NCAA and NBA to Create Youth Basketball Initiative
Posted Apr 7 2008 5:47PM
SAN ANTONIO, April 7 -- The NCAA and the NBA have joined forces to launch a wide-ranging initiative aimed at enhancing youth basketball programs in the United States, it was announced today by NCAA President Dr. Myles Brand and NBA Commissioner David Stern during a press conference from the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, TX.
The yet unnamed initiative is designed to reach and benefit everyone who participates in youth basketball programs, including the more than 23 million American boys and girls who play basketball, their parents and those who teach, officiate and administer youth basketball programs at every level. The initiative will create a platform for teaching youth the value of education and the important lessons of fair play.
While the initiative will operate as a business and is being founded and initially funded by the NCAA and NBA, it was developed with -- and will continue to benefit from -- input from a broad cross-section of parties that have an interest in youth basketball, including USA Basketball, led by its president Val Ackerman, the National Federation of State High Schools, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), coaches’ associations at every level, and the leading shoe companies. With basketball currently the number one participation team sport among boys and girls in the U.S., all key stakeholders in youth basketball felt a partnership was vital to the game’s continued growth.
“Nothing speaks more strongly for the future of basketball in America than to have all the key stakeholders come together to help create that future. That is what this initiative means. The leadership in American basketball is coming together,” said Brand. “The NCAA is pleased to help in a leadership role in this historic effort and values the opportunity to collaborate with the NBA.”
Initial programming for the initiative will begin during the 2008-09 basketball season, and the NCAA and NBA will soon begin a nationwide search for a chief executive to spearhead this initiative.
“We have an unwavering commitment to the growth of the game and we are excited to join together with the NCAA and other key stakeholders in helping to enhance the development of youth basketball,” said Stern. “Our goals with this broad-based initiative are to positively influence all boys and girls who play the game, to continue growing the number of those who do play, and to help all players develop both personally and on the court.” The initiative will focus on five central objectives: