Did you know the average career span of an NBA player is only eight seasons? For a WNBA player, that number is even smaller: five. A lot of talented players who leave it all out on the court, aiming for a contract, have a professional goal that’s centered on playing basketball.But what if it doesn’t pan out?
To assist players on the fringes of their leagues, the NBA founded a basketball operations associate program in 2000. This initiative is a yearlong training program that caters to former NBA and WNBA players by providing internship opportunities to help them gain experience in league office activities. The program is built around three pillars: business acumen, front office competencies and league operations. Some of the ex-players participating in the program include former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Cherokee Parks, two-time WNBA champion Taj McWilliams-Franklin and former national champion Ashley Battle.