Third BIG3 Expansion Team Acquired by Eric Mullins and Milton Carroll

4 July 2024

Today, the BIG3 announced that energy executives Eric Mullins and Milton Carroll have purchased the rights to the third location-based BIG3 franchise with plans to base the team in Houston. Carroll and Mullins will take ownership for the 2025 season, when all BIG3 teams will represent home markets. This announcement follows the purchase of rights to the LA and Miami-based BIG3 franchises earlier this year.

“I am so pleased to be bringing another BIG3 franchise to a state that has been so loyal to the BIG3 for so many years,” said BIG3 CEO and co-founder, Ice Cube. “Eric and Milton have been at the top of their game for their entire careers, and I am confident that the Houston BIG3 team will be no different. Their combined experience mirrors that of the BIG3, Eric knows what it’s like to be a player, Milton knows what it’s like to be an owner, and both of them know how to engineer long-term successful resources. Together, I know we will create the perfect environment for our third franchise.”

“Milton and I are thrilled to team up and take ownership of this exciting sports property,” said Mullins. “Not only is the on-the-court product captivating, but the way that Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz conduct their league off the court is something to be admired. They really care about the communities they visit and I’m honored to bring that dedication to Houston and am confident that with our combined sports experience, Milton, Ice Cube, Jeff, and I will make the Houston BIG3 team a long-term success.”

Eric Mullins is an alumnus of the 1984 Houston Oilers. He currently is the Chairman and CEO of Lime Rock Resources, a private equity firm focused on oil and gas. He also served on the boards of ConocoPhillips and Valero Energy Corporation. Mullins spent fifteen years as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs primarily as a banker in the Energy and Power Group.

“Eric and I could not be more excited to bring BIG3 basketball to Texas permanently,” said Carroll. “The BIG3 has a rabid fanbase across our state and we could not be more excited to create a home for those fans in Houston next season. Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz have changed the face of basketball in a remarkable seven seasons, and we are honored to join them for many more seasons to come.”

Milton Carroll was most recently the Executive Chairman of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and is currently the Executive Chairman of the Board of Health Care Service Corporation. His service in leadership roles in these companies extends over 20 years. A lifelong leader, Carroll has served on the boards of numerous other energy companies as well as chaired the boards of the Houston Endowment and Texas Southern University. Carroll also holds a minority stake in the Houston Astros.

“I could not be happier to see Eric and Milton take the reins of the Houston BIG3 franchise,” said BIG3 Commissioner, Clyde Drexler. “Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz have always surrounded themselves with the best of the best, and I know personally that there could be no better stewards of a Houston team than Eric and Milton. They have a demonstrated ability to build fantastic investments, and on top of that they are strong leaders who are committed to giving back to their communities and I can’t wait to see them bring that energy to this franchise next season.”

This announcement comes ahead of the fourth week of the BIG3’s seventh season, which has made stops in Oakland, CA, Tampa, FL, and Baltimore, MD, nearly selling out each venue and reaching millions of fans across linear, streaming, and digital platforms.

To learn more about the BIG3 go to and follow @thebig3 on X and Instagram. Tickets for the 2024 season are on sale now at


On January 11, 2017, the BIG3 was born. The first-ever professional FIREBALL3 league is the brainchild of producer, actor, and music legend Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, who shared a vision of a player-centric league focused on entertainment and innovation. The BIG3 is a league with no garbage minutes, where trash talk is allowed, defense is emphasized, fast-paced action, and where every point – whether it's a 4-point or 3-point shot – counts. Any given BIG3 team has hall of famers, icons and trailblazers, and the next best 3-on-3 player.

The league has led the sports industry in diversity and opportunity, becoming the first professional sports league to implement a mental health policy, favor CBD as a pain management alternative to opioids, enlist female coaches of men, and appoint a black Commissioner in Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, who is also professional sports first former player serving as Commissioner. The inaugural CEO was the legendary, incomparable Raider executive Amy Trask. This January 2024, BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube was honored at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, where he received the inaugural Ice Cube Impact Award, acknowledging individuals making substantial contributions to their community, the first non-player to be recognized. Founders Ice Cube and Jeffrey Kwatinetz are missioned to better society as BIG3 pursues business success while also helping to break down stereotypes, promote diversity in sports, create opportunities for black, brown, and female athletes beyond the court, and support the black, youth and basketball communities overall.

Hannah Palacios, [email protected]