It was all a dream and then it became a reality. For Nick Lourenco, it has always been about dreaming and taking on the world both figuratively and literally. Nick has seen the world from his native country of Angola. It has been quite a journey from Angola to Los Angeles to now planting roots in Albuquerque. Many experiences have lead him here to the Duke City to take on professional sports in a city that primarily follows college athletics. Nick Lourenco is the founder and owner of the New Mexico Bullsnakes of the American Basketball Association.
The Bullsnakes started just over a year ago as a franchise hoping to make an impact in the Duke City and a lasting impression on a city that loves basketball. If you’ve been to a Bullsnakes game, you’ll see Nick on the sidelines emotionally engaged with every play the Bullsnakes make on the court. For Nick Lourenco, it’s not just about business, but a passion. “I have always had a desire to get into professional sports and entertainment.” Nick said, “The Bullsnakes are a perfect opportunity to do that.”
But to really know Nick is to go back in time to his native country of Angola. Angola is a country located in south-central Africa between Namibia and Zambia. Angola was originally a colony of the European country of Portugal. The official language is Portuguese. If one were to fly to Angola from Albuquerque it would take exactly 21 hours and 13 minutes.
Yes, Nick is a long way from home where he has six siblings living in his native country. The journey around the world started when Nick entered the officers’ program of the Angolan Army. Nick completed his service to his country as a retired Army Captain. Nick can say “Go Bullsnakes!” in several different languages with Portuguese being his first language. Spanish and two dialects of his native Angola are also part of his language repertoire. After the military, sports were on Nick’s mind. He became a member of Angola’s National Team in European team handball. Yet, that wasn’t all Nick did in sports; he was a star in college as a member of the Cuban handball team.
Nick considers himself as a world explorer after having traveled to 20 different countries throughout his life. “Basketball, team handball, and soccer are my favorite sports.” Nick said. After sports, Nick began his professional career by achieving a degree in Engineering in Industrial Automation (BS) from ISPJAE located in Havana, Cuba. While Nick was at ISPJAE, he started a basketball team that regularly competed against other schools in Cuba. During his time in school, Nick met his wife which would bring him to the United States.
“I had never thought about immigrating to the U.S. until I met my wife who is a U.S. citizen.” Nick said “The whole process took two years before I could enter the country.” Nick and his wife moved to Los Angeles, CA where, for 18 years, Nick became involved in corporate America serving as a senior manager in human resources. Nick later remarried and found that entrepreneurship was really in his blood. For 18 years, Nick hit the ground running; starting several businesses from event staffing to even a Mexican restaurant. But in a city like Los Angeles where many Pro Sports teams reside, Nick knew that is what he wanted to do next. But why Albuquerque? “I left Los Angeles because of the stressful and fast-paced environment.” Nick said, “I wanted my children to grow up in a peaceful environment and have a better quality of life.” That quality of life started with the Bullsnakes being what Nick calls “his baby.”
This has been a dream and now a reality. But what is the plan going forward with the Bullsnakes? “The plan is to have a long-lasting impact in Albuquerque.” Nick said, “We want to have our own facilities and be a place where the basketball community comes together.” The Bullsnakes have made an impact and continue to grow in the new year. Nick spends a large amount of time operating the franchise. During his off time, he loves to spend it with family and go Salsa dancing. The inaugural season is halfway over, and the Bullsnakes Organization is running strong. The future is bright, and Nick Lourenco continues to live the dream.
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