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Author Topic: Interesting article about BBall development problems in the states  (Read 1039 times)

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Offline Lightning

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Draw your own conclusions...........

College Basketball Expert Mike DeCourcy
Basketball is broken; here's a program to fix it

Posted: October 11, 2006

If you've been watching Dwyane Wade, Joakim Noah or O.J. Mayo, it might be hard to tell, but basketball in this country is broken. Well, maybe not broken. It's more like a car leaking oil, stuttering through second gear and ominously hissing.

The people in charge of the sport -- leaders in the NCAA, NBA, USA Basketball, the high school federations and the two largest sneaker companies -- know that, and late last month they gathered in Indianapolis. There they agreed to form a group to study issues surrounding the youth game and produce a report early next year.

What will the group discuss? Its members won't say. So I'll tell you what they should consider.

Acknowledge basketball is not simply an "activity." So long as the folks running school athletics view the game as if it's no more important than French Club, nothing will change. When people in charge treat the game that way, players ignore the people in charge.

Only a select few will make their livings playing professionally. But then, only a select few actors, dancers and musicians make it big. Treating those disciplines with respect in the academic world allows participants who don't become stars to proudly teach their skills to young people. What about at least some course credit for playing hoops at the college level?

Make learning a prerequisite to playing. We wouldn't hand a piano to an 8-year-old kid and expect him to play Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." Why do we expect young basketball players to excel without comprehending the game? One elite college freshman recently admitted to a coach that he didn't understand basic terms such as back screen and down screen.

Develop a certification program for coaches. With assistance from the other organizations, USA Basketball could develop a program for training and certifying coaches who work with youth, club, high school and collegiate teams. That is done for officials at all levels; there's no reason refs should know the game better than those teaching it.

Allow coaches to coach. High school federations started the AAU basketball problem, if you want to call it that, by passing rules preventing high school coaches from running summer league teams. If high school coaches were more involved, there'd be less of a void for the questionable AAU guys to fill.

With college coaches prevented from offering summer training, players employ workout coaches to help them get better. So who pays for such sessions? Those whose families have money usually pay for themselves. Those whose families are not as well off might wind up being funded by friends or agents or agents' friends.

Start an elite basketball academy. The NCAA views this -- the formation of an academy allowing about 40 high school players to spend mornings in school and afternoons training and competing -- as a narrow issue. Perhaps, but most amateurism problems are concentrated among elite players, and training those players differently would impact the quality of play at college and pro levels.

These academies have worked in baseball, soccer and, overseas, in basketball. The United States is behind on this but not so far behind it cannot catch up.
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Re: Interesting article about BBall development problems in the states
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2006, 07:37:23 PM »
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