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The G League Ignite program will not continue past this season

NEW YORK (AP) — The G League Ignite will not play after this season.

The league made the announcement Thursday, saying it was shutting down the Henderson, Nevada-based Ignite because of “the changing basketball landscape, including the NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) policy and the advent of collectives and the transfer portal” as its primary reasons.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver suggested this could happen last month at the All-Star Game, saying then that the league was “reassessing” the Ignite program. It was started by the NBA to give players who aren’t yet eligible for the draft — but who didn’t want to go to college — a chance to essentially play professional basketball and prepare for the draft as part of a developmental but still competitive program.

“Four years ago, we started Ignite to fill a void in the basketball landscape, and I’m proud of the contributions we were able to make to that ecosystem,” G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim said. “With the changing environment across youth and collegiate basketball, now is the right time to take this step."

The changes in college basketball, particularly those allowing athletes to cash in through NIL deals, made the college experience more attractive to the types of players that the Ignite originally targeted.

“Some of those same players that didn’t want to be one-and-done players because they felt it was unfair and they wanted the ability to not just earn a living playing basketball but to do commercial deals that weren’t available to them in college … now all those same abilities have become available to them," Silver said last month.

This season's Ignite roster has projected top NBA Draft picks Matas Buzelis and Ron Holland. There are nine Ignite veterans currently on NBA rosters, including Scoot Henderson, Jalen Green, Dyson Daniels and Jonathan Kuminga.

The Ignite will play its final game on March 28 against the Ontario Clippers.

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AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports