The NBA G League has tabbed Walnut Creek, Calif. to be the home of its new “G League Select Team,” The Athletic reported Monday. The league had also considered Los Angeles as a potential fit, the San Francisco Chronicle added.
In 2018, the G League announced the creation of a new path for elite prospects who want to forgo college and are eligible to play in the minor league, but not yet in the NBA.
The G League began offering “select contracts” worth a minimum of $125,000 in the 2019-20 season. Players on select contracts have to be at least 18 years old and contracts are not available to those who have been through an NBA draft.
The new team, which will reportedly pay players up to $500,000, was announced in April.
In June, five-time NBA champion Brian Shaw was announced as the head coach of the “NBA G League Select Team,” which is unaffiliated with any existing NBA G League franchise or NBA team.
Over the last few months, a number of top high school prospects, including five-star recruits Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix, have opted to skip the NCAA route to play on the team next season.
On July 30, 6-10 forward Princepal Singh also committed to the professional path out of India, becoming the first NBA Academy graduate to sign with the G League and the first NBA Academy India graduate to sign a professional contract.
The program promises players “year-round professional growth,” and in addition to basketball development opportunities, will include life skills mentorship and academic scholarship.
Offerings are set to include summer workouts through existing NBA infrastructure like NBA Summer League and NBA Academies, year-round education programs designed to increase players’ ability to personally and professionally manage their careers, and a scholarship program for athletes who want to pursue higher education after their playing days.
The G League’s 2019-20 season was a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, ahead of the NBA’s restarted bubble season, the G League canceled the remainder of its campaign.