February 21, 2024

Maxsports

All Sports To The Max

Miami Heat icon Udonis Haslem becomes the latest superstar ex-sportsman to turn to ownership… as he buys a stake in a professional Jai-Alai team

Miami Heat icon Udonis Haslem becomes the latest superstar ex-sportsman to turn to ownership… as he buys a stake in a professional Jai-Alai team

  • The 43-year-old retired after losing to the Nuggets in the NBA Finals in June
  • Eugenie Bouchard, Ray Lewis and Jorge Masvidal are other investor in Jai-Alai  
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Udonis Haslem has become the latest standout name to invest in a professional Jai-Alai team after buying a stake into the Rebote Renegades in Florida

The former NBA hooper, who retired with the Miami Heat after 20 seasons on the team’s roster, announced his investment in the niche sport on Monday on Instagram, saying: ‘New chapter means a new venture as a @jaialaileague team owner.’ 

Similarly to pickleball, the wall ball sport has been making a comeback in popularity in recent months, especially after other retired athletes, such as ex-NFL linebacker Ray Lewis and former UFC star Jorge Masvidal invested in it. 

Wimbledon finalist (2014) Eugenie Bouchard has also put money into Jai-Alai. 

Haslem’s newest asset comes as a bit of a surprise although the 43-year-old claims to have grown up with the sport, which is commonly played in Miami due to a large chunk of its population coming from Latin America, where Jai-Alai is established. 

Udonis Haslem invested in Jai-Alai after playing the sport a lot during his childhood in Florida

Udonis Haslem invested in Jai-Alai after playing the sport a lot during his childhood in Florida

Haslem, 43, is now the new owner of the Rebote Renegades, of the World Jai-Alai League

Haslem, 43, is now the new owner of the Rebote Renegades, of the World Jai-Alai League

‘Honored to be part of a sport with deep-rooted history, especially right here in my city and to me personally through memories of my dad,’ said the former basketball player. 

‘And y’all know I’m competitive so I’m gonna make sure the Renegades are out here putting in work!!

‘Winning is always on my mind no matter where we at! I’m excited to be doing it for Miami, for the players and for the fans around the world.’ 

Jai-Alai is a popular sport in South America and the Philippines due to its Hispanic origins

Jai-Alai is a popular sport in South America and the Philippines due to its Hispanic origins 

Other member teams in the World Jai-Alai League are Magic City Pelota, based in Orlando, Florida and Battle Court Miami. 

Seen as a variation of Basque pelota, Jai-Alai involves bouncing a ball off a walled-in space by accelerating it to high speed with a hand-held wicker, called a cesta. 

The court for Jai-Alai consists of walls on the front, back and left, and the floor between them. If the ball touches the floor outside these walls, it is considered out of bounds. 

The sport is commonly played in Latin American countries and the Philippines from its Hispanic influence. 

It was countries one of two gambling sports from Europe, the other being horse racing.