Mark Harwell and The International Basketball League Launch The Los Angeles Lightning April 18th 2008

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LA Lightning Kick Off Season with Miss LA Lightning Model Search March 14th

I'm excited about bringing this team here to the Westlake Village/ Thousand Oaks community

Producer/Entrepreneur, Mark Harwell is the owner and General Manager of the Los Angeles Lightning, the latest franchise in the International Basketball League. The league, now in its forth year, includes teams from China, Canada, and sixteen teams across the United States.

"I'm excited about bringing this team here to the Westlake Village/ Thousand Oaks community," said Harwell. "It's a great opportunity to see a high level of pro ball, including some players they've seen on TV for years. My hope is that we will sign four or five NBA veterans. We want to provide an environment similar to Staples Center with the courtside seats, celebrities, a VIP lounge, and the fireworks of a great event that a family can experience without having to commute to downtown and back."

Already generating "buzz" is the teams search for a spokes model to represent the team entitled, Miss LA Lightning 2008. After holding successful interviews in Los Angeles, the team added a second round of interviews targeting the West Valley, Conejo Valley, and Simi Valley, coming up March 14th at the Bob and Dolores Hope Conference Center in Burbank. Miss LA Lightning will assist the team in publicity and promotion while being involved with the community.

The International Basketball League is a fourth year professional basketball league with eighteen teams. The IBL's innovative rule changes have resulted in athletic, up-tempo, high scoring games. In the first three seasons, IBL teams have averaged 126 points per game--in games that last only two hours. An International Basketball League game is truly a family-friendly event. Affordable tickets, player
interaction with fans and performances by community groups are all hallmarks of the IBL experience.

In an IBL game, there is very little dead time. It is this absence of dead time that leads to a faster and more entertaining game. The IBL follows NBA rules with a few exceptions: there is a 22 second shot clock; IBL teams are allowed only one timeout per quarter; and the IBL employs an immediate inbounds rule to get the ball in play as soon as possible.

The Los Angeles Lightning is also proud to announce that it is partnering with select community organizations to give back by donating fifty percent of the proceeds from the general admission season ticket packages that are sold by the non profits as a fundraiser. The Ticket Split Program could potentially raise more than 150, 000 for our community.

The Lightning will play their home games at the 1,500 seat Gilbert Sports Arena in Thousand Oaks, and will make their debut on Friday, April 18 with a home game against the Battle Creek Knights of Michigan. The Lightning will also host the Chinese team for a double header on Memorial Day weekend. Tickets for the Lightning's inaugural season are currently on sale. For more information, visit the team's web site at http://www.LosAngelesLightning.net. General Admission tickets range from $6-$25 and courtside seats range from $100-$250 per game per seat.

About The International Basketball League
The International Basketball League is a fourth year basketball league featuring two rules that reduce dead time: 1) one timeout per quarter 2) an immediate inbound. The result is an athletic game that is very fun to watch. The IBL scoring average per team in its first three seasons was over 126 pts per game.

About Mark Harwell
Mark first made history in his athletic career in the eighties as the first white player in history to play basketball at Prairie View A&M University, a historic black college in a historic all black conference. Mark kept a diary of his experiences at Prairie View and plans to develop them into a book and movie deal. Harwell was featured on multiple sport segments including ABC's Wide World of Sports and Howard Cosells Sportbeat, where he was appropriately nicknamed "White Lightning". After playing a few years on the court, Mark shifted his focus from being on the court to involving himself with Sports Marketing and Franchise Development. Harwell has been involved in marketing and franchise development for teams in the World Basketball League, The Continental Basketball Association, The United States Basketball League and his latest venture, The International Basketball League.

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Juliette Harris

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