Why NCAA Basketball Is Under Tremendous Pressure of Losing Out on Top High-School Prospects?

Published 03/28/2021, 4:00 PM EDT


Over the years, budding basketball players followed just one traditional route to enter the NBA. Top high-school prospects would sign up to play NCAA Basketball after which they declared for the NBA Draft upon playing a season in college, or more, depending on their choice. However, there are now intriguing alternatives that are posing a threat to college basketball. 

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The NCAA no longer holds maximum authority in its field. There are other major leagues that are willing to offer budding high-school graduates a taste of what it would like to play in the NBA. That means giving the player a stipend and also bonuses, just like how the association is programmed. 

Of course, every top recruit from a high-school class would be enticed to play in a professional league before entering the NBA. Compared to the NCAA, other programs like the G-League and Overtime Elite League offer better exposure in terms of economic and player development. 

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Who wouldn’t want to try their hand at this instead of going back to the old college basketball chain? 

How the G-League is threatening to dissolve the dominance of NCAA Basketball

For starters, the G-League is affiliated with the NBA and is a minor league that offers high-schoolers a chance to turn pro upon graduating. The enticing part about the G-League is that these aspiring ballers can earn through a player contract upon completing high-school. 

It is a similar pattern to the NBA, and for highly talented players who are destined to make a future impact in the association, this is the place to be. The best part about young players entering the G-League is that they would go head-to-head against seasoned veterans who were once a part of NBA teams. 

This would give them massive exposure as to what they would be stepping into when they join the NBA. The player contracts also start from $35,000 for a five-month season and the numbers can increase through bonuses or if the athlete is on a two-way contract. 

The Overtime Elite League is the latest trendsetter

The NBA G-League has been around since 2001 and has undergone various transformations. But the Overtime Elite League is new to the business but has already garnered a lot of attention due to its attractive portfolio. 

Even NBA’s commissioner Adam Silver reacted in a positive manner about the Overtime league that is focused on empowering talented young basketball players. “To me, options are a good thing,” Silver said

The creators of Overtime league spent months understanding the pattern of how top high-school prospects take the next step in their careers. While some of them took the traditional route of entering NCAA Basketball, others skipped college and ventured into international leagues or the G-League. 

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That’s when Overtime punched their ticket into this field and established themselves with prominence. While the NCAA offers players the rise to stardom, it does not pay them any amount of the million-dollar revenue it receives from hosting March Madness. 

But that’s where Overtime Elite League changes the whole picture. Besides offering contracts to the athletes, the company will also offer equity shares and bonus money (awards and achievements) to the players, and the NCAA does none of this. 

So when a top high-school prospect weighs his options, the Overtime Elite League and the NBA G-League will stand tall in front of NCAA Basketball

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Read Also: ‘Ring Leader’: Former Duke Teammate Hails Kyrie Irving For His Leadership Qualities

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Arjun Athreya

1841 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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