As the FBI continues to investigate the now defunct Elevate Basketball Circuit (EBC) and it’s founder, David Kelly Sr., the nation’s leading basketball circuit has stepped forward to try and co-opt some of the teams that EBC seemingly left in the cold.
In a Wednesday release, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) President/CEO Dr. Roger Goudy and AAU Basketball Chairs Matt Williams & Boo Williams announced that the association would offer free entry to select AAU summer tournaments for teams affected by the EBC collapse.
“The AAU is about more than sports, it’s about the well-being of athletes, coaches, and families. When we heard about the Elevate situation, that teams had paid and lost their money as well as the rest of their basketball season, we we’re as upset as anyone else,” Dr. Goudy said in the release. “Immediately after reading about it, AAU brainstormed on how to extend playing opportunities to these young athletes.”
The AAU’s charitable effort is fairly straightforward. To help ease the financial strain on teams that were part of the EBC, AAU is allowing one free AAU licensed event entry for any team that was signed up to the EBC series of tournaments. Considering the fact that Kelly got more than 1,000 teams to sign up for his events, the AAU’s free entry will carry significant financial ramifications.
As Goudy alluded to, that’s clearly not the most important consideration with this effort in particular, with AAU seizing upon an opportunity to help serve the youth basketball community which has scrambled to deal with the loss of the Elevate events.
“We feel like we raised our money, paid our money, and now we’ve played only 1 1/2 tournaments, and now we’re looking for other tournaments,” Chad Collins, the parent of a N.C. Gems youth player, told the Louisville Courier in an earlier piece on EBC’s collapse. “Now we’re going to have to raise money to pay for these other tournaments and try to find some kind of championship for our kids. This was a big promise” from Elevate.