On Monday the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced the formation of the NABC Player Development Coalition – a group of Division I men’s basketball players who will provide a valuable perspective and feedback on college basketball issues. Duke sophomore Wendell Moore Jr. is one of eleven athletes asked to participate. This is part of a new role the sophomore will play on and off the court – leader.
It started with Moore being named to the ACC All-Academic team as a freshman after maintaining a 3.0 grade-point average, and continued with him organizing a community march against police brutality and racial injustice in his hometown. Now, he’ll represent college basketball players as a whole on the coalition.
“The march was definitely a start to something special that I wanted to do,” Moore told the media Wednesday. “Having this opportunity really allows me to continue using that platform.”
Moore says the group, who also includes UNC sophomore Armando Bacot, will hopefully resemble the NBA players union and encourage top prospects to go to college.
“We’re kind of the experiment group of guys to hopefully have this become a larger thing and hopefully map it out to be kind of like the NBA Players Union. We want to just have input in everything that goes on with college basketball – whether it’s how we play our games, how many games we play, the money that goes into it, what happens to the players, what happens to everything. We just want the players to get treated fairly so they don’t feel like they lose interest in their sport. You see guys going to the G-League and things like that. We just want to have the opportunity to keep guys in college, because college is obviously a one-in-a-lifetime experience and we want to make it that way for all athletes.”
Moore averaged 7.6 points 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game for the Blue Devils his freshman year. He also had several memorable performances – including his game-winning tip-in to beat North Carolina at the buzzer in overtime on Feb. 8. and a career-high 25 point game at Wake Forest on Feb. 25. Heading into this season, with a Duke squad boasting one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, Moore’s leadership skills will be even more valuable.
“Coach wants me to be more vocal on the court and having an opportunity like this allows me to do that. Even though I’m only a sophmore, I know how the system works. I know the things we do behind the scenes. So I’m helping those guys get comfortable – especially in an uncomfortable time like this.”
North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, Colorado’s Evan Battey, Kentucky’s Keion Brooks, Jr., Harvard’s Kale Catchings, Villanova’s Collin Gillespie, Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert, Michigan State’s Joshua Langford, Duke’s Moore, TCU’s RJ Nembhard, Syracuse’s Bourama Sidibe and High Point’s John-Michael Wright are the inaugural members of the initial Player Development Coalition.
“Our priority as coaches is to support student-athlete development both on and off the court,” said NABC Executive Director Craig Robinson. “As the NABC continues its advocacy and policy work on issues impacting our game, it’s vital that input from student-athletes be central to those efforts. Whether it’s NIL, transfer parameters, social justice, COVID-19 or a host of other important topics currently impacting college basketball, we will make sure student-athletes’ voices are heard. We will also structure the Player Development Coalition to be an impactful experience that benefits these young men well beyond their college years.”
In addition to creating a vehicle for student-athletes to address current issues, the Player Development Coalition will also provide members with numerous professional and personal development experiences. The coalition will meet quarterly and have regular opportunities to address the NABC Board of Directors and NCAA committees.