in 2018.

In 2021, Ginobili joined Newtopia VC, a venture capital firm that invests in startups based in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, MySA reported.

More recently, Ginobili — along with Spurs icon David Robinson and team Chairman Peter J. Holt — bought a slice of the San Antonio Missions Minor Baseball League team, according to the Express-News.

The Florida Crocs' next tournament will take place Oct. 13-15 in Myrtle Beach.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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