In communities across the country, recreational basketball is more than a way to pass the time while staying in shape; it’s a lifestyle filled with passion for the sport. Still, not everyone who loves basketball will make it to the professional level, whether it be the NBA or the WNBA. Some won’t even make it to the NCAA level and participate in March Madness despite possessing an incredible amount of natural athleticism and the grades to get into college.
So, what’s missing? Why do so many young men and women struggle to take their basketball skills to the next level? The answers aren’t easy to come by, especially when you consider socio-economic factors, and it only gets more complex when you add the coronavirus pandemic on top of it all.
That’s the problem we face today in our communities of color. The will and the academic talents are there; the only thing missing is a way for basketball players to continue playing the sport. Only a select, elite few receive invitations to Elite AAU teams or get scholarship offers from power conferences like the Big 10 and the ACC.
But tech entrepreneur Jamar Johnson, the founder and CEO of the CBLHoopCity app, saw an opportunity to build something truly unique in the basketball world: an amateur recreational league that users can access through an app and compete for cash prizes, totaling $1.6 million.
The big picture: building a community for adult non-professional basketball players and enthusiast
Mr. Johnson started the CBL back in 2008 as a modest offline summer basketball league with a basic website. Today, the CBL has evolved into what Mr. Johnson considers the 3.0 version, and now the league is ready to onboard players and teams across the country. It’s one thing to have an idea; it’s another thing to execute on that idea and see it through to the end. That’s exactly what Mr. Johnson has accomplished, yet he isn’t stopping there.
At its core, the CBLHoopCity will be a competitive and fun basketball league experience for non-professional players who still love the game despite not making it to college or the pros. No other recreational-based basketball league is doing anything close to this concept, and it’s for a good reason: there are no huge profits in the adult recreational basketball world, only the love for the game by its participants.
Overall, the idea is to create a platform to empower and build a community for this marketplace of players, and honestly, nothing like it exists at the national level. All you really have across the country are fitness centers and city parks and rec leagues that don’t really offer any compensation other than self-confidence, respect, and maybe a T-shirt or a miniature size trophy, that is normally given to kids for sports awards.
But the CBLHoopCity challenge is different, and here’s why.
How is CBLHoopCity app different from other recreational leagues?
Without a doubt, basketball is a unique sport in the United States. Other countries have pro leagues, but it’s different here. It’s not only a sport because sports can teach life lessons, and that’s equally as important as staying fit and active.
Eventually, all athletes learn a hard lesson: you either sharpen your skills to make it to the next level, or you hit the ceiling and can’t progress any further in your career. Just imagine putting 20 to 22 years into a sport you love and cherish, and then you must realize and accept that your talent level doesn’t suffice to play at the next level. It happens all the time.
No matter how you try to sugarcoat it, it’s never easy when a young man or a young woman has been told that they will not be able to fulfill their dream of playing at their next level, despite putting two decades of work into the game. But the CBLHoopCity app is a way for basketball players to continue with their passion and careers after all other avenues close.
Not everyone can be LeBron James and jump straight to the number one pick in the NBA draft, nor can every young man or woman who plays basketball grow up to be like Michael Jordan. It takes a platform to get to that level because it doesn’t happen on its own, especially since talent isn’t necessarily the problem. Not every young basketball player receives the same level of coaching during pivotal periods of their development. Often, there’s an additional development period that gets overlooked.
Yet, the CBLHoopCity app wants to change that – and change it for the better in ways none of us can predict now. When you build a national league and community experience for passionate recreational players, anything can happen once it takes off. Look how quickly the AAU developed as a farm system for top NCAA basketball programs for the entire college basketball network.
Either way, the CBLHoopCity League at its core provides players with an alternative when the traditional roots to success are no longer available after high school and after college basketball as well. Best of all, Mr. Johnson founded this league and oversaw the development of the application that will run it all, so you can rest assured that everything young basketball players need to play is there.
News Source: BlackNews / Written Credits: BlackNews