THE UNITED STATES BASKETBALL LEAGUE
THE LEAGUE OF OPPORTUNITY
Recognized as The League of Opportunity, the United States Basketball League (USBL) is as much involved with human resource development as it is with professional sports. The USBL has provided an opportunity for players to improve and showcase their skills for the National Basketball Association, Continental Basketball Association, D-League, and International clubs around the world. For over two decades, the USBL has been the springboard for numerous professional playing careers.
The USBL season runs from late April (after the conclusion of the collegiate basketball season) until late June (before the start of NBA rookie and free agent camps). For draft-hopeful collegians, the USBL is the premiere summer league, which offers a sound transition from the college to the professional game. The USBL’s playing rules are identical to the NBA’s rules, with the added stipulation that each team carries at least two rookies on its roster. This provides a maximum opportunity for players looking to showcase their skills as well as stay in prime physical and mental condition prior to the NBA Draft.
The list of premiere rookies from the USBL who have made their mark in the NBA includes the USBL Class of 1985: 7-7 center Manute Bol (NBA blocked shots leader as a rookie in 1985-86), 5-7 guard Spud Webb (1986 NBA Slam-Dunk Champion), forward John “Hot Rod” Williams (NBA All-Rookie selection in 1986-87) and guard Michael Adams (1992 NBA All-Star). Other successful USBL "alums" include Raja Bell, Mike James, and Jamario Moon to name a few.
In addition to player development, the USBL offers excellent opportunities for coaches, referees, and front office administrative personnel seeking to further their respective careers. Coaches receive experience by working with players and designing game strategies while referees are presented with a challenge of officiating fast-paced, action packed professional games. People involved with management aspects gain unparalleled experience and insights into the operation of a professional sports franchise. Franchises also become more involved with their communities by providing a professional sports team, which becomes an active vehicle for pleasure, community service and profit.
Not only is the USBL a developmental forum, but it is also a revolutionary business enterprise. Established as the only professional sports league to utilize franchising techniques, the USBL offers potential owners one of the least expensive franchises to purchase and operate in the professional sports industry. The sensible expansion blueprint and realistic budgets allow businesspersons the opportunity to become involved at a reasonable investment level. Corporate sponsors, who seek to reap the benefits of an association with professional athletics, also receive an excellent return on their investment through the achievement of solid market value and grass roots penetration.
An emphasis on sound operations, proven business methods and a commitment to its players, coaches, owners and fans translates into a winning and successful formula for the USBL and everyone involved with “The League of Opportunity.”