The Historical Basketball League
Welcome to the Historical Basketball League, the first national basketball league for college students that will substantially compensate college athletes based on their athletic ability beyond just a college education. The HBL is founded on a simple idea: college sports are popular because they are sports played by college students, and that “amateurism” is a means of excluding athletes from the financial benefits they generate. The HBL gives athletes an US-based option without economic and academic exploitation – providing a choice of whether to get paid while in college or be amateur about it.
The HBL sees the insistence on “amateurism” as a market opportunity for a college-based basketball. By showing that compensating college athletes will not lead to a collapse of the industry, the HBL represents an opportunity to change perceptions of the market value of athletes and of the supposed necessity for “amateurism” and thus improve the well-being of college athletes on and off the court.
Over 50% of college basketball players in the Power 5 Conferences come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (i.e. their families are poor enough that the athletes qualify for Pell Grants). The HBL will allow college athletes to participate in the benefits generated by their efforts up-front and grant greater economic freedom and comfort during their college athletic careers, which will change the socioeconomic outlook of these athletes and their families.
The HBL’s inaugural season will be in 2020. To maximize the educational benefits of attending college as an athlete, the HBL’s season will take place during the summer, with our opening tip off on June 19 (Juneteenth) and our championship tournament taking place over Labor Day weekend each year. Please explore the site and reach out with any questions you might have.