Professional sports returns to Shreveport/Bossier this fall with the arrival of the Shreveport/Bossier Mavericks.  

The American Basketball Association's Southeast Texas Mavericks are relocating here from Beaumont, Texas, where they won back-to-back ABA National Championships in 2010 and 2011.  Owner Jerry Nelson and Coach Steve Tucker were in Shreveport this morning to make the announcement.

Nelson says he thinks this market is ripe for another professional sports team.  He says the Mavericks know how to win and they're coming here to do just that.  Plus, he says the players the team hires are not just good on the court -- they're good with people, too, and they'll be spending a lot of time in the community and in the schools.  Coach Tucker says the Mavericks are run just like an NBA team, except on a smaller budget.

The team will play a 32-game season, starting in early November, with all home games played in the Hirsch Coliseum.  Some veteran players are returning; other players are being recruited right now.  Training camp is set to open in mid-October with about 20 players under contract.  More information about the Mavericks is available here.

BlackBerry photo of Shreveport/Bossier Mavericks owner Jerry Nelson by John Lee