Monday, April 13, 2015

"Machine Gun" David Kelly Sr./EBC Reps Sticks Up Youth Basketball World

In a story that has immediately drawn national attention from multiple media outlets including the USA Today; breaking news has impacted the nation with the disillusion of the widely publicized Elevate Basketball Circuit.  Effecting over 700+ teams, national reports have surfaced that the “next best thing” in middle school hoops has faltered in a dramatic fashion – impacting multiple teams in the DMV and throughout the country.

Introduced to the basketball public the Elevate Basketball Circuit presented itself as the premier youth basketball outlet for upcoming talent - boasting of simultaneous live streaming session access for players throughout the nation into “live period” events, with video and statistical compilations, as well as unparalleled media coverage and exposure has proven to be nothing more than a fa├žade and dare we say fraud. 

In a matter of 72-hours shocking revelations have revealed major infrastructure issues that have ultimately resulted in the loss of several thousand dollars to teams throughout the United States and abroad including but not limited to multiple teams in the DC Metropolitan area.  USA Today reports that President David Kelly Sr. from Louisville, Kentucky has collected and received payments from in excess of 1000 club programs with the help of national reps - some of which have local ties to the DMV area; has disappeared with the cash and with his current whereabouts unknown.

At a rate of $1,600 per team it is believed that the league and their representatives have collected upwards of $2 million dollars – the amount is currently unconfirmed and is actively being investigated by both local and federal authorities.  After unceremoniously completing only a single session in which teams were represented to be participating and did not show, many of which have unequivocally confirmed to have never been committed -  resulted in close 100 game forfeitures in a single weekend nationwide.  Teams traveled from Canada and throughout the country expensing money for accommodations, travel expense, and league fees only to find out that the schedule, participating programs, and schedules were nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

David Kelly Sr.
Pundits throughout the country from the leagues inception questioned the veracity of the presentation, citing organizational issues and monetary expenses have been proven right with the presentation of internal communications from internal league sources.  David Kelly Sr. in a communication to various staff members late Saturday night April 11, 2015 stated:

“I have to close Atlanta because I can’t pay for the facility. I’m closing EBC.  Separate yourselves from me.  This is going to be a storm that I can’t fix.  Thank you for all of your help and trying to make this work but I’m done.  It’s over and I am as well. Thanks. 

Attempts to reach Mr. Kelly and his associates have been futile and all social media and websites have been abruptly discontinued and/or completely shut down.  Communications to participating teams outside of the aforementioned text message above are non-existent and children across the country are left holding the proverbial bag and now empty summer circuit schedules that will not be able to be rectified due to expenses already expended and other reputable circuit options such as the Basketball Spotlight and NYBL already having closed registration and/or have already commenced/concluded their major event schedule.  The adage of “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” seems to be an appropriate fit for this current unfortunate scenario.

The likely hood of ramifications is being heavily questioned due to the cost of litigation(s) versus the dispensation of $1,600.00 for mostly non-profit organizations and small market club programs.  The question or possible genius in this corruption is that many, most, or all will not be pursuing retribution due to the “small” compensatory damages available and the lack of contractual presentations (hand shake agreements) involved in the formulation of the specific relationships. 
Attempts to contact local partners and media outlets have gone unreturned but one media affiliate is attempting to assist in the provision of alternative outlets by inviting participant clubs free of charge to an alternative tournament circuit. 

In a conversation with National Youth Basketball League President Rob Taylor out of Ohio it was stated the he is:

“…disappointed for the families, players, and teams, who have invested so much in the league - who trusted in the league despite their better judgment – this event has proved that you have to do your diligence before committing and spending your hard earned money – today is a bad day for youth basketball.  What Kelley has done as shaken the foundation of youth basketball at its core and has negatively impacted the potential of any future leagues as people will be forced to question sending their money to anyone else.”

Those who questioned the NYBL and chose the EBC over them are ultimately getting what they paid for – at this juncture it is being reported that the NYBL may or may not be able to assist in bringing in some teams for the remainder of their season. It’s  recommended for those interested that they immediately contact the league as any opportunities will be very limited.

Further, Mike Melton of the widely acclaimed Basketball Spotlight tournament circuit who is a respected leader in the youth basketball game said sadly...,

“I feel sorry for the families, the teams, and the players for investing their time and money and I pray that that a positive resolution comes from the situation as this is bad for everyone and the game of youth basketball as a whole.”

Today basketball has shown to be more than a game and those associated with this debacle must separate themselves and make this situation right; not for the circumstance, not for the perception, but for the children.  Today is an example of what is wrong with the game but if this set back can become a SET UP for something positive for children this situation can still be rectified positively for the ones that matter.  It’s not about wins and loses today it’s about making sure that the kids that play the game still have a chance to do what they love as this is in no way their fault.

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