Back in March in this space, we discussed a possible agreement between the NCAA and NBA focused on the two associations delving into the realm of youth basketball.
That agreement has come to fruition.
As reported by, ironically enough, USA Today's Steve Wieberg:
"It's a transformational approach to basketball," says NCAA President Myles Brand, who'll take part in an announcement of a new NBA- and NCAA-driven program today.
For the youth program, the organizations are pooling resources and clout to form a limited liability company designed to be a nexus of the summer game. It would offer skill evaluation and coaching clinics and conduct a summer camp for elite young players. A website would serve as a networking center for players, parents, teams and league and event organizers.
Here's wondering what our one-time source Blake Ress thinks about this.
All of Steve's daily posts can be found in the CelticsBlog: NBA blog. Check him out!
Ress, of course, is the commissioner of high school sports in the state of Indiana. When we discussed the agreement three weeks ago, Ress mentioned his concern that the NBA and NCAA hadn't consulted anybody who actually works with middle and high school athletes, which would likely be the best way to figure out what the right direction to head in with those athletes would be.
For my part, the thought remains the same as it was at the time I talked to Ress: uncertainty. The idea of removing sole control from the shoe companies and sponsors is a good one, but there is still a long way to go in building these kids into successful student-athletes. Which, at least until their college days are over, is exactly what they are.
We'll be keeping tabs on this and updating you as more specifics of the agreement come out.