GBOA Overview

What is Grassroots/AAU Basketball?

Grassroots basketball, commonly referred to as AAU basketball, is played by the top high school basketball players in the country each year from April through August. Once the high school basketball season ends in March, the top players from each region form all-star traveling teams that compete at the highest level throughout the summer months at a series of tournaments across North America. The basketball talent is unmatched -- every top-rated basketball player plays grassroots basketball in the summer. Former players include Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and OJ Mayo, to name but a few.

History of Grassroots Basketball (Before GBOA Hoops)

Grassroots basketball has been around for more than 20 years but it has never had any structure or organization. Loosely organized by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), grassroots basketball has more than 1,500 teams in North America that play in hundreds of lowly-attended and non-publicized tournaments during the summer months. However, these young superstar athletes have a cult-like following that looks up to them and has an undying thirst for watching them play basketball.

Make no mistake about it, however, grassroots basketball provides an extremely valuable service for these young amateur athletes. Grassroots basketball provides a platform for talented young athletes, both male and female, to showcase their skills for a wide array of collegiate athletic institutions. As a result, many grassroots basketball players earn full or partial collegiate scholarships that allow them to attend these institutions of higher learning. Without grassroots basketball, many of these young student athletes would not otherwise be able to pursue a college education.

Recent Controversy

The lack of structure, organization and rules in grassroots basketball has fueled concerns over the long-term viability of grassroots basketball. Furthermore, grassroots basketball is often blamed for failing to teach young basketball stars the necessary fundamentals of basketball. This argument has gained momentum following the United States team’s recent struggles in international basketball competitions. Without structure and organization, grassroots basketball will continue to falter. The time has arrived for significant structural changes to improve the perception of grassroots basketball. Grassroots basketball must better serve its three main constituents: its players, its fans and its corporate partners.

GBOA Hoops: Improving Grassroots Basketball

The intersection of increased grassroots basketball scrutiny, lack of organizational structure and concern over player development has created the “perfect storm” in grassroots basketball. The time to restructure grassroots basketball has arrived and GBOA Hoops will improve the system by sustaining the strengths of grassroots basketball while improving its weaknesses:

Strengths of Current Grassroots Basketball System:

  • Create platform for top-rated high school basketball players to showcase skills
  • Opportunity for top-rated high school players to earn collegiate scholarships
  • Provide safe and productive outlet for youth activities

Weaknesses of Current Grassroots Basketball System:

  • Suffers from lack of structure, organization and rules
  • Failure to promote and publicize events to cult-like fan base
  • No media (internet, television) coverage of events

Understanding the issues facing grassroots basketball today, the top grassroots coaches in the country have bonded together to form an organization dedicated to improving the grassroots game through a formalized league structure, interactive fan-friendly tournament operations and extensive media coverage. The new organization, Grassroots Basketball of America (“GBOA Hoops”), maintains the strengths of grassroots basketball while addressing all of the concerns surrounding its structure.