Arizona State University’s Global Sports Institute has teamed up with the National Basketball Association’s minor league to educate its top prospects on the business of professional basketball, expanding the deal between the school and G League.
ASU has a partnership with the NBA to offer online courses to players in the G League dating back to 2017. The deal allows players to enroll in courses and degree programs while they are playing and at any other time in their life. But Scott Brooks, the research director at the Global Sport Institute said very few players took advantage of the program in the past five years.
When Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a former NBA player and a longtime friend of Ken Shropshire, the CEO of the Global Sport Institute, took over as president of the G League in 2019, he reached out to Shropshire and asked how they could get more value out of the deal with ASU. They decided to add an education element to the G League’s Ignite team.
Ignite is a developmental basketball team affiliated with the NBA G League. The team is based out of Walnut Creek, California and the team was designed to be a one-year development program for NBA prospects. The program — an alternative path to the NBA other than playing college ball — started in 2020.