'These kids are ticking time bombs': The threat of youth basketball

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

"And, again, I understand I shouldn't use a broad brush to criticize the entire AAU system, because parts of it are excellent. But also parts of it are very broken, especially [as it] relates to injuries in the league. What we're seeing is a rash of injuries among young players."

- Adam Silver, N.B.A. Commissioner

"Kids are broken by the time they get to college."

- Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, Director of Sports Medicine Research and Education at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta

Fourteen minutes into his NBA career, then-Lakers rookie Julius Randle broke his right tibia. A team spokesperson would later say that Randle suffered a "stress reaction," a breakdown of the bone due to repetitive impact.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN Senior Writer

July 11, 2019



Article: The Threat of Youth Basketball

MAD Times is linking to ESPN Senior Writer Baxter Holmes’ article above because it dovetails with much of the discussion in this issue’s prior article “On the Shoulders of Giants: N.C.A.A. Is MAD about B.A.M.!” and this issue’s “Long Term Athletic Development” article, written by MAD Strength and Conditioning Coach and L.T.A.D. guru Ryan Muñoz, “Ranges of Training Modes and L.T.A.D.”

The epidemic of injuries among young basketball players is one of the driving forces behind the N.C.A.A. creating their new N.C.A.A. Basketball Academy and initiating their academy combines with B.A.M. At these inaugural combines, it is no accident that as part of the combines’ wellness curriculum, N.B.A. strength and conditioning legend Mike Brungardt, N.B.A. strength and conditioning veteran and MAD Director John Murray, MAD Head Coach Eric Bringas, and MAD Strength and Conditioning Coach Ryan Muñoz all made presentations to the young players on the topic of rest and recovery.

Every athlete, parent, coach, educator, education administrator, and sports medicine professional should be aware of this problem which, by the way, is not limited to the sport of basketball.