The president of the Elevate Basketball Circuit released a statement Monday night, saying that he had to shut down the circuit that pits some of the nation’s top prep club programs against each other because “our gross revenue could not cover our operating expenses.”
David Kelly, the circuit’s president, said he was “terribly sorry to all our althetes, coaches and sponsors.”
The apology and statement comes after numerous programs came forward to say they felt they had been scammed out of registration fees that were collected for an event in Atlanta, only the second in the circuit’s history. Kelly did not inform teams that had paid some $1,600 per group that the event was not going forward.
Among those teams was a program in York, Pa., whose plight was reported by ABC27.
According to a screenshot from a cell phone shared on Twitter, Kelly Sr. told an associate after midnight on Sunday that he was folding his entire operation, apparently because he could no longer afford the facility scheduled for use in Georgia.
Kelly said he “ultimately received payment from less than 300 teams with many teams paying reduced fees.”
Earlier Monday, the entire web presence of Elevate Basketball Circuit, including its web site and Facebook profile, have been scrubbed from the Internet. The website returned with only a link to Kelly’s letter.
Here is the full text:
EBC Friends, Family and Customers:
I wanted to share our current circumstance with everyone interested. It has been a difficult few days at the EBC. As the creator of the EBC, I had a dream of building an exciting basketball platform for young boys and girls from all over the country. Many of you shared that dream and vision and helped me by enlisting teams and spreading the word. I want to thank all the coaches who have been supportive and who continue to be supportive of our efforts and vision.
I understand many people are disappointed and angry at our actions. As there have been many reports of our status in the media, I wanted to share our sobering reality.
Although it seemed like we had strong support, we ultimately received payment from less than 300 teams with many teams paying reduced fees. Our gross revenue could not cover operating expenses. Very few staff got paid and most of our staff, including myself, never took a pay check.
In the end, our cash flow could not cover our operating costs in both the short term and the long term. We simply did not run a very good business and could not raise enough capital to cover this reality.
This statement is not to not make excuses. It is just to share our situation. I am terribly sorry to all our athletes, coaches and sponsors.
We are currently in discussions with several groups who can help. We are doing all we can to raise the capital or sell parts of the company to move forward.
We will try to provide updates on this web site when we can.
David Kelly Sr,
President of Elevate Basketball Circuit