Elite high school basketball is going to look quite a bit different next season.
Six of the nation's top high school hoops powerhouses are forming an elite national high school basketball league that is set to begin in the 2021-22 season.
The league, called The National Interscholastic Basketball Conference, will consist of eight teams: Oak Hill Academy (Virginia, Montverde Academy (Florida), IMG Academy (Florida), La Lumiere School (Indiana), Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas), Wasatch Academy (Utah), and two schools yet to be announced.
These eight teams will play a 10-game regular-season schedule as well as a postseason tournament, and they will also participate in special NIBC events.
Montverde Academy head of school Kasey Kesselring, who will be the chair of the conference's board of governors, said the idea for the league began after these elite teams were able to successfully compete amongst themselves during the pandemic.
"The impetus for it really started with, how do we try and compete and have meaningful competition in a pandemic? That was really the birth of the idea," Kesselring said. "Why wouldn't we continue this? The coaches have a great deal of respect for one another, the school heads have a great deal of respect for one another. Why not keep it going? We decided that moving forward, it would be very difficult to maintain that momentum by coordinating it ourselves. So we reached out to Paragon (Marketing Group), who we all know from participating in the Geico Nationals, and started having some conversations with them to gauge their interest. That's kind of what led us to this point of having the schools on board to create this league and sustain it."
The league will be rich with top talent. The NIBC's six teams have combined to win the past eight national championships and currently feature four of the top-10 rising seniors, led by No. 2 overall prospect Jalen Duren of Montverde.
The most recent NCAA tournament featured 44 players who played at NIBC member schools – including projected No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham – while 24 alums currently play in the NBA.