Thank you Luc Longley for choosing college over the NBL - Michael Jordan.
Yesterday I started to blog about the under 23 rule the NBL has ran with over the past few years.
Today I will continue to elaborate and expand one why I think this rule needs to be scrapped.
Still using some of the material from Boti Nagy's article, lets take a look at this quote from someone from within the hallways of the NBL office.
"The whole rationale behind reserving one place for a young Australian player within each team's 10 contracted roster positions was to offer an alternative pathway for athletes looking for elite competition to the U.S. college system."
News alert. Gone are the days that young Aussie hoopers are happy to dream of pulling on the jersey of their home team (providing they have one). There is a bigger picture that has been created by the likes of Luc Longley, Andrew Gaze, Andrew Bogut and Pat Mills' success at the college level.
Aussies are running to the US college system in record numbers in the hope that they can keep working on and improving their games with the hope that the moneytrain called the NBA or Europe comes calling after a period of time.
Sure, over the past few years we have seen Joe Ingles and Brad Newley forgo the college route to stay home and develop via the NBL, but they have now been lost to our game. (It would be interesting to see if either of these guys would reconsider their path taken.) Plus they are the exception to the rule.
If basketball in Australia wants to provide a pathway for juniors to the pro level in this country, they need to cultivate a better system than the current.
Basketball needs to find it's "cash cow" so each NBL franchise can implement (something similar to the NRL) an u/23's competition in conjunction with the NBL.
Although this sounds good in theory, I'd still debate whether there is enough junior depth to support such a concept but if we are to change the landscape of our sport something like this has to take place.
It would be great to see the development of the likes of Brock Motum, Cody Ellis and Jorden Page right before our eyes instead of heading across the Pacific to college. But the simple fact that our sport does not have a system in place to stop this exodus we cannot throw rules in to make it look like we are developing youth.
Go through the NBL rosters and look at the u/23 player at each team. Please let me know who you think will have a productive 10 year career in the NBL. My pencil is still very sharp.
Tell me what last year's Young Australian Players Steven Broom and Zac carter are doing now?
The best option for kids right now is to head to college in the USA and continue to develop their game, while getting an education as well.
There is no doubting that I'm in favour of the college experience. I'm a great example of this path as there is no way I would have achieved what I did in the game without spreading my wings and heading to the northern hemisphere for college.
I hope the NBL has an overhaul of the age rule rather soon so we stop penalizing kids that are simply taking the best career path on offer right now.
- Joe Ingles is close to signing in Europe with CB Granada. (you will google translator)
- Townsville Crocodiles sign Mackay junior Todd Blanchfield.