LaVar Ball is launching a junior basketball league for top high school graduates who want to bypass college on their way to the NBA, ESPN reported. It would distract young Black men from preparing to enter college in their hope of pursing a professional basketball career.
“Getting these players is going to be easy. This is giving guys a chance to get a jump start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts; and we’re going to pay them, because someone has to pay these kids,” Ball stated.
The most famous basketball dad, who’s quite good at marketing, will fund his Junior Basketball Association through his Big Baller Brand. Salaries will range based on the athlete’s rank. Those at the bottom would receive $3,000 a month, and the high ranked players would earn $10,000 monthly. Ball wants to attract 80 players to create 10 teams that would play at NBA arenas in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Dallas and Los Angles.
The practical side of Ball’s league is that it would give a direct route to the NBA for top prospects who would likely play just one year in college before getting drafted. He’s also tapping into the widespread displeasure with the NCAA and colleges that are profiting from young athletes who often don’t get drafted into the NBA and leave college without a proper education. While the college route has its issues, it at least encourages high school athletes to make plans to attend college. This proposed league is a distraction.
So far, Ball has the marketing angle figured out. Players in his league would all wear his Big Baller Brand on court. But his own sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, who are top players, won’t be in proposed league. They’ve signed to play in Lithuania.