LaVar Ball is launching a pro league for kids who don't want to play college hoops
LaVar Ball has made it clear he’s no fan of the NCAA. His latest move is further confirmation of that.
Ball on Wednesday told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that he intends to launch a basketball league for kids coming out of high school who don’t want to play for a college. The “Junior Basketball Association” will be aimed at nationally ranked players who Ball says will earn salaries from $3,000 a month for low-ranked players and $10,000 a month for the top player in his league.
“Getting these players is going to be easy,” Ball told ESPN. “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’s announcement comes soon after NCAA President Mark Emmert made comments at the Sports Business Journal conference about athletes representing universities in preparation for professional careers as ballplayers. For Ball, the NCAA boss’ comments partially motivated him to get the league up and running.
“He was right,” Ball said. “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.”
Before you get excited -- whether that be in joyful anticipation or outright hate -- about Ball’s league, realize that it is very much still in its infancy. There are no teams, players or venues on the books yet, although ESPN’s story revealed Ball plans to secure 80 players for 10 teams that will play in arenas in Los Angeles, Dallas, Brooklyn and Atlanta.
Ball said the league will be entirely funded by Big Baller Brand. Judging by the monthly salaries he plans on paying, I guess BBB is doing alright in the bank. If it’s all just talk, let’s hope the Junior Basketball League isn’t like a five-star recruit and ends up being one-and-done.