Roundtable with the leaders of Player Development for the NBA

Since partnering with Game Plan, the NBA has been able to consolidate its player development programs into a single platform. The programs run for the NBA and the NBA’s G League are a league-wide effort to help educate and engage the players.

Together with the NBA and the NBA’s G League, we at Game Plan have been able to see firsthand the effort, resources, and focus they have put towards Player Development. We recently were able to sit down and speak to some of the people who make all of it possible on the NBA’s side and how they continue to engage their players at the highest level.

Click their Bios Below to Learn more ⤵️

Cherokee Parks

Player Development National Basketball Association

Cherokee Parks is the Elite Youth Development Program Associate Manager in the NBA’s Player Development department. The Elite Youth Engagement Program is designed to create the foundation and pathway to professional basketball for elite H.S. prospects and their parents by implementing education and life skills programs. He has been in the role since October 2018.

The No. 12 overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft, Parks played nine seasons in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Vancouver Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors.
Prior to joining the league office as an Associate Manager, Parks worked as a NBA Basketball Operations Associate and Executive Trainee in the NBA’s Career Crossover Program. He also has team experience, having worked with the Clippers’ “Junior Clippers” program. In addition, Parks has worked with multiple youth organizations and at a variety of basketball camps and clinics.
Parks starred at Duke University, helping the Blue Devils to the 1992 NCAA Championship and the 1994 NCAA Final Four.
A native of Huntington Beach, California, Parks was a McDonald’s All-American and Gatorade Player of the Year while starring at Marina High School.
Parks has three children, daughters Rachel and Rhaetia, and a son, Race. He resides in North Carolina.

Cherokee Parks

NBA Player Development

Erjaam Hayes

NBA Player Development Program Director

Erjaam Hayes has been a member of the NBA Player Development since 2014. He is responsible for leading the department’s league-wide player programming efforts for all NBA G League players. In this role he oversees the development and delivery of all transition, in career and post-playing career programs for G League players including the newly launched Professional Pathway program, and work to support the personal and professional development of G League team player development directors.

Erjaam also leads the NBA Assistant Coaches Program designed for former players who are interested in a career in coaching, and the department’s continuing education efforts for players serving as a co-lead on the NBA – N4A (National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals) Advisory Board working closely with college athletics administrators on athlete development programming.

Erjaam joined the NBA in 2007 as a member of the NBA Associates Program. Prior to joining Player Development, spent 4 years in the NBA’s Social Responsibility department leading NBA Cares initiatives and programming for teams across all leagues, and in the Global Partnerships Business Development department assisting the efforts to identify league partners. Erjaam earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Masters of Business Administration from Florida A&M University.

Erjaam Hayes

NBA Player Development Program Director

Jon Wolf

NBA Player Development Program Manager

Jon Wolf has been a member of the NBA Player Development since 2015. He is responsible for leading the department’s league-wide player programming efforts for Elite Youth Engagement. In this role he oversees the development and delivery programs for elite-level high school athletes.

Jon leads Player Development’s internal consultancy where he innovates, evaluates, and connects the various projects and programs into a connected experience for athletes. Jon also identifies new partners and manages the relationships of existing partners that enhance the work of player development. He also contributes to the creation of curriculum development for athlete transition programs, G League players, and Rookies.

Jon joined the NBA in 2015 as supplemental staff assisting with the creation of a resource app for players. Prior to joining Player Development, Jon earned a Bachelor of Science in Media Communication Studies and Business from Florida State University.

Jon Wolf

NBA Player Development Program Manager

What do you enjoy the most about working in sports?
How was the transition from the NBA to Player Development?
How do you define Player Development?
What changes have you seen in the areas of Player Development?
What advice would you give a young professional that wants to be in your shoes one day?

NBA G League Case Study

Learn More

About Game Plan

Game Plan’s comprehensive software platform integrates mobile-first eLearning as well as virtual mentorship and career services, uniquely designed for athletic organizations. Game Plan has over 300+ athletic organizations with over 240,000 courses completed yearly. Our eLearning courses provide student-athletes ultimate access and flexibility while equipping both athletics departments and the conference office management tools and insight to ensure outstanding experiences and outcomes. To learn more about Game Plan, please visit wearegameplan.com.

We look forward to shining a light on the Athletic Administrators, Coaches and support staff that help put Student-Athletes first through these difficult times. To see more articles like this, check out our page “Dear Younger Self”. And if you’re interested in leaving a quote on the site. Send an email to Worth.Gregory@Gametgi.com .