NBA planning to get directly involved at high school level - report


It’s been more than a decade since the NBA adopted what has become known as the “one-and-done” rule, and it seems like critics have been calling on the league to drop the rule ever since it was first put into place.

In light of the FBI’s investigation into bribery involving a handful of college basketball assistant coaches, an agent and a shoe manufacturer, there have been even more calls for the NBA to ditch its controversial eligibility requirements and provide a path for elite high school players to go straight to the pros.

A new report says NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been doing just that for most of the past year, and it will likely involve more than just reducing the age limit for when a player can join the NBA.’s Brian Windhorst, citing league sources, wrote that Silver and representatives from the NBA Players Association have been trying to hammer out a new plan for several months, and it’s expected to more comprehensive than anything the league has tried before.

“A plan is expected to include the NBA starting relationships with elite teenagers while they are in high school, providing skills to help them develop both on and off the court,” Windhorst wrote Monday. “It would ultimately open an alternate path to the NBA besides playing in college and a way 18-year-olds could earn a meaningful salary either from NBA teams or as part of an enhanced option in the developmental G League, sources said.”

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What the plan will be is still not close to being finalized, however. It could involve the league forming basketball academies where players not only receive elite coaching but also physical training and financial education.

It could also involve partnerships with the players association, USA Basketball and even shoe companies as a way to try to minimize the influence they have at the high school level.

The goal is to not only allow the handful of high school players who are deemed NBA-ready to enter the league immediately, but also have a system in place to work with those who aren’t quite ready to help them develop the skills and maturity needed to adjust to professional basketball.

“We are looking at changing the relationship we have with players before they reach the NBA,” one high-ranking league official told ESPN. “This is a complex challenge, and there’s still a lot of discussion about how it’s going to happen, but we all see the need to step in.”

The NBA’s current eligibility requirements, adopted prior to the 2006 NBA draft, require players to be 19 years old in order to be drafted, and one year removed from the graduation of their high school class.

That one-year gap effectively meant players would have to spend a year playing college basketball before being drafted, hence the labeling of the policy as the “one-and-done” rule.

Should players be able to go straight from high school to the NBA?

While it’s an NBA eligibility rule, it’s had a tremendous impact on the college level, as schools try to woo outstanding players with the hope of a potential NCAA championship during their one year of college time.

While the rule was designed to help players mature and be better prepared for the NBA thanks to experiencing a year of college, it’s become evident that many players are only attending college to fulfill the NBA’s requirement and are getting nothing from the classroom experience.

The NBA does allow players to skip college and play a year in its developmental league, known as the G League. But players who currently choose that route earn a maximum salary of $26,000, or only about a third of what players can earn playing overseas.

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Even some college officials want the NBA’s rule changed. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said Sunday his conference would recommend that the NBA allow players the option to turn pro right out of high school.

“We’re going to recommend the NBA and the NBA Players Association change the one-and-done rule to give young men a choice to go straight to the NBA out of high school,” Scott said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“There are certain things about the youth basketball culture and the influence of shoe companies and agents and runners that’s not going away,” he added. “But in terms of ensuring the integrity of the competition and bringing college basketball to the primacy of education as opposed to just a pathway to the NBA, there are some real improvements that can be made.”

Scott said he would like to see basketball adopt a policy similar to what Major League Baseball and college baseball programs have utilized, whereby someone who is drafted out of high school can sign with an MLB organization. But if they choose to go to college, they have to stay at least three years before they can be eligible to be drafted by an MLB team.

“I think baseball has got it right,” Scott said.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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