High above Madison Square Garden, at a NY Knicks conference table, the Behind The Bench story began. The year was 2004 and in a pitch to the Knicks on sponsoring a popular youth basketball tournament, Behind The Bench was conceived as an educational program to compliment the tournament and seal their interest.
The idea for Behind The Bench was to build upon the NBA’s longstanding Read to Achieve program by developing a program to allow young people to build their communication skills through an experiential program where they would cover a youth basketball tournament and report on the action by writing a press release, report on the sideline with a videographer and take photos. With the additional goal of exposing the next generation of young people, especially young people of color, to sports related careers.
The Knicks executives loved our vision and agreed to sponsor. Behind The Bench launched and was a success but scaling the idea was not possible technologically. A couple of years later, the world changed with the creation of the smartphone. While others imitated our goal to provide sports content creators with the tools to cover youth sports, we began to see the full promise of Behind The Bench.
Our vision for Behind The Bench is to become a network for sports content creators and a positive force for change by empowering the next generation of sports industry talent and leaders. We hope you will join us on this journey called Behind The Bench.