LAS VEGAS — Tom Brady is back in the game -- but not that sport.
The seven-time Super Bowl winner announced on Twitter that he had acquired a minority ownership stake in the Las Vegas Aces, the WNBA’s defending champions.
Team owner Mark Davis confirmed on Thursday that Brady had joined the basketball team’s organization, according to The Athletic.
Honored to be joining the @LVAces family, a world class organization with a team of incredible athletes pic.twitter.com/JGU4tndZR2— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 23, 2023
“Since I purchased the Aces, our goal has been to win on and off the court,” Davis said in a statement. “Tom Brady is a win not only for the Aces, and the WNBA, but for women’s professional sports as a whole.”
“I am very excited to be part of the Las Vegas Aces organization,” Brady said in a statement Thursday. “My love for women’s sports began at a young age when I would tag along to all my older sisters’ games -- they were by far the best athletes in our house! We celebrated their accomplishments together as a family, and they remain a great inspiration to me.
“I have always been a huge fan of women’s sports, and I admire the work that the Aces’ players, staff, and the WNBA continue to do to grow the sport and empower future generations of athletes. To be able to contribute in any way to that mission as a member of the Aces organization is an incredible honor.”
Brady sat courtside at the Ace’s victory against the Connecticut Sun on May 31, 2022, KTNV-TV reported. He later sent Las Vegas star Kelsey Plum a jersey and other gifts, according to ESPN.
“We played the first half and I walked out and I was just like don’t say anything,” Plum said in a postgame news conference that night, according to KTNV. “Then I locked eyes with him and I was like, ‘Screw it.’ I went right up to him, dapped him up, gave him a big hug. I was like, ‘Man, you’re a dog. I love you.’”
In a statement, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said she was “thrilled” that Brady was joining the WNBA.
“We look forward to welcoming Tom Brady as an owner once the league process and approvals are complete,” Engelbert said in a statement. “We have seen Tom Brady courtside at our games and are thrilled he recognizes the value of supporting women’s basketball and the WNBA.”
Brady, 45, announced his retirement from the NFL on Feb. 1. He won six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He appeared in a record 10 Super Bowls during his 23-year career and is also the only player to be named a Super Bowl MVP five times.
Brady left the gridiron as a certain first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible for enshrinement in Canton, Ohio.
During his NFL career, Brady threw for a league-record 89,214 yards and 649 touchdowns during the regular season. He spent his first 20 seasons with the Patriots, where he won Super Bowl titles after the 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016 and 2018 seasons. He added a seventh Super Bowl title with Tampa Bay after the 2020 season.
Including his postseason statistics, Brady is the only player in NFL history to pass for more than 100,000 yards in his career. He passed that mark this year on Nov. 6 against the Los Angeles Rams when he hit Leonard Fournette on a 16-yard completion.
Brady originally announced his retirement in February 2022 but changed his mind 40 days later. That led to a season of frustration as the Bucs went 8-9 in the regular season -- Brady’s first losing season as a starter at any level of football, USA Today reported.