Through the Junior Basketball Association, funded by the Big Baller Brand, Ball wants to put together 10 teams with about 80 players. And he hopes to let his players play ball in NBA arenas around the country.
‘Someone has to pay these kids’
As Ball explained to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, it won’t be hard to attract players to the association. After all, colleges don’t pay their student athletes, whereas Ball wants to give the players between $3,000 and $10,000 per month.
“Getting these players is going to be easy,” Ball said. “This is giving guys a chance to get a jump-start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts, and we’re going to pay them because someone has to pay these kids.”
— Lavar Ball (@Lavarbigballer) December 21, 2017
According to Ball, NCAA president Mark Emmert at the SportsBusiness Journal Intercollegiate Athletics Forum inspired him to create the league when he made comments last month about student athletes who wanted to go pro.
“Is this a part of someone being part of your university as a student-athlete or is it about using college athletics to prepare yourself to be a pro? If it’s the latter, you shouldn’t be there in the first place,” Emmert said at the time.
Ball said that Emmert was right, though not for the reasons Emmert might think.
“Kids who are one-and-done, they shouldn’t be there with the NCAA trying to hold them hostage, not allowing them to keep the jersey they wear while selling replicas of them in stores,” Ball explained.
While the association still has a long way to go and still needs actual players and venues before it can host any games, this could be an excellent alternative for student athletes who dream of making it big if it works.