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Volume 20 No. 41
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Premier Sports teams with agents for basketball operation

Liz Mullen
Premier Sports & Entertainment, the Los Angeles-based NFL player rep firm founded by Gary Uberstine, has formed a partnership with NBA player agents Gennaro Bizzarro and Gregory Nunn. Under the deal, Bizzarro and Nunn will operate Premier Basketball, working out of both Los Angeles and New Britain, Conn., which is where the duo previously has operated. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bizzarro and Nunn represent Denver Nuggets guard Jordan Hamilton, Detroit Pistons forward Vernon Macklin and Toronto Raptors forward Gary Forbes. Premier, which represents about 25 NFL players, was formed in 1995 by Uberstine and Eric Kaufman, who formerly worked for Shaquille O’Neal’s first agent, Leonard Armato, and represented in addition to O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Lisa Leslie and the late Wayman Tisdale.
NFL SIGNINGS, PART I: France AllPro Athlete Management signed Oklahoma State wide receiver and top NFL draft prospect Justin Blackmon. Agent Todd France will represent him. Website last week projected Blackmon as the No. 2 pick in the draft and listed him No. 6 overall in its player rankings for the draft. … Priority Sports & Entertainment signed Stanford left tackle Jonathan Martin and Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu for representation in the draft. ranked Martin No. 12 and Sanu No. 28 among players last week. Agent Kenny Zuckerman will represent Martin and agent Mike McCartney will represent Sanu.

NFL SIGNINGS, PART 2: Lagardère Unlimited signed Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy and Virginia Tech running back David Wilson for representation in the draft. Lagardère Football President Joel Segal and agents Chafie Fields and Greg Barnett will represent the players. Worthy was ranked No. 19 among players by last week; Wilson was at No. 41. … LMM&P Sports Management signed USC defensive end Nick Perry, Ohio State left tackle Mike Adams, Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler and Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones for representation. last week ranked Perry No. 16 among all players for the draft, Adams No. 50 and Zeitler No. 87. Jones was not ranked, but he comes from a family of athletes: One brother, Arthur Jones, is a defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens, while another brother, Jon “Bones” Jones, is the current UFC light heavyweight champion. Agents Ethan Lock, Eric Metz, Vance Malinovic and Joe Panos will represent the players.
EXPANSION TALKS FOR CORNERSTONE: Cornerstone Sports Consulting, which is a consultant for 11 Division I football programs on agent education and agent searches, is in talks to add six more schools to its roster as well as bringing on two former NFL club general managers. It also is looking to expand into baseball and basketball.
Former Washington Redskins vice president and former NFL player agent Joe Mendes founded Cornerstone about four years ago, but demand for the company’s services has grown, said Jack Mula, who joined Cornerstone as a consultant in 2010 after working as general counsel of the New England Patriots. Mula, who got his start in the sports business by working as an NFL agent for the late agent-business pioneer Bob Woolf, called the talks to add the two former NFL general managers “advanced.” Cornerstone officials were also speaking to a former NBA general manager and a former MLB player agent, although those discussions were not as far along, Mula said. He would not name any of the individuals.

LARUSSA SIGNS FOR SPEAKING WORK: IMG Worldwide and the Washington Speakers Bureau have formed a joint exclusive representation practice to co-represent former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa for speaking engagements and other work. LaRussa retired last year after 33 seasons as an MLB manager.

EXCEL SIGNS WOODLAND: Excel Sports Management has signed up-and-coming PGA Tour golfer Gary Woodland. Excel partner Mark Steinberg will represent Woodland. He was previously represented by Hambric Sports Management.

Liz Mullen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.