When a four-year college basketball player is drafted in the first round, it is an exception to the rule. Yes, it absolutely happens and there are recent examples but, in many situations, professional basketball scouts often seem to take something away from seniors based on age and, well, the fact that the player remained at the college level for four seasons.
With that in mind, Intersport announced on Tuesday that the company is putting together a 3-on-3 basketball tournament that will include seniors during Final Four weekend (Mar. 30 through Apr. 1) in San Antonio. The company’s vice president of sports properties, Drew Russell, said the following in an official statement:
“Based on our storied and successful history of creating and producing live college events for more than 30 years, Intersport is perfectly positioned to bring 3-on-3 basketball to the college game. We’ve been in the planning stages for months and are excited to bring this new and exciting opportunity to market for the very first time.”
The big selling point, though, is that the teams will include “all-star teams from college basketball’s top conferences” and the prize pool for the event is $100,000. The release makes sure to note that only seniors that “have exhausted their college eligibility” will be able to participate in the event but this is sure to draw a watchful eye from the NCAA regardless.
On the surface, it would appear that there isn’t much the NCAA can do, simply because players involved would technically no longer be college athletes. Still, the place on the calendar will certainly attract attention based on the proximity to the Final Four and there could be some recognizable names in the mix.
Most four-year players aren’t going to play professionally anywhere, much less in the NBA. Given that reality, it seems like a good idea to provide some financial incentive to place high-level players on the floor for a weekend and it will be intriguing to see what the next step is for this event.