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Sunday, June 13th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  7 responses

Jason Terry, Others Trying To Better AAU Basketball

The Amateur Athletic Union hoops scene can be classified as “shady” at times. Jason Terry, among other NBA players, is trying to help clean AAU ball up, for his kids and others like them. As NBA.com writes: “AAU basketball has changed since [Jason] Terry’s days in the early 1990s. With NBA salaries skyrocketing from around $1 million then to more than $5 million, the organization is much more of a juicy target for people who want to latch onto kids in hopes of getting a piece of the action. Terry knew about those problems and more — players jumping squads during a tournament, kids lying about their age, parents who encourage such things — because besides playing for the Dallas Mavericks, he helped train four players who recently came through the AAU system. So of course he was leery about signing up his daughter. Then he had another idea. Why not start his own AAU program? Terry is now among dozens, perhaps hundreds, of current and former NBA players with their own clubs, guys like LeBron James, Lamar Odom, Devin Harris and Mike Bibby. Their motivation is simple: Giving back to the program that helped turn them into multimillionaires, while trying to improve things for the next generation — which, for guys like Terry and Bibby, includes their own children.’We don’t want the kids to be exploited at such a young age,’ Harris said. ‘We want … to do it the right way.’ Harris and James are among those who’ve taken over the program they came through. James — whose AAU career was documented in the movie “More Than A Game” — sponsors fifth-graders to 16-and-under. ’I wanted kids to have that same experience that me and my friends had,’ he said. ‘If you don’t have the right support system, the right guidance running the program, then it can get really bad.’”

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  • http://www.yougotdunkedon.com LilKDub503

    This is good, but there are only so many NBA players that can afford to sponsor AAU teams. A lot of marginal players who wish to get better in the lower ranks, like myself, are left hanging out to dry or still forced to pay hundreds of dollars to just play in a few tournaments around the city.

  • http://All33sports.blogspot.com Aznballa3

    It sounds good but yeah i agree, they should work on making it more affordable along with “doing it right”. I know that as of now, most club teams play with horrible sportsmanship; they cuss on the court and talk smack. And the parents chime in; it’s getting nasty.

  • nastierthanu

    Have game will travel. If u want it go get it. I rarely ever played pick up in high school lost my scholorship in college track but made the team on the jersey shore league. Some roads are tougher than others but u gotta be willing to put miles on ur car and sneak into a couple of gyms if u have to

  • e

    i dont care who you are or what aau you plaay for if you putting in work people gonna hear about it and you will get seen

  • Sarah

    That’s nice to believe ^ but a little idealistic unfortunately

  • Andrea

    I ran AAU track as a youngster and my son now plays AAU basketball and track. When everyone talks money, its not just about joining the team. AAU is played across the country and it’s the travel that the money must cover along with feeding the kids while they’re in the care of the coaches and team parents. While the system needs to be looked at, I believe the financial aspect is such that it is out of necessity. Think about the booster clubs at our kid’s schools that have to raise funds for their teams. Same concept. I know as a parent if I want my child to be looked at, I have to be willing to pay for the sporting events he participates in both at school and outside of school.

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