NBA, G League To Make ‘Select Team’ A Full Division
While the 2020 NBA season is on hiatus, the organization reportedly has plans to improve the G League’s Select Team, a competitive program for aspiring basketball players from high school to college. This is another great addition along with the recent NBA 2K Players Tournament that injected excitement into the league after the disappointing news that the NBA will be on hold.
The attention towards the Select Team was brought about by high school basketball stars Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd—who signed up for the developmental program. Green and Todd were included in the top 20 rankings of best high school basketball stars in 2020, so their influence didn’t go unnoticed.
The NBA is now looking into the Select Team in hopes to turn it into a new, full division under the G League. The goal is to create tournaments with multiple teams that can play against each other. Players will receive professional coaching and training from the organizers. They may be required to participate in community events and attend life-skills programs to learn the ropes around professional play. Then, top high school stars from the Select Team will be invited to a one-year development program that takes place outside G League’s traditional tournament structure.
G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim confirmed that the NBA is indeed looking for ways to entice high school players into joining professional leagues: “We have kids leaving the United States—Texas and California and Georgia—to go around the world to play, and our NBA community has to travel there to scout them. That’s counterintuitive. The NBA is the best development system in the world, and those players shouldn’t have to go somewhere else to develop for a year. They should be in our development system.”
While there are details that the NBA and G League still need to work out, both organizations consider using Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy as its home base for the 2020-21 season. The Academy houses full-circle, multi-sport training facilities for basketball and other sports in Thousand Oaks, California. But again, no details are official yet and other venues are still being considered.
Currently, the Select Team is allowed to play 10 to 12 games against G League competition while the NBA and G League are planning the transition. However, the results wouldn’t count in the official standings. Additionally, the chances of these matches entering the Bitcoin sportsbook markets is great news for a community that continues to seek versatility, betting opportunities, and a chance to put their basketball knowledge to the test.