We are back...Summer Pro League
We are back! The original Southern California Summer Pro Basketball League was first established in 1970 by Dick Marquis. John Younesi acquired the SPL in 1992 and developed it into the place to see good quality summer professional basketball. The SPL showcase NBA sponsored teams who featured their 1st and 2nd year players and a combination of free agent teams with a mix of rookies and various unsigned players. Over 800 current and former NBA stars have participated in the SPL, including Magic Johnson, Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar, Danny Manning, Carmello Anthony and Kobe Bryant. The SPL helped professional basketball players and the amateur player who was on the cusp of professional careers to launch or hone their skills and gain exposure to professional scouts and agents, while providing basketball fans, as well as sports media outlets, a closer look at players playing in professional competition.
Today, times have changed. The NBA incorporated a more hands on approach to their brand and created a similar summer basketball league in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unfortunately, this new league forced many NBA teams to reluctantly switch allegiance and take their teams to Las Vegas, with the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers being the last teams to switch over.
After a three year sabbatical, the SPL is back in Los Angeles. The Summer Pro League realized that with so many new professional basketball leagues springing up in all parts of the world, there remains an enormous thirst for basketball players (amateurs, free agent and unsigned professionals) to find venues to play before foreign and developmental basketball team representatives. However, the only thing that was lacking was a professional venue that brought scouts and agents together to watch talented players play in a uniquely organized setting. If you are an unsigned free agent and were not invited to play for an NBA summer team where do you go? Needing to meet a growing demand, the Summer Pro League will become a scouting combines league, a title made famous and recognized within the NFL. This league will become a vital step for basketball players outside of the NBA and other pro league shadows to participate and achieve their dreams of playing for a professional basketball team. The SPL, once an event that catered mainly to NBA players and teams, is now a launching pad for unsigned and under-exposed basketball players wanting to impress an agent or scout.
The Southern California Summer Pro Basketball League inaugural return season will commence in July 2012, right after the NBA championship series and NBA draft. All games will be played in Los Angeles, California. The league will feature eight or twelve teams, each with a maximum of 12 players on the team's roster. Each team will play 16 games (four games per week) beginning on July 1st and ending on July 31st. The top two teams with the league's best records will play for the league's championship. All games will be officiated and scored by collegiate and/or professional referees and scorekeepers. The NBA Pro rules will be followed for each professional game.
By Walt Thompson