NBA G League -The New Professional Basketball Pipeline

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Feaster Is Involved The Changing Of The American Basketball Pipeline

Allison Feaster has quickly  made a name for herself as a astute professional basketball executive for the Manhattan based  NBA organization  . Since 2017 has been the NBA G League’s manager for player personnel and coach relations added  responsibilities to her role that put her in the debate about the traditional American basketball pipeline late in 2018.

Helping To Lead The NBA G League Professional Basketball Route

Recently The NBA G League announced that former  NBA  Rod Strickland player  along with  retired  WNBA player Allison Feaster will lead its professional path initiative who will also  will serve as the professional path’s manager of the program.

Allison Feaster Assisting The Professional Path Via the NBA G League 


The group will be lead by Feaster tasked with identifying eligible players and overseeing the implementation of the initiative. Former NBA player Rod Strickland will focus on educating each  prospects on the professional route.


  • 1998–1999 : Portugal Anadia Sanitana (Portugal)
  • 1999–2001 : France ASPTT-Aix-en-Provence
  • 2001–2005 : France US Valenciennes Olympic
  • 2006–2007 : Spain Ros Casarres Valencia
  • 2007–2008 : Spain C.B. San Jose Leon
  • 2008–2009 : Italy Familia Wuber Schio
  • 2011–2012 : Spain Perfumerias Avenida Balencesto
  • 2012–2013 : Spain UniGeronia CB
  • 2013–2016 : Spain C.B. Alcobendias

Like many WNBA players, Feaster-Strong has played in Europe from fall to spring. Her longest tours have been in France (with Aix-en-Provence and Valenciennes, from 1999-2005) and in Spain (with several teams, from 2006-2008 and 2011-2016).

Feaster-Strong’s Valenciennes team won the French League title for four years straight from 2001-02 through 2004-05 and won the Euro League Women title in 2001-02 and 2003-04. Her Ros Casares Valencia team was the EuroLeague runner-up in 2006-07.

C.B. Alcobendas announced on August 8, 2016, that Feaster-Strong had retired from professional basketball.


  • 1998–2000 : Los Angeles Sparks
  • 2001–2006 : Charlotte Sting
  • 2008: Indiana Fever

“The NBA G League is filled with talented players working alongside dedicated coaches to achieve their NBA dreams,” said Feaster. “I’m excited to lead a group that will identify the next wave of elite players who may want to join that pursuit before they’re eligible for the NBA Draft.”

Chester’s Allison Feaster led the Crimson to an incredible win over Stanford in 1998, scoring 35 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. When asked about the game recently, the college All-American and 10-year WNBA veteran spoke only about her teammates and coaches, and not about her dominant performance in the biggest upset in women’s college basketball history.
They were the  first ever 16-seeded team of any gender to beat a No. 1 was Harvard’s women’s basketball squad in 1998

Strickland And Feaster Bring Wealth Of Basketball Experience

Feaster was a successful 10-year playing career in the WNBA, will helm a group tasked with identifying those eligible players and overseeing the implementation of the professional path initiative. She has been serving as head of NBA G League player personnel and coach relations since last year.

Rod Strickland, who played 17 seasons in the NBA for the Washington Wizards  and brings a wealth of collegiate and amateur coaching and administrative experience, will focus on educating elite prospects about the comprehensive components of the NBA G League’s professional path.


As player:1988–1990 New York Knicks 1990–1992

San Antonio Spurs 1992–1996

Portland Trail Blazers 1996–2001

Washington Bullets / Wizards 2001

Portland Trail Blazers 2001–2002

Miami Heat 2002–2003

Minnesota Timberwolves 2003–2004

Orlando Magic 2004

Toronto Raptors 2005

Houston Rockets 2005

As coach:2014–2017 South Florida (assistant)

“Mentor ship has always been important to me, from guiding younger teammates as a player to working in the collegiate ranks as a coach and administrator,” said Strickland. “I’m looking forward to talking to the next generation of NBA players about the opportunities they have in the NBA G League.”

Evolution Of The NBA G League

The NBA G League is the National Basketball Association‘s (NBA) official minor league basketball organization. The league was known as the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) from 2001 to 2005, and the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) from 2005 until 2017. The league started with eight teams until NBA commissioner David Stern  announced a plan to expand the NBA D-League to fifteen teams and develop it into a authentic minor league basketball system with each NBA D-League team affiliated with one or more NBA teams in March 2005. At the conclusion of2013-2014 NBA season, 33% of NBA players had spent time in the NBA D-League, up from 23% in 2011. As of the 2018-2019 season , the league comprises of 27 teams, all of which are either single-affiliated or owned by an NBA team.

Gatorade became the title sponsor of the D-League, and it was renamed the NBA G League during the 2017–18 season

National Basketball Development League (2001–2005)

The league began its play as the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) in the 2001–02 season; the original eight franchises were all located in the southern US specifically in

Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

NBA Development League (2005–2017)

In 2005, the league’s name was changed to NBA Development League (NBA D-League) as part of the new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA and a bid to appeal to more fans by showing their connection to the major league.


By 2015, the last multiple-affiliate team, the Fort Wayne Ants, was purchased by the Indiana Pacers leading to the first season where all D-League teams were affiliated with only one NBA team. As there were no longer any unaffiliated D-League teams left, the remaining NBA teams began purchasing expansion franchises or hybrid partnership teams and placing them near the parent team. In 2015, the Toronto Raptors placed their own team, Raptors 905,  in Mississauga,Ontario In 2016, the D-League expanded by three more NBA parent club-owned teams for the largest D-League expansion since 2007. The Charlotte Hornets created the Greensboro Swarm, the Brooklyn Nets created the Long Island Nets, and the Chicago Bulls created the Windy City Bulls.

NBA G League (2017–present)

In the 2017–18 season, the D-League entered into a multi-year partnership with Gatorade and announced it would be rebranded as the NBA Gatorade League, which was officially shortened to “NBA G League” prior to the season.

In December 2017, the NBA and the live streaming  website Twitch announced that they would along with ESPN  broadcast G League games on television.

For the 2019–20 season, the G League will begin to offer Select Contracts to players that are not yet eligible to enter the NBA Draft. Since 2006, players that are not at least 19-years-old by the end of the calendar year have been ineligible, creating what became known as the “one-and-done” rule where players joined a college basketball team for one season and then leave for the NBA.The new Select Contract is to be an alternative for players who do not want to or cannot attend a college, worth up to $125,000 for a season.

NBA Basketball Operations Associate Program Promises No Employment At The End Of The Program

During the 1990’s Stacey Lovelace was a dominant college player on the basketball court in the ’90s. They both went on to have lasting professional basketball careers. And after retiring from the game, they both turned to the same NBA league program to lead them into their next chapter in life.

They both were part of the inaugural NBA Basketball Operations Associate Program, which was created to prepare former NBA and WNBA players to pursue career opportunities in team management positions.

Along with former NBA players Brian Cardinal, Drew Gooden, Corey Maggette and Troy Murphy, Lovelace and Feaster were trained in basketball operations core competencies and gained exposure to team-facing league departments.

The experience gives participants one year of full-time employment while offering league office experience that includes joining meetings, lending their input to league initiatives, and attending games and league events (All-Star Weekend, draft combine and summer league).

There was no employment promise at the end of the program, just having faith that something would materializeid of the yearlong program based at the NBA’s offices in New York.


“I got a job offer to work at NBA Spain, in Madrid,” she said. “Right as I was about to accept that role, I got a call from Greg Taylor who is the senior vice president of player development for the NBA here at the league office, telling me about this program. It was obviously an opportunity that I couldn’t let slip away. It was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for so many years.”

Feaster is now the G League player personnel and coach relations lead and serves as one of the primary liaisons for the NBA G League Basketball Operations group. Her responsibilities include maintaining relationships with players, agents and coaches, engaging with the NBA G League Competition Committee regarding playing rules and roster construction, and serving as the point person for the league’s international strategy.

This was a  experience in the program door-opening and educational process to Allison Feaster. In addition to the program’s work assignments, they were tasked with exploring their areas of weakness. The end result was a Harvard Business School executive education program as a part of the management development program.

They advise  other players transitioning out of basketball to really  “be prepared.”

A lot of players expect a transition from the court to a front office or to the league office or to the next career to be seamless, and it’s not .There are people that are non athletes that have worked years and years to have their positions in these organizations. Just the simple fact of being a former player is not enough.

“It’s hard dedicating your life to physically being at your best and competing in one arena day in and day out, and then to have that door close and have to start completely over. I would say invest the free time that you have as a player to strengthen yourself. It’s a grind.”

Lovelace identified the G League as a place where they’d fit.


Lovelace, a Detroit native, started her WNBA career with the Seattle Storm in 2000 and played professionally for 14 seasons. The Purdue standout and two-time Associated Press All-American retired from the WNBA in 2008 and earned a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Michigan in 2014.

She found the business of sports intriguing. She was an assistant coach at Oakland University in Michigan when she got the call about the operations program. She didn’t want to pass up on the new and exciting opportunity.

“It was something that I had inquired about in passing, but because it was a new program at the time, there weren’t a lot of specifics as to what the program would look like,” Lovelace said. “I jumped at the opportunity. … I felt like it was something I would be interested in.”

Lovelace is now the player development program officer for the NBA G League. She is responsible for the execution of NBA G League Player Development programming, including team awareness meetings and the NBA G League continuing education and life skills program.

“The operations program was an immersing experience into the business side of basketball at the NBA,” Lovelace said. “We got to learn about a lot of the different areas that the league has available. As a player, we’re kind of limited to our exposure to the business. What the program did was expose us on a different level to all of the different areas of the business, from referee operation, from basketball operations, to player development, which is what I do now, to G League, W, just all of the things that’s going on behind the scenes in the league office.”

“The opportunities will present themselves if you just work and continue to utilize relationships that you built,” she said.

For other WNBA players interested in the program, Lovelace’s advice is to “just work.”





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Thank you.

Erick Darke


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4 thoughts on “NBA G League -The New Professional Basketball Pipeline

  1. Hi Erik

    I am a keen sports fan and can appreciate a good game of basketball, but have necer seen a women’s match. I may need to get into it and this article will help those looking to get in it ata a professional level.



    1. admin

      Antonio thanks for leaving positive message regarding the NBA G League -The New Professional Basketball Pipeline article.I am pleased that enjoyed the post .The end game is the bring more exposure to women basketball .In the process hopefully convert more new fans to the game of basketball as a whole .

      Have a good day Antonio.

  2. Nate


    Really interesting article, I didn’t know that the WNBA was that in depth to have “feeder” leagues. I’m UK based but I like all forms of basketball, do you know if it’s possible to see televised games in the UK?

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