Deshawn Ward: Team Market Owner
Deshawn Ward was born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey where he is well known in the community for his involvement in sports and recreation. As a native of Atlantic City, he was educated throughout the local school system and attended Oak Crest High School where he was the star point guard.
During his senior year, Deshawn led Oak Crest High to their best season in 20 years with a 20-6 record. After high school, Deshawn attended Montclair State University where he played briefly before returning home. After his brief experience at Montclair State, Deshawn was inspired to become more involved in the community through his love and passion for the game of basketball.
During the summer of 2019, Deshawn co-founded and currently serves as the Co-CEO to a sports organization called Stay Hungry Sports. The development of this organization was intended to aid in reducing crime and violence within the Atlantic City area. It’s mission is based on the significant movement “Stop The Violence” and has progressed into sporting events and the prominent Pro-Am Basketball, Summer League Tournament. Stay Hungry Sports has been an immediate impact on the community and with the partnership of the Atlantic City Gambits, the outreach opportunities have expanded.
Deshawn Ward’s dedication to growth and development for the community has been inspiring, and we are proud to announce Deshawn as TMO (Team Market Owner) of TBL’s Atlantic City Gambits basketball club.
Kamau Johnson: President of Basketball Operations
Kamau Johnson was born and raised in Atlantic City, NJ and is a 2006 graduate of Atlantic City High School. He is known throughout his hometown for his various acts of community involvement and community service.
Kamau served five years active duty in the US Navy (2012-2017) as an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate. Upon completion of an honorable discharge he returned to his hometown dedicating his time to non profit organizations and youth basketball leagues, where he held titles as League Commissioner and Coach.
Kamau studied Business Marketing at Berkeley College (Manhattan) and in 2019 was named Top 40 Under 40, Business Professionals in South Jersey.
Currently, he is the Owner of “Leavander’s 22 Southern Cuisine,” a restaurant based in Atlantic City, and is the founder of basketball media outlet “The Basketball Junkie,” highlighting New Jersey High School Basketball.
Frank Turner: General Manager
Elijah D. Thorpe: Head Coach
Elijah D. Thorpe, is a native of Newark, New Jersey, and is well known in the community as a player and established coach. Elijah attended Newark’s own Eastside High School where he played varsity for the Red Raider’s basketball team. He started his college career locally at Essex County College where he played under Coach Melvin Knight, father of former NBA star Brevin Knight. During Elijah’s two years at Essex County College, they accumulated a 62-7 record and was ranked top 20 in the nation in defense. They reached the nationals and played against former NBA star and current Houston Push TMO, Steve Francis. Elijah went on to finish his college basketball career at New Jersey City University and continued on to pursue a career professionally. After college, he joined the Harlem Wizards basketball club for a couple years before playing for the local professional team the Newark Express. Playing professional and as a student/athlete under Coach Melvin Knight had an influential impact on his present role as a Head coach.
Currently, Elijah is going on his 3rd year as a professional coach and has a winning reputation throughout the tri-state area. As Coach of the Newark Express, his team has ranked top 25 under his leadership. In addition, Coach Eli has managed to build and coach teams that won numerous summer league tournaments and championships. This includes the famous Rucker Park league in New York, where he’s won with an underestimated team of New Jersey natives. Elijah is regarded as a defensive minded coach that demands excellence of his players on and off the court. We are proud to announce Elijah Thorpe as the Head Coach and General Manager of the TBL’s Atlantic City Gambits.