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Russell Wilson announces he has partnered with SonicsArena group [UPDATED]

Chris Daniels has the full story on

“There is no place like the Emerald City,” Wilson said. “The positive impact sports has on our kids and many generations to come, and bringing different cultures and people together is what motivates and inspires me."

"We couldn’t be more thrilled that Russell is joining our partnership and continued efforts to bring the NBA and NHL back to Seattle," said Chris Hansen. "As you are all aware, we have always kept our focus on doing this for the right reasons – Our love for our City, our love of basketball, and our belief that pro-sports has the ability to positively influence our youth and bring communities together in a way very few things in this world can. It is with this shared view that we welcome Russell, a young, smart and passionate entrepreneur, as our business partner. We know that his enthusiasm, positivity, and 'never give up' attitude will make a huge difference in our effort."

"In our efforts to bring a world class arena to Seattle, we are fortunate to have added a fantastic partner. Russell embodies the positive impact that sports provide a community. We can’t wait to work with him in our pursuit," added Wally Walker.

According to Daniels's sources, Wilson and the group have been in talks for several weeks. Wilson has been none too secretive about wanting to help bring a team back to Seattle, once tweeting "what do I have to do to bring the Sonics back?” I guess he found out.

Hold on to your butts for this next part. One of Daniels's sources also said that Wilson "is prepared to do that" when asked about campaigning for the movement at City Hall.

Thank you, Russ.

Alaska Airlines, one of the Port of Seattle’s biggest customers with whom Wilson has an endorsement deal, tweeted out their excitement for the news.

UPDATE 11/15/16 8:35 am

Wilson penned an article for The Players’ Tribune detailing his decision and discussing how he became a Sonics fan at a young age by playing NBA Jam.

The NBA needs that green and gold back. Seattle needs basketball back. And hockey, too. (The Seattle Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup in 1917, in case you didn’t know.)

So I’m doing what I can to make that happen. I have partnered with the Sonics Arena Group to help bring the NBA and the NHL to Seattle.

To me, this is about more than nostalgia.

We live in divisive times, and sports have a way of bringing people closer together. They allow us all — children and adults — to use our imaginations and dream. I want kids in Seattle to grow up dreaming of playing basketball or hockey for their hometown team.