Arvia: Eddy Curry’s ex-wife launches bikini hoops team
By Phil Arvia firstname.lastname@example.org December 7, 2012 11:18PM
Korie Kellogg, the ex-wife of NBA player Eddy Curry, is launching a franchise in the Bikini Basketball League called the Chicago Crave. Tryouts are Dec. 16 at Lifetime Fitness in Orland Park. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Bikini Basketball Association
Chicago Crave Tryouts
When: noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 16
Where: Lifetime Fitness, 16333 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park
Dress code: Sports bra, spandex shorts, gym shoes
Required: Bio, two photos
Players will be selected based on: Athleticism, attitude, leadership, skill, personality, looks
For updates, information: text CCB to 55469
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:23AM
The pitch meeting was quick:
Eddy Curry’s ex-wife. She’s been arrested for aggravated battery against her child. Now she’s running a bikini basketball franchise.
“That,” the boss said, “is a good story.”
After an hour of listening to the always earnest — and by turns a bit inspiring, a bit vague and seemingly hopelessly naive — Korie Kellogg, the needle, for me, hadn’t moved much off the tabloid fodder.
So I restated the pitch to her. And followed it with, “How are people going to take you seriously?”
Kellogg, 30, a Mokena resident and the owner of Proactive Realty in Frankfort, seemed disappointed that her message hadn’t yet sunk in. But, blessedly, she finally was moved, ever so slightly, off message.
Yes, she takes her week-old venture into pro sports mogulry as the player/owner of the Chicago Crave in the fledgling Bikini Basketball Association seriously. She wants, she said, to give “a clear and vivid picture of what this league is about and what I really represent.”
Right now, all she has is a logo — that’s her silhouette — and a dream. The problem is it all sounds like a sales job — at least until the forward-looking Kellogg allows a glimpse of her past.
“When you read that I was the ex-wife of Eddy Curry; (he) was also my best friend since fourth grade,” she said. “I was also married to him and was protected and a virgin until I was 18, until we got married. These are things that a pastor would love to say about his daughter, and half of them couldn’t even say that.”
Curry and Kellogg went to Thornwood, where they both played basketball. When he was drafted with the fourth overall pick by the Bulls in 2001, she was there — five months pregnant, and married.
“I was actually married in high school,” she said. “Walking down the halls, married.”
How many people knew that then?
“Everyone who was close,” she said. “People in school. The principal knew. The counselors knew. It was no secret we were married. That’s what they don’t touch on.
“This is not a girl that met a ballplayer and got pregnant. This is not that girl. Again, I was raised by my father. That was my first boyfriend.”
Married at 18, child at 19, divorced at 20.
“I couldn’t deal with that lifestyle, and I did not,” she said. “And that was best for the both of us.”
Kellogg’s life was not again a matter of public record for a decade. In April, she was charged with aggravated battery for beating her son with a belt. While the final disposition of the case has not been made, the child, 10, was returned to her custody two weeks after the arrest.
“When it comes down to parenting, I love my son — more than anybody will ever know,” Kellogg said. “People around us, they’re like, ‘Oh, my God, you really love this kid.’ “Everybody that knows me personally, they were offended by all of the accusations.
“However, without talking about that situation, I am an amazing parent, and I want to thank my father for raising me to be the person and the parent that I have turned out to be.”
Turns out she’s running a tryout, for the Chicago Crave. Originally, the Chicago franchise in the currently six-team BBA was to be the Chicago Desire, but that ownership group was bounced recently amid published reports of sexual impropriety on the part of a member of its management team.
League founder A.J. McArthur, a Florida-based entrepreneur, knows this league, wanting to be sexy without being sleazy, can’t afford that kind of press.
“Something like that, we had to take quick action and get rid of that right away,” he said. “That’s why we moved so fast to get rid of it.”
And so fast to install Kellogg as the new franchisee.
Kellogg, who said she tried out for and was named a captain of the Desire’s squad, sought out a franchise as soon as the Desire went, in her word, “Poof.”
McArthur called her pitch “on point.” Kellogg said she stressed her desire to work to help women in situations of domestic violence.
She claims that mission is not at odds with the league’s mission to sell a sexier version of basketball.
“You’ve got swimmers — they wear swimming suits that are fitting to the body. They don’t get criticized,” she said. “Volleyball players wear boy shorts and sports bras. Track and field wears sports bras and two-pieces — they’re not criticized. Now we want to be beautiful and soft and play on the hardwood floors, and we’re being criticized.”
Let’s just say I’m skeptical. Perhaps because those beach volleyball players, track stars and swimmers we see are the world’s best athletes in their respective sports.
Kellogg made a BBA team in one tryout, and by her own admission hasn’t played since high school. Of course, McArthur did note that ex-WNBA player Tamara Moore, of the Minnesota Mist franchise, is another player/owner.
Kellogg only promised that her squad will “have heart.”
“I don’t know who’s coming out — I can only pick from what comes out,” she said. “But I know what I’m looking for.
“All girls chosen on this team will be here to make a difference on and off the floor. It’s not going to be just the pretty girl with the basketball.
“I was the pretty girl with the basketball, and my father always taught me that brains, beauty and talent was a lethal combination — and it was reinforced in my household that I embodied those characteristics. That’s exactly and precisely what I’m looking for when tryouts come.”
What she gets — along with who gets paid and where they’ll play when league action begins in the summer — are questions that are yet to be answered.
Oh, and what about the uniforms?
Kellogg, saying, “I’m not in support of anything that isn’t classy and done with taste,” promised “full coverage.”
Call me cynical, bikini basketball fans, but I think that hurts the odds of the media providing same.