Remember about a month ago when the world was rioting after news of the reported “super league” in European soccer? Well, that super league seems to have fizzled out, but there is a new “league” the country is talking about. Enter the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC). Apparently, elite high schools like IMG Academy and Montverde (Florida) were paying attention. Starting in the 2021-22 season, elite high school basketball programs like Oak Hill Academy and Sunrise Christian will form an elite conference for high school hoops.
High School Basketball Programs in National Interscholastic Basketball Conference
As mentioned above, some of the biggest high school basketball programs will be in the conference. As of writing, Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), IMG Academy (Florida), Montverde Academy (Florida), Sunrise Christian (Kansas), Wasatch Academy (Utah) and two other schools to be announced have agreed to join the NIBC. There will be eight teams in the conference, paying a 10-game regular season. They will also play in special NIBC events and hold a postseason tournament.
Along with the eight teams, there are plans to expand the league in the coming years.
|School||State||Top Prospects (Spot in ESPN Top 60 For 2021-2022)|
|Montverde Academy||Florida||Jalen Duren (2), Dariq Whitehead (4), Jalen Hood-Schifino (28), Malik Reneau (37)|
|IMG Academy||Florida||Jarace Walker (8), Jaden Bradley (9), Eric Dailey Jr. (26), Jett Howard (33)|
|Oak Hill Academy||Virginia||M.J. Rice (11)|
|Wasatch Academy||Utah||Rickie Isaacs (40), Roddy Gayle (48),|
|Sunrise Christian||Kansas||Gradey Dick (18)|
|La Lumiere||Indiana||Vincent Iwuchukwu (21), J.J. Starling (54),|
|Two Other TBA||USA|
How the NIBC Came to Be
Rashid Ghazi, a partner at Paragon Marketing Group, will serve as the commissioner of the league. Montverde Academy Head of School Kasey Kesselring will serve as the chair of the Board of Governors, which seems like a conflict of interest, but what do I know. Ghazi had this to say about the league and plans for the future:
“With games being canceled last season due to COVID, the NIBC schools created a series of contests among themselves and brought us in to help manage the events, secure sponsorship revenue and place the games on the ESPN networks. We believe the tradition and history of the six schools combined with the expertise of Paragon creates a winning formula that will make the NIBC truly unique in the world of high school sports. For student-athletes who want to remain in high school and keep their options open for college or the G League post-graduation, the NIBC represents a tremendous platform that combines elite-level basketball with excellent academics in a real campus setting.”
History of Winning
The six teams that have been announced have combined to win the past eight national championships. Montverde takes the cake though, winning five of the past eight. In the 2021 NCAA Tournament, 44 players were former members of teams playing in the Spring. Currently, there are 24 NBA players who played for a team in the NIBC. Out of the E:60 top ten players, four of them will be playing in the NIBC this winter.
Overall, this seems like a great idea to get the top players the exposure and level of competition they need. With that being said, it is odd that high school aged kids will be flying in jets to their away games. Along with the NIL, the state of basketball is changing in America.