4:40 PM ET

Adrian WojnarowskiESPN

The NBA has hired Rod Strickland as program manager for its G League professional path program.

Strickland, a 17-year NBA veteran and former college assistant, will evaluate elite prospects, as well as educate and mentor them on the new initiative that offers select high school prospects the option to bypass NCAA basketball and accept a $125,000 salary for a five-month G League season.

Strickland will partner with Allison Feaster, a former WNBA player and Harvard graduate who will oversee an NBA-centric group that will identify the high-level players eligible for the pro path initiative.

Feaster also will oversee the broader implementation of the program.

Strickland will be on the road immediately, evaluating top talent and delivering the details on the pro path program to families, players and coaches. The NBA will bring its first class of high school stars into the G League for the 2019-20 season.

Feaster expects a “handful” of players to be part of the initial group in the professional path. Feaster and Strickland emphasized that the program will be judicious in choosing those eligible for the pro path opportunity.

Every graduating high school player is already allowed

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