For most basketball players, the playing days end after the final game of a senior season in college. For a select few, a step to the professional ranks is in order; whether it be in the United States or Europe.
Jonathan Reed wants to create other options for players out of college, who may not be quite ready for the jump to the highest levels of professional basketball.
Reed’s basketball team, the Oklahoma Impact, plays in the United Basketball League (UBL). Reed, who continues to play professional basketball in Ireland, says he owns and operates his Oklahoma based franchise in order to help players gain the exposure necessary to make it to the next level.
Reed, who was overseas at the time of this article, was unavailable for comment. The website for his company, OnPoint Hoops, describes his mission, however.
According to www.onpointhoops.com, the goal of Reed’s company, which is also involved with the UBL and the Oklahoma Impact, is “…to help players improve their game and create future playing opportunities.”
OU fans will recognize David Godbold, the man who wears number 15 for the Impact. Godbold played the previous four seasons in Norman for the Sooners, and now is looking to extend his professional career, by making his mark with the Impact.
The UBL is a five-team league, with teams located in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
While the players earn a small paycheck in the UBL, they earn more money by bringing in fans, and selling their own tickets to the games. UBL games usually take place on Saturday nights.
Godbold, who graduated from OU in May of 2008 with a degree in journalism, is one of those players now looking to create future opportunities on the basketball court.
After being drafted to the Colorado 14’ers of the NBA Developmental League (NBADL) upon graduation, Godbold battled to make the roster. He was eventually released by the 14’ers, and began working with the Tulsa 66’ers of the NBADL, as a member of their practice squad.
While in Tulsa, Godbold was able to workout with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I got to get experience working with the NBA guys, and NBA coaches,” Godbold said of working with the Thunder. Godbold said he worked out and stayed in shape on his own, as well as practicing with the 66’ers and Thunder, until he got the call this February from Impact Head Coach/General Manager, Rick McCormick.
McCormick, who, according to www.oklahomaimpact.com, has coached collegiate basketball for over 28 years, said he is thrilled to have Godbold aboard.
“David is a great asset,” McCormick said. “He has really played well for us so far this season, with a couple of big offensive nights.”
Griffin Shaffer, one of the play-by-play broadcasters for the Impact, has seen Godbold’s talents in two home games so far this season, and said he thinks Godbold is one of the top players in the UBL.
“He can take over a game whenever he wants,” Shaffer said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see him making it to the next level, whether it be the NBADL, or over in Europe somewhere.”
Earlier this season, Godbold expressed his desire to play at the next level, and said that Europe would be something to which he would be open, if the opportunity were available.
Impact color commentator, Nathan Feken also said he thinks Godbold can play at the next level because of his leadership.
“He can definitely step up and hit the big shot,” Feken said of Godbold. “Any team can use a guy who knows how to come through in the clutch.”
The Impact, which is 4-1 through the first five games of the season, has relied on Godbold to be its top offensive threat.
“If he keeps playing this way, there is no reason he shouldn’t find a team to play for this fall,” Shaffer said. “It is just a matter of time before someone notices this guy.”
The Oklahoma Impact plays its home games in Bethany, on the campus of Southwestern Christian University. It’s next home game is May 23, against the Arkansas Warriors.