USA Basketball Announces U.S. Open Youth Championships

    USA Basketball announced the launch of its 2018 U.S. Open Basketball Championships, a youth initiative intended to add opportunity, standards and quality to the youth basketball environment that is dominated by the often sketchy and over-saturated AAU environment.

    Offered through USA Basketballs Youth Development division, the Championships will be an inclusive tournament structure in which existing tournaments meeting USA Basketball approved youth development standards will serve as qualifying events. 

    The qualifying process will require teams to compete in one of the USA Basketball certified tournaments throughout the United States. Approximately 3,000 teams, 36,000 players and 6,000 coaches will take part in the selected qualifying tournaments across the country. To weed out the undesirables who stalk the sidelines during the spring and summer AAU season who have little acumen and experience, all participating coaches will be required to possess a valid USA Basketball Coach License.

    The 2018 U.S. Open Basketball Championships will consist of six groups of play: eighth grade boys,
    eighth grade girls, 13 and under boys, 13 and under girls, 12 and under boys and 12 and under girls.
    Additionally, each age or grade category will offer two divisions to provide for varying levels of competition and ability. 

    The Stars division will be offered for established and competitive club teams that regularly compete regionally and/or nationally. The Stripes division is offered for newer and/or locally based recreational teams seeking compatible competition.

    Jay Bilas on Twitter

    So cool that @usabasketball has started the U.S. Open Basketball Championships for young players. Great opportunities for players and coaches. https://t.co/4UGYFiGRMj

    The game of basketball continues to grow in popularity both here in the United States and globally. As
    the national governing body for basketball in the United States, USA Basketball is fulfilling its responsibility to promote and develop the game, to provide opportunities for competition, and to set standards for youth basketball. The U.S. Open Basketball Championships, and other complementary initiatives, are based on common standards so that we can continue to enhance the integrity, safety, and enjoyment of the game, said USA Basketball chairman, retired General Martin Dempsey. The U.S. Open Basketball Championships competition structure is designed to be inclusive and impart proper youth playing standards throughout the United States. By providing boys and girls and their coaches with quality playing options, USA Basketball can help ensure that young players and their coaches will experience the game in fun, safe and developmentally appropriate environments.

    In other words, coaches yelling and screaming and pulling LaVar Ball tactics like when he removed his team from the court and quit during a game in which he didn’t like the officiating, will not be welcome or tolerated.

    The 2018 U.S. Open Basketball Championships for qualified boys teams will be held June 30-July 3,
    and the girls championships will take place July 19-22. Both the boys and girls championships will be hosted at the Pacers Athletic Center at Grand Park located in Westfield, Indiana.

    Nike is an official partner of USA Basketballs Youth Development division, which is tasked with
    developing youth basketball initiatives that promote, grow and elevate the game.

    For information on player eligibility or to register a team for pre-approved qualifying events, visit www.usab.com/usopenbasketball