Quicken chief announces Magic Johnson as venture capital partner

Posted on July 21, 2011

DETROIT (AP) — Quicken Loans Inc. founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert planned a news conference today to announce an addition to a venture capital company focused on rebuilding Detroit — and a tweet from ex-National Basketball Association star Magic Johnson suggested it’s him.

Gilbert’s spokespeople said a sports legend and Hall-of-Famer would be introduced today as the newest member of Detroit Venture Partners.

They and Johnson’s staff wouldn’t confirm Wednesday that it’s the former basketball player, who grew up in Lansing and starred for two years in the late 1970s atMichigan State University.

But Johnson posted Twitter messages Wednesday night saying he’ll “be making a big announcement in Detroit” today and looks forward to helping put “people back to work” in his home state of Michigan.

Press materials handed out today at a press conference set to begin at 10 a.m. at Quicken’s downtown Detroit headquarters included a statement from Johnson saying: “I am investing in Detroit Venture Partners and the city of Detroit because I want to have a positive impact on the biggest downtown in my home state. I believe strongly in the Detroit 2.0 movement and creating opportunities to help people get back to work.”

The early-stage venture capital business focuses on entrepreneurship and technology to create jobs in Detroit.

Gilbert also owns the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.