Publish date: Dec 2, 2010
The NCAA and the NBA joined forces in April 2008 to launch a wide-ranging initiative aimed at enhancing youth basketball programs in the United States, called iHoops.
iHoops creates a platform for teaching youth the value of education and the important lessons of fair play.
While iHoops operates as a business, it was developed with -- and will continue to benefit from -- input from a broad cross-section of parties that have an interest in youth basketball, including USA Basketball, the National Federation of State High Schools, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), coaches' associations at every level, and the leading shoe companies.
Based in Indianapolis, iHoops is currently led by Len Elmore, who began his position of CEO in May 2010.
The initiative focuses on five central objectives:
- Building strong communities The initiative developed a website and social network that is the ultimate destination for the youth basketball community. With the lack of a single organization giving structure to youth programs, the on-line destination is an informational and fun meeting place designed to connect boys and girls, their families, teams, coaches and event organizers to further enhance their experience with basketball.
- Educating athletes The venture contributes to the social, educational and athletic development of young players through summer basketball camps and planned skills evaluation programs.
- Supporting coaches Working in conjunction with the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, NBA Coaches Association and the National Federation of State High Schools, the initiative develops a coaching education and certification program as well as a code of conduct for coaches
- Developing officials The initiative develops educational programs for youth basketball officials to increase their knowledge and proficiency of the rules and to certify them at all levels of youth competition.
- Events for youth competition The venture works with existing sanctioning organizations to establish national standards for future competitions and also maintains and publishes a national calendar of basketball events. In addition, the initiative includes the existing clearinghouse function which determines athletes' eligibility to participate in collegiate basketball.