The parents of some of America's top men's and women's basketball players have formed a new organization that aims to build a national network that empowers parents across the country and helps educate them about the culture and climate of the sport and their role within it, while also advocating for the rights of college basketball players at all levels.
The College Basketball Parents Association (CBPA), announced on Tuesday morning by its organizers, is a group that also hopes to have a significant voice within a sport that's now considering the implications of COVID-19, mental health, and name, image and likeness rules, among other developments.
The parents of Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs, Duke's Jalen Johnson and Arkansas' Moses Moody -- all projected first-round picks on ESPN's latest NBA mock draft -- are members of the group's leadership committee.
The parents of Oklahoma's De'Vion Harmon, Duke's Jeremy Roach, Texas Tech's Nimari Burnett, Villanova's Eric Dixon Jr., Texas' Greg Brown, North Carolina's Day'Ron Sharpe and Oregon's Amauri Hardy, along with the parents of women's basketball standouts Que Morrison, an all-SEC defensive team member from Georgia, and Mia Curtis, a freshman at Dartmouth, also are part of the leadership committee.
"The landscape of college basketball is experiencing significant change and the parents of college basketball players need to understand this evolution in order to prepare and protect our student-athletes," said Kareem and Rona Moody, CBPA co-presidents and parents of Moses Moody. "The CBPA is being created as a community for families to support each other and receive practical education and guidance from each other, as well as professional experts, on issues facing college basketball players at all levels -- both the healthcare and economic impacts of COVID-19, social justice efforts, name, image and likeness changes, updates to NCAA transfer rules, and more."
The group has met consistently in recent months while planning the launch of the organization.
Members have said the current climate in college basketball encouraged their decision to form the group in hopes of attracting more parents throughout the country.
"While the CBPA begins the work of establishing this national community of college basketball families, it will be a parallel priority for us to begin building bridges with high school basketball parents," said Stacy and Roderick Johnson Sr., CBPA vice presidents and parents of Jalen Johnson and Western Illinois forward Rod Johnson Jr. "Families should have a place to go for greater perspective on each transition phase related to college athletics and feel better prepared in making decisions for the future."
Its members have said they hope to attract the parents of prospects and current players at the Division I, II and III levels.
Tonja Morrison, CBPA vice president and the mother of Que Morrison, said her daughter's recruitment was a new experience for her, so she had to learn on the fly by asking questions and finding people she could trust. The CBPA, she said, hopes to create a network of parents who can ease that experience for the next batch of college basketball parents and those with sons and daughters who want to play at the next level.
"I'm so excited they involved the parents," she told ESPN. "We're going to get you there. We're going to get you the knowledge."
Eric Dixon Sr. -- the father of Eric Dixon Jr., ranked 76th in the class of 2020 by ESPN -- said the CBPA hopes to help parents through shared experiences.
"I didn't have access to all the resources that five-star kids have," he said. "To me, the value of an organization like this is being able to network with people further down the talent spectrum and further up the talent spectrum."
Molly Manley and Larry Suggs, the mother and father of Jalen Suggs, a five-star prospect, said the parents had formed connections on the recruiting trail and began to talk about the value of creating a group to solidify those relationships.
"It's really something that's beneficial to players and their families," Manley said.
Added Larry Suggs: "Knowledge is power."
The co-executive directors of the group are E. Courtney Scott, founder of the search firm Kontent Incubator, which helps athletes make the transition from amateur to pro sports, and Luke Fedlam, founder of Anomaly Sports Group and a partner and chair of the sports law practice at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur. Scott and Fedlam were the catalysts that helped bring the parents together.
"Having worked with families pursuing their student-athletes' dreams of playing professionally, I've constantly been asked various questions by families from all walks of college basketball about the business of sports," Scott said. "Many parents feel left behind or left out, and Anomaly and Kontent share a commitment to equipping parents with the tools necessary to better prepare them for the many decisions ahead."
Fedlam, who is not an agent, said he hopes the group brings parents together and amplifies their collective voice in college basketball.
"As a non-agent sports attorney, my focus is always on protecting athletes, and education is that first form of protection," Fedlam said. "Kontent and Anomaly want to help to ensure that parents, on a national level, receive the necessary education on the important and evolving issues affecting their student-athletes."