Playmakers Basketball Development League


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Shortly after Larry Brown returned to the NBA as the Charlotte Bobcats’ Head Coach, he told Sports Illustrated that “the things they don’t know boggles my mind.” Every coach craves players who understand the game, yet few outlets develop this understanding.

The Playmakers Basketball Development League combines clinic-like instruction and league play in a 6-week, 12-session league. The PBDL features a session-to-session teaching progression to develop the skills and teach the concepts that comprise what we refer to as Basketball Intelligence.

Each league is independently owned and operated, but uses the same core curriculum that emphasizes teaching game skills in a game context. The positive benefits of the PBDL are:

  • Everyone plays. Clinics and league play based on the Teaching Games for Understanding philosophy, so players get more repetitions in games and game-like situations.
  • Less performance pressure. While we keep score during league games, there are no scoreboards or true officials, and teams play multiple games in a session, which reduces the performance demands.
  • No negative coaching. Coaches collaborate and work together, rather than strategizing ways to defeat an opponent.
  • More action and fun. No sitting on the bench or standing in long lines equals more fun for all players. Clinics feature active, dynamic drills and small-sided games to teach concepts and train skills.
  • Additional instruction. All participants receive Playmakers: The Player’s Guide to Developing Basketball Intelligence.

To sign up for a PBDL, select the appropriate location in the ‘Locations’ form at the top right of this website to find a league near you. If you are interested in starting a PBDL at your school, facility or organization, click on Contact and fill out the form.

The PBDL concept works great! The players have fun and learn by playing. All players improve because they touch the ball more frequently.  We ran a PBDL girls’ league in the spring instead of playing AAU every weekend.  We are planning to run a boys’ league in the fall.  It would work great as a winter league for younger players or even as a summer league.

-Bryan Dailey, Northeast Spartans

  • What Is A Playmaker?

    Who decided that a point guard has to be small? More importantly, what is a point guard? We expect a point guard to be a leader and have a high basketball I.Q. Why don’t we expect or challenge all players to develop this game awareness? Why rely on only one player? Read more →
  • The PBDL Concept

    English soccer academies wait until players are 11 to play full 11v11 soccer; in Italy, youth basketball players participate in skill-oriented clinics at 6-years-old, but start competitive games at 12. In the United States, kids play 5v5 full court games and compete for national championships when they are 8-years-old.

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  • Starting A PBDL

    The PBDL emphasizes learning and development. Presently, players and parents have numerous recreation options - leagues based on fun and equal participation, typically for beginners - and numerous competitive opportunities - teams focused on strategy, game preparation and winning. There are few true development leagues - until now.

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