What the NBA G League Means For Businesses and Colleges

nbagleague

The NBA’s G League is kind of a like a minor league for the NBA. Players in the G League are considered professionals, and they are paid. However, something very interesting has happened over the last several weeks. Top college prospects are electing to enter the G League rather than going to college for a year before entering the NBA draft.

Up until now, it was common for elite high school  basketball players to go to a top-tier basketball school for one year. In doing so, they raised their own stock and gained a national spotlight, but they also made a lot of other people very, very rich while not being allowed to legally earn a cent for themselves.

Jalen Green, who is largely considered to be the best of the best among high school seniors, is reported to earn $500,000 his first year in the G League. After that first year, he’ll be allowed to enter the NBA draft for, presumably, quite a bit more.

You probably have an opinion about the basketball angle of all this, but that’s not really what I want to talk to you about. No, I want to talk about why kids bother going to college at all.

Now, obviously, college is the only path for many professions–teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc.

However, quite a few of us land jobs that have virtually nothing to do with our degrees–it’s just the fact that we have a degree that allow us to obtain a job.

According to The Street, who got their information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American makes an annual income of around $48,672. The average annual college tuition is somewhere around $15,000. Keep in mind, that’s just the tuition. If you need room and board, that’s another $10,000. In other words, an average American can expect to pay somewhere around $100,000 total for an average public university’s undergraduate degree.

I teach at a local high school, and the idea of paying $100,000 for college is a crippling one, especially if a student has no idea what they want to do with their lives. Most of my students just want to live comfortably. Most want to earn a decent living. Taking on $100,000 worth of debt, plus interest, to earn somewhere around $50,000 a year doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to them.

If given the choice, I think most would opt for the Jalen Green route. Go right into the work force with the opportunity to earn lots more while learning valuable skills.

Frankly, I’m surprised corporations don’t offer their own in-house universities. Almost all of the large corporations have some kind of a learning and development department, and almost all of them offer ongoing training for certificates and advancements. Imagine if a corporation hired an eighteen-year-old at an entry-level position, then offered free courses specific to that corporation’s field of interest that the new employee could take at their own pace. After so many hours, the employee would have the equivalent of a college degree, and they could then use that degree to go find other jobs in the same field (if they chose to do so). Consequently, I’m guessing most would stay with the corporation that groomed them.

I’m going to be honest with you–I paid for a lot of classes at college that had no bearing on my career as a teacher nor did they particularly interest me. (Geology comes immediately to mind. My apologies to all of the geologists out there.)

I personally believe in the power of education. I also appreciate that college is intended for the student to receive a well-rounded education on a variety of topics. I know that education is the path to greater success and ultimately provides an easier life for nearly everyone. However, I also admit that college has become far too expensive for the average American, and that college is not particularly appealing to the average American because much of it seems unnecessary.

Education and college should not have to be one and the same when it comes to a high school graduate’s earning potential.

So why aren’t corporations following the NBA’s model? Why aren’t they creating their own “G League?” And if they do, what will be the colleges’ response?

 

Get To Know Pete Moore

Perhaps you didn’t hear the news, but Pete Moore is now managing the historic Normal Theater in Uptown Normal.

I’d like to take a few moments to talk about why this is great for the community.

Make no mistake, though.  While I’ll try to be objective, I’ve known Pete for over ten years – he was in a my wedding, we’ve played countless card games together, our kids have play dates, and I count him among my friends.  So yes, I’m going to gush a little, but he deserves it.

I could tell from the moment I met Pete that he was an innovator.  At the time, he ran a website called BloomingtonNormal.com.  The website had much to do with the local Bloomington-Normal scene, and when he found out I wrote fiction, he invited me to provide content.  He also wrote for the site, and I tell you, it was some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read.  A lot of people are funny in person, but Pete had a way of conveying his humor to the printed word in such an effortless, effective style that I quickly grew jealous and remain so to this day.

Pretty soon, Pete started using something called a “blog.”  He told me about it, helped me start my own, and, by 2003, we were off to the races with something about to catch on with the masses.  We all know what a blog is today, but back then it was not commonplace nor was it always user friendly.  I still have the html language cheat sheet that Pete made me to help me navigate those murky waters.

Soon thereafter, Pete started doing something called a “podcast.”  Again, I had no idea what that was, but Pete did.  Back in the early 2000’s, podcasts were incredibly difficult to produce and clunky to deliver online, but this did not stop Pete.  In fact, before long he produced two podcasts!  Both of these podcasts dealt quite a bit with music, which is a passion of Pete’s.  Like with technology, Pete loves to discover great bands before they get hot.  Honestly, he’s helped more than a a few bands gain a following.  (He’s actually a musician himself, too.)

This is Pete Moore.  He is always ahead of the curve.  He knows about the next cool thing before it arrives.  He’s typically the guy who tells us about the next cool thing!

Want to know just how much of a trendsetter Pete is?  Have you heard the phrase “BloNo” or seen the hashtag #BloNo?  Pete created that.  He’s proven it to me, and he can prove it to you.  If you’re on Twitter, you know how hard it is to create a hashtag that actually lasts longer than a moment, but Pete created one that transcended Twitter and is now part of the everyday vocabulary in Bloomington-Normal!  This kind of thing is very rare indeed.

And while Pete is certainly a guy with his finger on the digital and entertainment pulse, he’s also a man with tons of public relations experience.  He’s worked on numerous fund raisers, provided necessary public services, and supported several charitable causes.  He’s actively involved withe the Bloomington-Normal business scene, and I challenge you to find a mover and shaker in the BloNo area that is not on a first name basis with Pete.

That’s why I’m so excited that he’s now managing the Normal Theater.  I love the exterior look of the Normal Theater, but I haven’t had the “push” to actually go inside since 1995 when I was an ISU freshman and there was an old James Bond movie playing.  I have no doubt that Pete will deliver new, must-see events.  I am certain that he’ll regularly provide dynamic experiences for BloNo to enjoy.  He knows technology, he knows social media, he knows music, he knows movies, he knows pop-culture, he knows business, he knows public relations… he’s tailor-made for this position.

I wish Pete Moore all the best, and you can be sure I’ll be the first guy in line when he rolls out his first spectacular event.