Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony of The Vertical reported Wednesday that the NBA is planning to open a series of new global basketball academies. The idea is to target and recruit teenagers from around the world in an effort to strengthen the league’s potential talent pool.
The young players would be recruited to high-end training facilities that focus on basketball fundamentals and education. The NBA’s vice president of international basketball operations, Brooks Meeks, told The Vertical that the league is still finalizing locations and contracts for the academies.
Wojnarowski and Givony added that the first academies are likely to be located in Africa, India, China and Australia.
Prospects, which will be in the 14 to 18-year-old range, will be targeted and offered the chance to attend a local academy. Basketball is the primary objective, though the program is designed to assist players and their families in achieving higher education as well. Educational components of the program include college scholarship funds as well as life-and-skills training for those that choose not to pursue higher education. Some prospects located in countries without an academy may be invited to join the initiative in Australia, where the program will be centered.
The NBA is working with coaches and scouts all over the world in an attempt to identify potential talent and bring them into the program. The league is expected to expand beyond the aforementioned regions in the future, however.
Agents will be allowed to meet with players interested in making the leap to the professional ranks in designated time windows. The league is also interested in another component that potentially makes the NBA Development League an attractive option for players that aren’t yet eligible to enter the draft.