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Arab American Businessman Establishes Wichita Sky Kings Basketball Team in Kansas

posted on: Jan 18, 2023

By: Salma Heram / Arab America Contributing Writer

Wichita Sky Kings Logo; Arab American Businessman Establishes Wichita Sky Kings in Kansas
Photo: Wichita Sky Kings Logo / Wichita Sky Kings, provided by Ben Hamd

Meet Ben Hamd, the Lebanese American businessman who started and owns the Wichita Sky Kings professional basketball team. Based in Wichita, Kansas, the team is set to play its first season in The Basketball League (TBL) in March of this year.

Born and raised in Lebanon to an American mother and Lebanese father, Hamd has always had a love for basketball, but never had the opportunity to play. After moving to the U.S. at the age of 18, Hamd pursued a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. 

Ben Hamd; Arab American Businessman Establishes Wichita Sky Kings in Kansas
Photo: Ben Hamd / provided by Ben Hamd

However, after graduation, Hamd chose a non-traditional route and delved into the real estate industry. After developing his skills as a real estate broker and then as a senior associate in investing, Hamd started his own real estate redevelopment company in 2016.

As the founder and managing director of Brookwood Capital Advisors, Hamd has owned a chain of stores and developed a series of retail real estate redevelopment projects. While he is based in Nashville, Tennessee, Hamd has had business ventures in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, South Carolina, Nebraska, and now, Kansas. 

The Wichita Sky Kings is Hamd’s newest venture, one that he describes as experience-based. He attributes part of his success with the Sky Kings and as a businessman to his Arab heritage. While Arab Americans typically pursue careers in medicine, engineering, or law, Hamd chose a non-traditional route. He describes our Arab culture as one of “intelligence as well as hospitality,” and it is that value of great hospitality that “leads us to create businesses and experiences that people enjoy.”

Indeed, Arabs have an undeniable ability of keeping good company and making sure everyone around them is having a good time. 

Charles Koch Arena; Arab American Businessman Establishes Wichita Sky Kings in Kansas
Photo: Charles Koch Arena / Wikimedia Commons

Hamd intends to cater to the robust Arab American community in Wichita, which is made up primarily of Lebanese Americans like himself, through the Sky Kings’ promotional events. With a 10,000-seat capacity at their home stadium, the Charles Koch Arena, Hamd and his team plan to have dabke performances during half-time and concerts by Lebanese artists after their games.

With a nine-strong roster led by head coach Sean Flynn, the Wichita Sky Kings are set to start off their first season in the TBL in March. However, tickets are already on sale for any of their thirteen home games in the Charles Koch Arena, available for purchase on their website. 

As he continues on this new journey, the future looks bright for Hamd and his team. He advises other young Arab Americans looking to venture into the field of sports and business not to be afraid to take risks and take a non-conventional route. He also emphasizes the importance of trying new things young, as you have nothing to lose in the beginning of your career, and it may pay off big time as it did for him!

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