Announced on Wednesday: The NBA, NCAA, National Basketball Players Association and USA Basketball will work together to help identify and support some of the top prep players in America. This news comes about three weeks after the NCAA announced a series of reforms, which include allowing college players to sign with agents.
A departure from those events of 20 days ago: this is the first time these four institutions have worked together like this. As Brian Windhorst from ESPN put it: this is “a significant step toward the elimination of the one-and-done rule.”
Under this new program, USA Basketball will create a pool of around 80 high schools players — about 20 per class, essentially. The players, according to Windhorst’s report, will receive health and wellness training year-round. Former Boston Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte, who retired after 30 seasons with the franchise following the 2016-17 season, will oversee this side of things.
On the immediate horizon: training camps will begin at USA Basketball’s headquarters — in Colorado Springs — in October. Training, however, will go beyond just physical development; there will be life-skills training for the players, too. From Windhorst:
The elite young players will also receive life skills training on a variety of topics from positive decision-making to navigating the college recruitment process.
The parents of these top-flight prospects will also be included on parts of this process. According to the report, there will be sessions designed to help the parents — or guardians — prepare for what lies ahead for the players.