Former Golden State Warriors big man David West retired at the conclusion of last season, but he’s staying near basketball. And the two-time All-Star’s latest project might be even more impressive than anything he did on the court - and he did some impressive things on the court.
As profiled by the Wall Street Journal, West is currently trying to form a basketball league, called the Historical Basketball League. West is part of a distinguished group trying to get the league off the ground in 2020, and acts as the HBL’s Chief Operating Officer.
So, what is the league he’s working on? It’s really, really cool. In line with West’s values, which he’s always stood up for, the HBL is a college league that will pay its players, rather than letting the NCAA capitalize on unpaid labor.
While the teams won’t be directly affiliated with a school, every player in the league will receive a full scholarship to a nearby college. The league play will take place in the summer, to ensure that the players don’t sacrifice the first word in “student-athlete” just to complete the second word.
On top of that, players will be compensated, with salaries ranging from $50,000 - 150,000. They’ll be paid for the revenue their league creates - what a concept!
Will the league succeed? Who knows. It’s still in its infancy stage, and is working on collecting a $40 million investment, choosing cities for the 12-team league, and recruiting players.
But whether it succeeds or not, these types of initiatives are needed, and help push towards an environment where athletes will be compensated for the millions of dollars they generate. And they can help give student-athletes the opportunity to justly be that: student-athletes.