Top high school basketball programs form new national league


Elite high school basketball players have more options than ever to choose the path that is right for their career.

Driving the news: Six of the best high school basketball programs in the country are form a new league called the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC), which will begin playing this fall.

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Schools: Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), Montverde Academy (Florida), La Lumiere School (Indiana), Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas), Wasatch Academy (Utah) and IMG Academy (Florida). Two other teams, still to be determined, will join for the inaugural season.

How it works: They will play a 10-game season, followed by a postseason tournament. The players will go unpaid – and therefore retain their college eligibility – but are expected to gain valuable visibility with so many top-level matchups.

The backdrop: The NIBC was technically formed last winter for a single tournament to enable these teams to compete during the pandemic. It was a success, so the idea evolved and the league could potentially grow in the years to come.

The state of play: The NIBC is one of the few new options for budding young basketball stars.

  • NBA G League Ignite pays teens over $ 500,000 to drop out of college and spend their pre-qualifying year for the NBA in the G League. Five Star Rookie Henderson Scoot became the first high school student to sign with them after graduating a year earlier.

  • Elite Overtime (OTE) is essentially a European style football academy, but for basketball. They are building a 103,000 square foot installation in Atlanta for ~ 30 high school students who will train, participate and study there. Players will earn six figures, performance bonuses, and equity.

The big picture: While G League Ignite and OTE were responses to a landscape that nullified youngsters’ ability to make money or make it into the looming 18-year-old draft NIL legislation could make the traditional university course, highlighted by NIBC, attractive again.

  • Paychecks attached to Ignite and OTE means these players start making money immediately, but they also lose college eligibility.

  • For college stars, NIL-based compensation could soon exceed six figures, while also benefiting from college experience.

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