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Beware the Lone Wolf

“The hardest walk you can make is the walk you make alone, but that is the walk that makes you the strongest.”           

- Me.  I said that.

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The Commission on College Basketball - Our Take on the Recommendations

Last week, the Commission on College Basketball, led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, issued its recommendations on changes to be made to NCAA basketball. There are far smarter people, much closer to the college game than us, issuing commentary on these which can be found in full HERE.

But as company built around grassroots basketball – one who has spent every Spring & Summer the past seven years alongside the players, coaches and yes, the “agents and sponsors” who have allegedly created these problems on the AAU/Travel Basketball circuit, we do have a unique perspective…and maybe one that the Commission failed to consider with sufficient weight. 

On the whole, we are encouraged that the long overdue process to “clean up” college basketball has begun and acknowledge that the Commission had a near impossible task in addressing all that’s messed up about college hoops.  But with specific regard to its recommendations on grassroots basketball, a number of items remain either unclear or seemingly misguided. 

Section 3 of the Commission’s Recommendations are summarized as “Mitigating Non-Scholastic Basketball’s Harmful Influence on College Basketball” (aka cleaning up the AAU scene) and highlight the following four core recommendations:

  1. Reform Non-Scholastic Basketball and Make its Finances Transparent
  2. Enlist Apparel Companies in Transparency and Accountability Efforts
  3. In Cooperation with Partners, Establish NCAA Youth Basketball Programs
  4. Enact Changes in Rules Governing Recruiting and Coaches’ Interaction with Recruits and Student-Athletes 

While these recommendations make sense on the surface, they color all  “Non-Scholastic Basketball” entities in the same negative light. Having partnered with dozens of AAU/Travel tournaments and event organizers – both ethical and otherwise, this is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch.  The vast majority of those in the Non-Scholastic basketball scene are doing so for the right reasons – to help kids and promote a love of the game. 

By way of example, our Showcase Series partners all have a history of running events with those aims in mind, even those that are focused on generating exposure for players amongst college coaches.  Should the Commission significantly cut back on the number of non-scholastic basketball events in the market that coaches can attend, they risk doing a disservice to the youth player who may be looking for exposure to college coaches, albeit not at the top major D1 level.

But maybe more than anything else, the Commission’s Recommendations, and the Joint Statement in general is somewhat expectedly, soft on details.  We hope in the coming months, the Commission, the NCAA and its partners will shed some additional light on the following major open items:

  • Do these Recommendations apply only to top major programs or are they intended to be applicable to all NCAA member organizations?
  • What type of “rigorous certification criteria” will be required to run non-scholastic basketball events that coaches are permitted to attend?
  • Aside from the stated partners (NBA, NBPA, USA Basketball), does the NCAA expect to partner with any other entities (e.g. the “apparel companies” as noted in its report) on its new youth basketball programs?

It will be a long road to fix all that is broken about college basketball and this is a solid first step.  We look forward to seeing where the NCAA takes it from here.

AAAND NOW… Introducing POINT 3's Newest NBA Partner

As a basketball brand, it’s always exciting to establish relationships with great programs, and there aren’t many NBA franchises that have a history like the one we're announcing now. View full article →

POINT 3 Staff NBA Predictions

It's a Tuesday morning like no other because the folks who make our office go were downright giddy about coming to work today. Each passing hour brings us closer to Tuesday night and the start of the NBA season. View full article →

Announcing: POINT 3 x NY KNICKS

We couldn’t be more proud to announce our new multi-year partnership with the Association’s New York Knicks. You see, it’s the 25th anniversary of New York Knicks Summer Camps, and all participants will receive Knicks-branded POINT 3 gear when they take the court for camp this Summer to commemorate the milestone. View full article →

Growing the Next Generation of Atlanta Ballplayers

As many POINT 3 followers know, we are incredibly proud to be the official outfitters of all the Atlanta Hawks Youth Programs, including their Jr. Hawks leagues and the Atlanta Hawks Summer Camps presented by Philips. We caught up with the Hawks Director of Basketball Programs, Jon Babul, to hear more about what our hometown team has in store for this summer! View full article →

The Pro's Dilemma: Choosing Between NBA Training Camp and Playing Overseas

It’s basically every basketball player’s dream growing up in the US to play in the NBA. But only a few select players make the League every year. Many more end up playing professionally elsewhere – whether in the D-League, other minor leagues, or playing overseas. View full article →

Who Is the Most Likely Next Matthew Dellavedova?

The Cleveland Cavaliers were down to their last legs in the NBA Finals. Kevin Love, hurt. Kyrie Irving, hurt. Who could possibly fill in? Enter Matthew Dellevadova, the Australian point guard from St Mary’s College. 

Here at POINT 3, we always support the Underdog player like him. So who are some ‘Next Delly’ candidates from this Draft, ie. players that went undrafted but could be sparkplugs for an NBA team?

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Five Reasons Why Notre Dame’s Pat Connaughton is the Sleeper of the 2015 NBA Draft

In college hoops, the player with the ball is most often the star. When you dominate the ball a lot, you receive a lot of the attention and are able flash skills that could maybe lead you to be a star at the next level. Often this leads to the role player being slept on when drafting. The oft-forgotten aspect is that role players are the types of players that can transition their college roles directly into a role in the NBA. View full article →

Game Situations, Proficient Movements, and Learning From the Best Player in the Workout

POINT 3 Alpha trainer Gilbert Abraham bases a lot of his training on making players more proficient in game situations and getting them to move cleanly around the court. Here are a few of the steps he takes to achieve his goals. View full article →