One of the most visible figures in sports will now lead the charge to develop youth basketball in America.
Len Elmore was named the new chief executive officer of iHoops on Monday. The former University of Maryland and NBA star—-who currently works as a broadcaster for ESPN and CBS—-replaces Kevin Weiberg, who stepped down in March to become deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the Pac-10 Conference.
"Basketball has played an integral role in my life and I am honored to lead iHoops’ mission to improve youth basketball and provide safe and supportive opportunities for youngsters to play the game they love," Elmore said. "I look forward to developing partnerships with basketball’s stakeholders, so we can all work together to improve our sport for every player, parent, coach and official in the years ahead."
As CEO, Elmore will lead iHoops' efforts in to providing a structure and creating programs to improve the quality of youth basketball in the United States.
Specifically, Elmore will oversee the expansion of original content and special offerings on iHoops.com, which currently provides supporting services and resources for players, parents, coaches, officials, teams and event organizers. Those services and resources include skills training, educational programming, events registration, instructional videos, highlights, blogs, social media, and eventually online education courses for coaches and officials.
"Len's knowledge and passion for the game of basketball and for the values it teaches -- teamwork, dedication, and sportsmanship -- will be invaluable as he works to build on the success that iHoops has achieved,” NBA commissioner David Stern said.
Elmore, 58, is a 1974 Maryland graduate who played 10 years in the NBA and ABA before graduating from Harvard Law School in 1987. Using his law degree, he founded Precept Sports & Entertainment in 1992 and represented NBA, NFL, MLB and Olympic athletes. He also served as president and CEO of Test University, an education technology company serving middle and high school students.
A former president of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, Elmore served on the faculty of Columbia University’s graduate program in Sports Management.
In 2010, Elmore celebrated his 22nd year as a top college basketball television announcer. Despite the new responsibilities, Elmore will maintain his role as color analyst for college basketball games.
Before being named CEO, Elmore served on iHoops' board of directors alongside such names as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, NCAA senior vice president Greg Shaheen, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson, and NBA executive vice president of social responsibility and player programs Kathy Behrens.
Monday’s announcement is another important milestone since iHoops launched in June 2009 as a joint initiative between the NBA and NCAA.
In addition to the creation of iHoops.com, partnerships have been formed between iHoops and Nike, adidas, USA Basketball, the Amateur Athletic Union, the National Federation of State High Schools and others. Grassroots programs such as the Skills Challenge have been developed, and information has been provided to thousands of student-athletes and their families on balancing academics and athletics and navigating the recruiting process.
And now, with Elmore leading the way, iHoops aims to take even bigger leaps going forward.
"What Len Elmore brings to youth basketball and iHoops is love for the game, integrity of character and a claim on the absolute necessity to get this right," said NCAA interim president Jim Isch.