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Community Swooping Hoops

Texas Legends' General Manager Malcolm Farmer Explains Team's Importance Is 'Bigger Than Us'

Article by Julie Brown Patton

Photography by Courtesy of Texas Legends

Originally published in Frisco Life

Pioneering endeavors, both on and off the basketball court, occur frequently with Malcolm Farmer as president and general manager of the Texas Legends. He grew up playing a guard in basketball, and confirms he loved the game so much, he wanted a career in it "in any way" he could. An outstanding career he built, indeed. 

Because Malcolm's been with the team since the inaugural season in 2011, he's faced challenges but he's also seen the amazing results of 10 years of perseverance. "The only magic pixie dust is hard work," he adds. 

Hard work ethics permeates throughout the team's structure. The Legends have been leaders in the G League and in the sports industry as a whole, being one of the first teams in the league to sell a jersey sponsorship, the first in the league to have their own team foundation (Texas Legends Care), the first team to hang a car from the rafters of the arena, the first team to wear a different jersey at every home game (representing 24 different charities instead), and the first professional sports team to have a title sponsor of a foreign state (Chihuahua, Mexico). 

Under Malcolm's leadership, the business office finished the 2018-19 season earning a designation as the NBA G League’s “Franchise of the Year."

Malcolm started in the sports industry as a manager with the Notre Dame men’s basketball team. Following that, Farmer was a graduate assistant for two years at Western Illinois where he helped lead the team to their best conference finish in six years. He then joined the Southern Methodist University’s basketball staff, serving two seasons as the director of basketball operations before being promoted to an assistant coach under Matt Doherty. Next, he joined the Mustangs with Matt from a season at Florida Atlantic where the team went 14-6 in conference play, the best in the program’s history.

Malcolm became general manager with the Legends in 2016, and the team saw consecutive seasons of the most wins and most NBA Call-Ups in franchise history.

Health and Wellness Play Big Role With Legends

Malcolm works out every day, and runs 3 to 4 miles. The Legends' players combine a wellness routine of conditioning, proper nutrition, yoga, strength/weight training, basketball skills and mental health preparation. 

In addition to daily practices, Malcolm says the goal is to address all aspects of team players, which includes receiving assistance from the Dallas Mavericks mental skills coach. "We try to keep every individual strong, both physically and mentally," he says.

Every Legends Game Is Community Gathering

Malcolm says he, the staff and the players are always looking for ways to connect to local community members. "The games are actually a community stage, with everyone rallying around a common event. The games are fun, and the overall effort certainly is bigger than just us as a basketball team. We are a stage through which to accomplish great things. It's more than playing a game. We're all about higher, philanthropic purposes," he adds. 

To that end, each game is tied to a nonprofit cause. 

Players make hospital visits, host youth summer camps, and make community appearances. They also provide the Jr. Legends youth program to promote education, sportsmanship and hard work centered around the game of basketball.

The Legends also host a series of three different networking events each month, pulling together 100 to 120 attendees to share best practices, do business together, and assist each other with skills, such as handling social media, mediation or brand-building. They host a monthly breakfast that features a moderated Q&A session with a sports star, too. 

"We're proud of the community presence we have. There's nothing better than seeing a family enjoying themselves together at a game, and leave with big smiles on their faces," says Malcolm. 

The Legends were built by NBAer Donnie Nelson for the purpose of giving back to the community; in fact, the name Texas Legends comes from Donnie’s desire to use basketball to honor the “true legends” in the community. Mission accomplished!

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