A former boy bander, a onetime sitcom star, a high-profile ex, a defunct WB heartthrob, a reality show also-ran and a couple of aging sports pros? No, The Surreal Life has not gone on another casting binge.
The motley crew of celebrities, scenesters and sports stars, headed by Nick Lachey and Jamie-Lynn Sigler's ex-hubby, A.J. Discala, have pooled their resources to become the proud new owners of the Hollywood Fame, the latest team to join the American Basketball Association, an old-school-flavored pro league that operates a couple of notches below the NBA.
The Fame's other brand-name backers include 7th Heaven stud Geoff Stults, Dancing with the Stars runner-up Stacy Keibler, NBA vet John Salley, former baseball star Brady Anderson, NFL quarterback Kyle Boller and NASCAR drivers Brian Vickers and Jimmie Johnson.
Per the team's official Website, Wilmer Valderrama will also be involved in the Fame, though in what capacity is unclear.
"We're excited about the Hollywood Fame bringing highly skilled basketball players to the fans of Los Angeles," Discala said in a statement.
According to the owners, the team's players will be comprised of recruited professional basketball players and top amateurs and even, per the Fame's redundant Website, "famous celebrities."
"We are thrilled to have the support of Hollywood behind the Fame and combining professional sports with entertainment makes this a slam dunk," said Laura Brau, the team's pun-happy president and general manager of the team.
The Fame will start courting players later Tuesday, holding tryouts for the ABA team at Los Angeles' Pan Pacific Park. A smattering of the famous proprietors will be on hand all day to oversee the potential recruits, with would-be players needing to pony up the $100 tryout fee to show off their skills Lachey & Co.
The Fame, which kicks off its inaugural season in November, won't be the only ABA squad with star power. Last year, rapper The Game became a part owner and a player for the Inglewood Cobras, while former NBA great Dennis Rodman suited up for the Tijuana Dragons. Before that, rapper/Dancing with the Stars embarrassment Master P bounced the round a league for a couple of seasons, playing for franchises in Long Beach, Las Vegas and Utah.
The original ABA, which operated from 1967 to 1976 before merging with the NBA, gave the NBA such teams as the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and the New Jersey Nets. The ABA was resurrected in 2000 and now features more than 60 teams in cities from Montreal to Mexicali.