In a public announcement Wednesday, LaVar Ball revealed plans to launch an alternative league for nationally ranked basketball players players who have graduated high school and don’t want to go on to college.
The proposed Junior Basketball Association with be funded in full by Ball’s Big Baller Brand, which will provide gear for the proposed ten teams. Ball intends to offer 80 players a monthly salary of between $3,000 and $10,000, dependent upon ranking.
Ball told ESPN, “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.”
According to Ball, the idea for the league was inspired in part by a comment made by NCAA president Mark Emmert days after Ball’s son LiAngelo left UCLA for a pro contract before ever playing a game for the school.
Emmert asked, "Is this about someone being part of a university and playing basketball or any other sport with that school's jersey on, representing that institution, or is it about preparing me for my career, my professional career as a ballplayer? If it's the latter, you can do that inside a university and that might be a really good way to go. But if you don't want to and you don't think that it's right for your family, then don't come."
Said Ball, "He was right. Those kids who are one-and-done. They shouldn't be there with the NCAA trying to hold them hostage, not allowing them to keep the jersey they wear while selling replicas of them in stores. So our guy isn't going to go to Florida State for a year. He's going to come to our league."
Ball intends for the Junior Basketball Association to play at NBA arenas in Atlanta, Brooklyn, Dallas and Los Angeles. The new league will follow NBA rules, rather than NCAA, with 12-minute quarters and a pro three-point line.
Neither LiAngelo Ball, nor LaMelo will be involved with the league, as both have signed with Prienai Birstonas Vytautas in Lithuania.
What do you think of LaVar Ball’s idea for the Junior Basketball Association?— Athletic Business (@AthleticBiz) December 21, 2017