College basketball is about as American as sports get, so shouldn’t NCAA basketballs be made in America? I think so, which is why I’m asking Wilson, the company that makes the official NCAA basketball, to make their basketballs in America, not China.
I know firsthand what happens when good manufacturing jobs move overseas. I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, when on September 19, 1977, the steel mills shut down and many of my family and friends lost their jobs. The day became known as “Black Monday,” and the loss of this towns industrial jobs has had a lasting impact on the region, as the city's population was cut in half. Today, parts of Youngstown and other towns in Ohio in the same situation look like a ghost town. Youngstown and other cities across America need American companies to invest in us and our workers -- not factories overseas.
I was really upset when I saw that Wilson’s official NCAA basketballs were labeled as “Made in China” or “imported”. I know Wilson makes their NCAA and NFL footballs, as well as many other footballs, in their factory in Ada, Ohio -- a struggling town just like Youngstown. Basketball is just as important an iconic American sport as football, so why would Wilson make their basketballs in China?
I love NCAA basketball and plan to make March Madness brackets with my dad and my friends this year, while I cheer for Ohio State and West Virginia. But I also want Wilson to commit to making their NCAA basketballs in America, so next year’s tournament balls and souvenir fan balls will support American jobs in American towns -- not factories in China.
Wilson, this March Madness please give basketball fans what you give football fans -- balls that support America. Make a commitment to make your NCAA basketballs in America, not China.