The National Basketball Leagues Sydney Kings have registered a record-breaking season and this is expected to continue under the guidance of newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Chris Pongrass.
Originally from Sydney, Pongrass will join the Kings in April after spending the past six seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA, most recently in the role of Director of Basketball Operations.
Pongrass was instrumental in the selection of Jaren Jackson, Jr. with the fourth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and was part of two 50-win regular seasons and four consecutive NBA playoffs runs, including a trip to the 2015 Western Conference Semifinals.
Bringing with him a wealth of basketball and commercial knowledge, Pongrass is expected capitalise on the success the Sydney Kings enjoyed on and off the court this season.
Interim CEO Paul Kind, who has led the organisation for the past nine months, resumes his role as CEO of TSE, but will still remain involved in the Sydney Kings in his capacity as a co-owner.
“After an extensive search and interview process it was felt Chris was the best fit for the business of The Sydney Kings with a diverse set of skills attuned in the NBA, but with a strong understanding of Australian business practice and culture,” Kind said.
“This season we set aggressive targets for the Club which saw us deliver on record crowds, membership and corporate sales results that have set up the foundations to drive further growth.
“We’re in a very exciting phase right now and Chris and will be instrumental to taking the Kings to the next level.
In his new role, Pongrass will be responsible for managing all key functions of the Kings organisation including business operations, development, strategy and basketball operations.
“It is a privilege to be named the Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Kings, and I am incredibly grateful to Paul Smith and Paul Kind for this opportunity,” Pongrass said.
“Their confidence, support and long-term commitment to this team is unwavering and I look forward to joining one of the most recognised sports and entertainment brands in Australia.
“It is an exciting time for the Kings and I am committed to developing a culture of success and creating a championship organisation from the top down.”
Pongrass will arrive in Australia at the beginning of April to commence the role.