USA Today- The Elevate Basketball Circuit is a spring hoops series that pits some of the nation’s top prep club programs against each other. It was put together by a man named David Kelly Sr., a Lousville, Kent. based promoter who set up the tournament and collected registration fees from far more than 1,000 teams.
Yet, apparently that’s where the Elevate Basketball Circuit ceased to exist, quite literally. As made clear by Spencer Pulliam of ThePrepInsiders.com, Kelly Sr. closed the circuit’s Atlanta event, only the second in the circuit’s history, without informing teams that had paid some $1,600 per group that the event was not going forward. According to a screenshot from a cell phone shared on Twitter, Kelly Sr. told an associate after midnight on Sunday that he was folding his entire operation, apparently because he could no longer afford the facility scheduled for use in Georgia.
Here’s the full text that is captured on the screenshot:
"I have to close atlanta because i can’t pay for the facility. I’m closing EBC. Separate yourselves from me. This is going to be a storm that i can’t fix. Thank you for all of your help and trying to make this work but I’m done. It’s over and I am as well. Thanks."
So this may be my bias talking since I already know how this story ends, but that smile screams 'scam artist'. That's the smile of a man that looks too damn happy to be taking your money and has no intention of you reaping the benefits of said money.
Hey, if you had over $1.5 million dollars of other people's money would you spend it trying to put together 1,000 team schedule, or hop the next plane to a far away land? I would leave the country with no money just to avoid putting together a 10 team tournament. Scheduling sucks. Everyone has times they can or can't play. Everyone has suggestions how to run it better. I would think it's far more trouble than it's worth and that's before I realized it was worth seven figures. Fuck that. I would rather throw my phone in the nearest body of water and sip Mai Tai's on the beach in Cabo. Morals be damned. For that price tag I could buy a new conscience. Is there any doubt this dude skipped town? Just look at his runaway letter. "Separate yourself from me" aka "You'll never be able to find me". "Thank you for all your help" aka "Thank you for all your money".
Don't get me wrong, this guy is scumbag, but no one thought to wonder about his credentials? I'm not sure of the state of amateur basketball, but shouldn't one of the 1,000+ coaches involved know Kelly well enough to know that he's not a complete snake? Shouldn't one out of a 1,000+ coaches be worried about some kind of contractual agreement? Could I have set this whole tournament up myself despite having nothing to do with youth sports? Millions at stake and not one pen hit paper? Talk about a recipe for disaster. In this day in age you shouldn't trust anything but a signed legal document. It's sad, but it's true.
Don't worry guys, I found him...