August 29, 2007 - American Basketball Association (ABA)
New York, NY/Indianapolis, IN. Millions of amateur basketball players will run the hardwood, playground, and backyard courts of America in these last weeks of summer, looking forward to the pro season, dreaming of a chance to play with the top basketball players in the world, and for some - even hoping to get signed by a pro team.
For one talented amateur athlete, the chance to play with the pros could come as early as October. All he needs are his skills, a video camera, and the votes of a panel of judges including veteran NBA center John Thomas, the Houston Rockets' Mike James, and thousands of other basketball players at all levels who are members of Sportsvite, a popular online community where recreational athletes at all levels connect with others and organize teams for more than 125 sports (www.sportsvite.com).
"We all started as amateur athletes before we rose to the pro ranks," said Mr. Thomas, a member (http://sportsvite.com/player/jthomas) of Sportsvite, which is sponsoring the contest with the American Basketball Association (www.abalive.com). "I was such a bad player when I first started. However, I had a bunch of great people around me to help me navigate through my plan."
Rounding out the pros on the judging panel: Will Voigt, 2007 ABA Coach of the Year (Vermont Frost Heaves of the ABA); Mike Curtis, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA, and Will Leitch, editor of sports blog Deadspin (www.deadspin.com).
"Sportsvite is about bringing the amateur and pro sports communities closer together, and giving thousands of recreational athletes unprecedented access to the players and coaches at the highest level of sports," said Neal Shenoy, Sportsvite's VP for Corporate Development.
The grand prize winner will suit up for a game with a local ABA team and will receive an all-expenses paid private tryout to become the first professional athlete ever signed off the Internet.
"Sportsvite is connecting the ABA with thousands of the most enthusiastic athletes and fans in the country," said Joe Newman, ABA co-founder and chairman. "We want to see one of them on an ABA team in the fall."
For more information on Sportsvite, please contact Keith Emmer at 212 920 9205. For more information about the ABA, please visit www.abalive.com or call 317 844 7502.
Note: OurSports Central no longer actively covers the American Basketball Association (ABA) as a professional league due in part to its inability to publish and play a schedule and the transitory nature of many of its teams. For information on professional minor leagues, please see OSC's basketball section.