Leadership Bios

 

Ricky is a Co-Founder of the HBL and serves as the Chief Executive Officer overseeing the day-to-day operations of the League, while focusing on business and operational growth and the benefits created for the athletes.

Additionally, Ricky is an attorney at Buckley King LPA in their Sports, Entertainment, and Media Practice Group. He has primarily focused on legal issues related to professional and amateur sports, film and television, music, business formation and regulation, intellectual property, digital media, and the Internet. Ricky also co-founded Sixth City Sports & Entertainment, a sport and film consultancy based in Cleveland, OH.

Ricky is an Adjunct Professor at the Harvard Extension School and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He teaches Representing the Professional Athlete, Negotiating and Drafting Sports Venue Agreements, Introduction to Sports Law for Non-Lawyers, and The Legal Evolution of America's Three Major Leagues. 

Ricky graduated summa cum laude from Lake Erie College with a B.S. in Sports Management, and received the Class of 2012 Academic Excellence Award for the School of Business. Ricky completed his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. 

RICKY VOLANTE

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
ricky@hbleague.com

 

David is the Chief Operating Officer of the HBL. David oversees the development of the HBL’s basketball infrastructure, including: scouting, recruitment, player development, and NBA relations.

David is a former American professional basketball player whose career spanned 15 years at the NBA level. He last played with the Golden State Warriors and was a part of their 2017 and 2018 championship teams. David was drafted into the NBA by the New Orleans Hornets as the 18th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. During David’s tenure in New Orleans he led the Hornets to multiple playoff appearances and secured two NBA All-Star invitations. David’s tenure in New Orleans lasted eight seasons. David subsequently signed as a free-agent with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers leading the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals in consecutive seasons (2012-13 & 2013-2014). During the 2015-2016 season, David took his veteran leadership to the San Antonio Spurs where the Spurs finished with a 67–15 record; their best winning percentage in franchise history. 

A graduate of Xavier University (OH), West is Xavier’s second all-time leading scorer with 2,132 career points and third all-time leading rebounder with 1,308 career boards. West was a 2002-03 Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association, and Basketball Times National Collegiate Player of the Year. 

David’s time as an athlete has enabled him the opportunity to be a leader on issues which are close to him such as youth and sustainable resource development. David is the principal and head of the West Group, an organization that facilitates strategic investments, the development of youth in sport and individually-tailored mentorship programs located in Raleigh, North Carolina USA. Under the direction of the West Group, David operates a nationally recognized youth basketball development program, Garner Road Basketball Club, which carries out the mantra “No Books, No Ball.” The West Group also operates the J.D. Lewis Multi-Purpose Center which services the community though programmatic initiatives. These programs have a remarkable record of the work David is doing in his local community. More than 7,000 individuals from the Raleigh-Durham area have benefited from David’s direct contributions to his hometown and surrounding communities. 

David and his wife Lesley, have one daughter, Dasia, and one son, David Benjamin. 

DAVID WEST

Chief Operating Officer

 

Keith is the Chief Development Officer of the HBL. As the CDO, Keith focuses on developing the League’s relationships with investors and strategic partners, while also advising on strategic decisions affecting the HBL’s growth and development. Keith additionally oversees the development of the HBL’s player programs and initiatives.

Keith brings extensive experience in the development, structuring, financing, and management of complex energy infrastructure businesses.  Keith has advised institutional investors on direct equity investments across several energy chains.  Many of the transactions initiated or led by Keith were first of their kind development projects or financings that continue to outperform despite the absence of local regulatory or legal precedent and/or the presence of historically antagonistic stakeholders.  He has successfully developed projects in Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean Basin.

Additionally, Keith served as Assistant Athletic Director at Stanford University recruiting and working with scores of prominent athletes, coaches and administrators engaged at the highest levels in the collegiate and professional sports industry.

Keith graduated from Stanford University with an A.B. in Human Biology and completed his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) at the University of Texas School of Law.

KEITH SPARKS

Chief Development Officer
keith@hbleague.com

 

Andy is a Co-Founder of the HBL and serves as the Chief Innovation Officer. Andy assists with innovative decision-making, strategic planning, and setting the League’s strategic priorities.

Andy is an antitrust economist with a subspecialty in sports economics. Notably, Andy was the case manager for the NFL’s economic expert in L.A. Raiders v. NFL and for Plaintiffs’ economic experts in O’Bannon v. NCAA and the economic expert for the Keller v. NCAA settlement class. He has testified to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce, participated on another U.S. Congressional panel on college sports, and has served as an economic expert in a wide variety of state and federal litigation. Andy is one of the co-founders of OSKR and served as President/Managing Partner for the firm’s first three years. 

Andy has been featured on ESPN, in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Bloomberg News, Sports on Earth, and USA Today. He is a frequent contributor to Vice Sports and Deadspin and has written for Slate, Forbes.com, 538.com, and ESPN.com. He is featured in Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA by Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss. Andy’s academic papers have analyzed secondary ticket markets, law and economics topics, the antitrust questions inherent in NCAA bylaws, and the economics of virtual goods. He has co-authored a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics and in the forthcoming College Athletes’ Rights and Well-Being: Critical Perspectives on Policy and Practice.

Andy holds an M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, an A.B. in history from Stanford University, and an M.A. in history from Johns Hopkins.

ANDY SCHWARZ

Chief Innovation Officer & Co-Founder
andy@hbleague.com