Any elite training program should be research-based and affiliated with people with a background in science. By researching the best way to train the top athletes, we learn more about problems and flaws at younger ages and USA Basketball can incorporate the information and research into its coach education programs.
USA Basketball starts two High Performance Centers for 15 players each. These players would be those who would have gone straight to the NBA Draft before the NBA Age Limit and would give players another choice besides college or pursuing a professional contract in Europe. With the Sonics moving, I would locate one HPC in Seattle, likely at the University of Washington, and the other in the Southeast, maybe in Maryland near Baltimore (JohnsHopkinsUniversity).
High Performance Centers
- Players receive a scholarship, room and board and small living stipend; however, they forfeit their college eligibility.
- High school players finish high school at a local high school.
- Each HPC plays in the NBDL (giving the NBDL 18 teams currently)
- HPC organization also sponsors an EDL organization
- Training includes performance testing and research by the university’s staff.
- At 19, players choose to enter draft or stay in the HPC program
- HPC staffs select and invite players from the EDL organizations
- With an alternative in place, NCAA adopts a two-year minimum commitment, like NCAA baseball, for those who attend college, eliminating the rash of one-and-done players
HPC Baltimore 2007-08
O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley, Donte Greene, Eric Gordon, etc.
HPC Seattle 2007-08
Kevin Love, Kyle Singler, Derrick Rose, DeAndre Jordan, Davon Jefferson, etc.
HPC Training Schedule
Adrian Lamb, the NewcastleUnitedFootballAcademy’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, provided the training schedule of the Newcastle United u-18 Academy. Athletic skills (weights and speed/plyos) receive almost equal emphasis as technical training, while the match and match preparation receive less emphasis. Even the u-18 sides emphasize development over competition, as English Premiere League Academies limit players to a maximum of 30 games per year.
A similar schedule would provide HPC players with a bridge between high school and professional players and give players the opportunity to enhance their skills with other elite talents and through competition against older, professional players.