The NCAA is launching Next Generation Sunday at the 2018 Men’s Final Four to provide unprecedented opportunities for potential future student-athletes and celebrate the future of college basketball.
Next Generation Sunday will take place on April 1 and features partnerships with NBA Academies and USA Basketball for high school-age prospects from both organizations to travel to San Antonio to participate in educational, life skills and competitive programming as part of the Final Four experience.
“Through our Next Generation Sunday program, we will provide a meaningful experience for future college students and introduce them to one of the greatest sporting events in the world,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president for basketball. “Our goal is that these future college students will benefit now and in the future as students, athletes and overall as individuals.”
Participating students from across the country and around the world will receive educational and life skills programming focused on a variety of subjects, including recruiting, eligibility, and health and wellness.
Along with these educational opportunities, students will experience aspects of the Final Four from a player’s perspective. They will go behind the scenes in the locker rooms, view team lounges, tour the stadium and attend the Final Four games.
Next Generation Sunday will also feature a competition between the four teams from NBA Academies, the NBA’s signature international development initiative that consists of a network of basketball training centers around the world. The teams will scrimmage one another during the NCAA’s Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One on Sunday, April 1, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scrimmages are open to all fans who attend Fan Fest.
The four participating NBA Academy teams, representing the league’s academies in Africa, Australia, China and Latin America, will also compete against the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team in closed scrimmages during their time in San Antonio.
The NBA Academies employ a holistic, 360-degree approach to player development with focuses on education, leadership, character development and life skills. Through local partnerships, student-athletes either attend a local public school or receive a scholarship to a local private school, and all student-athletes receive academic support as needed.
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“We are excited to partner with the NCAA and USA Basketball to provide NBA Academy prospects with the opportunity to experience the excitement of the Final Four,” said Brooks Meek, NBA vice president, international basketball operations & head of elite basketball. “This new event is a great opportunity for NBA Academy prospects to receive important educational and life skills programming, while competing on the court against top competition.”
“The Next Generation program is an exciting and a remarkable opportunity for everyone involved,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball chief executive officer. “It will provide great insight to our young athletes about eligibility, recruiting and health and safety, while also providing them with an opportunity to experience the excitement of the NCAA Final Four.”