Maryland Greenhawks players and Bethesda Green staff and volunteersThe Maryland Greenhawks basketball team – the nation’s first “green” professional sports team — held its inaugural press conference November 18 at the Bethesda Green offices.

Formerly known as the Maryland Nighthawks, the team plays in the Premier Basketball League (PBL). This year the team embraced environmental conservation and changed its name.

Their uniforms will be made from environmentally friendly materials, such as bamboo or recycled plastic, and the team will work with to offset the carbon footprint created by its home games, travel and corporate headquarters.

In addition, the Greenhawks will conduct a sneaker recycling program with Nike. The public may be able to participate in this; stay tuned.

Maryland Greenhawks players and officialsAt the press conference the Greenhawks introduced their first two draft picks — Byron Mouton, a former member of the University of Maryland’s national championship team in 2002, and Travis Lay from American University – as well as players Scooter Sherrill and Daniel Artest.

League president and CEO Tom Doyle described the Greenhawks as the “first sports franchise that’s green,” and said the team will be going into the schools to bring the green message. Doyle said the team’s outreach to kids will go a long way to creating a generation of conservationists.

Mouton said kids seeing the Greenhawks on the court as a green team will help the youngsters realize environmental conservation is a priority.

The Greenhawks will play their games at Wootton High School; their first home game is January 16. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.