Jermaine Barnes approved as Immortals de Cibao Majority Owner; Partners with ABASACA

by Jo Fabian Jr.

Jermaine Barnes was approved as Immortals de Cibao Majority Owner on March 18

The Laliga de Campeones' (LDC) Board of Governors has voted unanimously to approve the purchase of a majority interest in Immortals de Cibao by Jermaine Barnes. The investment gives Barnes full controlling interest in the companies that operate the CIBAO basketball region, located in Santiago. After an impressive professional career, Barnes is the first American to become the majority owner of a Dominican team.

"Purchasing the Immortals is the culmination of my post-playing career goal to become the majority owner of a Dominican franchise,” said Barnes. “I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to build a relationship with ABASACA. I plan to make this franchise an organization that my people can be proud of, and I am committed to doing all that I can to achieve this goal."

Luis M. Sanchez transfers control of the franchise to Barnes after a six-year tenure as the majority owner of the Cibao franchise.

"The best decision in Dominican basketball is having Mr. Barnes as a partner. He has always been committed in his work to promote and develop the team and has extended his expertise to Santiago, including his recommendation to open the leagues in the future," said Sanchez. "As the new majority owner of the Immortals, his dedication will be stronger now more than ever. Today’s announcement is great news for the LDC, the City of Santiago, the fans and the Dominican Republic. I am confident that Jermaine’s leadership will bring success to the Immortals whether it’s measured by on the court performance, success as a business, or making a positive impact in the Santiago community. I look forward to continuing to work with Jermaine as an partner," Sanchez concluded.

The team will go through a name change from the Immortals de Cibao to GIE Cibao Immortals.  Barnes was the owner of the GIE Maile Matrix of the American minor league, Universal Basketball Association (UBA).  He plans to merge the two clubs into one.

"The Matrix franchise has always been special to me,” said Barnes.  “We will no longer play in the UBA.  This was the goal to promote the stable franchise to an international market.  Now that I am partners with ABASACA; I will allow Christy Luxe to continue our great legacy in the UBA as president.”

Outside of his purchase of a Dominican franchise; Barnes has also partnered with ABASACA (Basketball Association of Santiago).  This partnership will bring the United Cup, LDC, and Santiago League together. 

"We are very excited to bring Jermaine Barnes to ABASACA,” said President José Luís Aracena.  “We have the same goals to improve basketball and help our people grow through the game.”

Quote from ABASACA President José Luís Aracena on Jermaine Barnes' unanimous approval by the LDC Board of Governors:

"We are pleased that Jermaine Barnes’ purchase of majority ownership of the Immortals was approved by the LDC's Board of Governors and closed in such a smooth and expeditious fashion. We look forward to the continued growth of Santiago Basketball, on and off the court, under his leadership.  We are very happy to partner with his company"

Barnes played college basketball at Point University (GA) where he was named a First Team All-American (2006).  The 38-year-old reached international stardom after joining the Asian market from 2008-2012. Barnes set the single game scoring record in the 2009 Japanese Emperor's Cup (All-Japan Tournament) with 63 points, breaking the record previously set by Japan's all-time leader in scoring John Humphrey who scored 55 points record in the final four vs. Toyama Grouses (Japan B-League). Barnes would later join the USA NT team in the 2012 FIBA Jones Cup in Taipei, Taiwan. He would lead the American squad to the gold medal game versus Smart Gilas (Philippine National Team). Barnes was named to the All-FIBA Jones Cup Team along with Top Defensive Player.

He finished his playing career in 10 countries (Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Cyprus, Taiwan, Spain, Germany and Costa Rica).  After a long journey back from a terrible injury suffered in NBA training camp, Barnes signed the summer of 2014 with the Minnesota Timberwolves for training camp. Former NBA Coach of the Year Sam Mitchell discovered Barnes after his great play in Taiwan. After his career as a professional; Barnes transitioned into coaching where he secured high-profile jobs as a FIBA coach in Germany, France, Morocco, Taiwan, Lebanon and now the Dominican Republic.