Johns Hopkins’ basketball team will make its first move in basketball ownership after the school’s Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to approve a sale of its NBA team to a group of investors led by billionaire Michael Ross Malone.
Ross, the chairman of Liberty Media Group, the parent company of the NBA’s Miami Heat, will pay the majority of the $1.1 billion purchase price, the school said in a statement.
Ross and his wife, Monique, will own the team and the majority ownership interest in the team’s ownership group.
The team will become a new professional sports franchise in 2021.
Ross’ team has won three NBA championships in the past four decades and was the last major professional basketball franchise to leave its home in Miami in the late 1980s.
Ross has previously said he wanted to make his basketball team a national brand.
He has long supported basketball, even if he has had his share of disagreements with players and owners.
The school will not seek to sell the team, but the school board will consider potential alternatives.
The school board’s decision comes as it has struggled to attract and retain the interest of minority investors in the basketball industry.
Ross recently announced plans to raise about $100 million to help cover the costs of the team.