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Knoxville Thunderbolts Announces New Ownership Group

January 27, 2009 - American Basketball Association (ABA) - Knoxville Thunderbolts News Release

Knoxville, TN. Chris Glisson, co-owner of the ABA Knoxville Thunderbolts and the expansion Tri-City Racers, has bought out his partners in the Huffson Group, Inc, formed Crossroads Sports Entertainment Group, LLC and brought in new partners. Glisson made the move in an attempt to open the team's ownership up for more local involvement.

"We're trying to give Knoxville a chance to really get to know and love the team," explained Glisson. "Knoxville and East Tennessee as a whole has really embraced us with sponsor support, team events, players and employees. With further community involvement, we're excited about building our fan base too."

The new owners are Stephanie and Robert (Sam) Smith, owners of Creative Hardscapes and co-owners of 313 Interiors in Knoxville; Elizabeth and Rick Williams, owners of Elizabeth Williams School of Dance in Sevierville; Daniel Cap, owner of Nature's Gifts International (NGI), a manufacturer of soy-based candle waxes in Maryville; Shawn Patterson of Portage, Michigan; Kevin Kragenbrink, owner of Estrada Strategies in Knoxville, a business coaching firm; and Carl Pilj, who works in Oak Ridge doing environmental cleanup and lives in Knoxville. Pilj is also Tennessee Ambassador for the Hummer Club, a national-off-roading enthusiasts group.

Glisson and Smith are majority team owners with Smith serving as President and Glisson as Vice President of Crossroads Sports Entertainment Group, which owns the teams. For more information, call 865 824 1275 or visit or

Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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