Former NBA player David West will be joining the Historical Basketball League (HBL) as the COO, the league told CBB Today. An official announcement is expected to be made on Monday.
“I want to be on the right side of history, it’s that simple,” said West. “These guys playing with passion and for the love of the game is true, but they also deserve an opportunity to share in the profits they help generate. We need to change this narrative. We need to create a path that gives players the option to take a more professional step toward their careers and personal development. Offering athletes educational opportunities that are innovative, tangible and applicable to their future pursuits gives them the ability to maximize their potential during their brief time as college students.”
The HBL is an attempt to bring student-athletes both an education and pay while playing basketball at the collegiate level. A focus has previously been put on bringing in HBCUs into the fold. In an attempt to allow basketball programs to remain eligible for NCAA related activities, the HBL’s format would ask a school to have a second, non-NCAA men’s basketball program — different players and coaches. A player salary, as well as as a scholarship, will be offered to players who are eligible for the league.
“We are extremely excited to add David West as our COO,” said Ricky Volante, CEO of the HBL. “David is a thoughtful leader that deeply understands the injustices of amateurism, and has the courage to help us disrupt it and build a better opportunity. David has expert knowledge of the transition from high school and AAU athlete, to college student, to NBA veteran and champion. He’s a respected mentor to our various stakeholders in the AAU, coaching, and NBA player communities.”
For more depth on what the Historical Basketball League is, why it originally formed, its plans, and so on, I wrote a feature story on them in February prior to the organization gaining as much ground as it has.
A two-time NBA All-Star, having had stints with the Pacers, Pelicans, Spurs and Warriors, David West retired from the NBA at the end of last season.
Joseph Nardone has been covering college basketball for nearly a decade for various outlets in a variety of ways. You can follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone.
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