Aug 28, 2023
While the NCAA is still the predominant pipeline for rookie basketball talent looking to break into pro hoops, the 2023 NBA Draft showed just how far legitimate alternate pathways have come - especially for eager high school players unwilling (or unable) to go the traditional college route.
Three of this year's top-five first-round picks came from two relatively new entities - Overtime Elite (brothers Amen [4th overall, Houston Rockets] & Ausar [5th, Detroit Pistons] Thompson); and NBA G League Ignite (Scoot Henderson [3rd, Portland Trail Blazers]) - with three others from Ignite chosen in Round Two.
Neither is more than three years old, yet their collective impact on professional player development has been immediate and undeniable. But they weren't the first to attempt the model.
Brandon Williams ("The JBA League: A League of Our Own") joins the pod this week to both explain and dissect the inner workings of the true pioneer of the college-alternative route - 2018's Junior Basketball Association - the brainchild of Lonzo/LiAngelo/LaMelo-sired and Big Baller Brand founder/impresario LaVar Ball.
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