NBA, NCAA, adidas + Nike: Together!
by Ben Osborne
As I mentioned in my Live Blog last night, the NBA and NCAA (in conjunction with sneaker giants/rivals adidas and Nike), have come together to launch iHoops to, says the story on NBA.com, provide a structure and to develop programs to improve the quality of youth basketball in order to enhance the athletic, educational and social experience of the participants.
There will be components of the program for every youth player in the US, from ages 6 to 18, including a social networking aspect that will be run by active.com.
As iHoops CEO Kevin Weiberg put it last night, With today’s announcement, we have laid a very solid foundation for achieving our goal to improve the environment in youth basketball for boys and girls, parents, coaches and officials. We are pleased to have adidas and Nike join as iHoops founding partners, collaborate with the key stakeholders in American basketball, and support the efforts for the long-term good of the game.
These are lofty goals, and I hope that they end up being both for the good of the game and the young people that play it. Obviously basketball is a great sport but we all know that plenty of rules have developed over the years regarding coaches, tournaments, high school eligibility, college eligibility, Draft eligibility, etc that can send mixed messages to the elite youth players in this country. Can iHoops bring some uniformity to the process and help the careers of everyone from the 12th man on an AAU 9-and-under summer team to McDonald’s All-Americans? I don’t know, but the historic pairing of the NBA and NCAA (not alwways the best partners) and adidas and Nike (never the best partners), arguably the four largest influences on the game in this country, means that iHoops has a chance to do something special.
Lastly, the logo gets cut off a bit on our homepage, so here’s the full deal: