“How can I get noticed by colleges?”
“Should I start contacting schools now so I can play college basketball?”
“My GPA is ____. Is that good enough to play in college?”
“I average _______. Will college want me with those stats?”
These are the type of questions I receive weekly from you all. Good questions, they are. I am going to provide you, on this page, with some good answers. See the scholarship page if you are in the market to receive one (if not, don’t worry — I knew I wasn’t getting one, and I was also 1,000% sure I was playing college basketball). See the main Guides and Tips page for info on every other basketball conundrum I have covered.
- Getting Noticed/Recruited By Schools Is Your Job And No One Else’s. I have a friend in Europe who played four years of college basketball in the USA before embarking on a pro playing career. I asked her how she managed to get into the NCAA from Europe and her answer was simple: “I sent my video to every college I could find until someone showed interest.” Just like I tell aspiring professional players on the Pro Basketball page, if things don’t work out, you are 100% to blame. If you’re looking at your college prospects, you are entering a space where you will be mostly on your own. College is a transitory period from being a child to being an adult. Adults are completely responsible for everything in their lives. You will be the one in those classes, living in that dormitory, in those pre-season practices. Not me, not your high school or AAU coach, and not your parents. If you want to be seen and recruited, you should be doing ten times more work to make that happen than anyone else around you. The coach at your prospective school should be receiving calls and emails from you, the student athlete. Not from your mom or dad or uncle or high school/AAU coach.
- Exposure = People Knowing That You Can Play. Emphasis on “CAN PLAY.” Bloom where you are planted. If you are a good player and you consistently display this fact, the exposure will find you. A lot of players ask me questions about getting more exposure for themselves as if they are the best-kept secret in scholastic basketball, when the fact is if you aren’t getting the proper “exposure” it’s probably because you’re not as good as you think/say you are. If you live in or near a large metropolitan area and you’re not getting the attention you want, guess what? You don’t need a publicist. You need more game and you need to up your performance.
- AAU Experience Couldn’t Hurt. If You Want To Play, Find A Team And Join It. I never played a second of AAU basketball and I know players playing pro ball now that also never did. But, college-coaching friends of mine say that playing AAU ball can help raise a prospective recruit’s profile in the college staff’s eyes. Furthermore, AAU games take place in the summer, when college coaching staffs are not wrapped up in the season, and can dedicate their time to recruiting. So the question becomes, how can you find or join an AAU team? I don’t know one AAU coach, but a 90-second Google search turned up the names of 8 AAU basketball programs within 50 miles of my home. What is stopping you from doing this? Exactly — nothing. Your opportunity is simply an email or phone call away. Maybe you’ll have to try out — so what. It’s a team, earn your spot. Maybe they turn you away — on to the next club.Add 10″ To Your Vertical Guaranteed | Complete Ball Handling Workout Package: DVD + Programs
- Grades Will Make Or Break You — Don’t Be A Statistic. I have seen it happen more times than you would care to hear about. There was a player I grew up playing with at the playground who was doing that And-1 Mixtape stuff in the mid-90s, before the tapes even existed. Another local player I grew up watching play was, at one point, arguably better than the one guy from Mt. Airy that did make it to the NBA. I had a college teammate who was good enough to go to the NBA right out of a Division III college — not to play overseas, not to the D-League, the NBA. All three of the aforementioned killed their careers not by messing up in a practice or game, but academically. I could create a damn good all-star team of players I have known — from my neighborhood in Philly to high school peers to college (would-be) teammates and opponents — that fell by the wayside because their academics were not in order. And when I say a team, I mean a 12-man roster with three guys on injured reserve. Every single one of them had more talent than me, and blew it in the classroom. I’m no tutor so I can’t help you study, but you can find yourself one — start with your teachers and counselors at school. Search the Internet. If you blow your opportunity by failing in the classroom, it is your fault.
- Want To Know Something? The Information Is Out There. The world you (I’m speaking to you, teens-and-unders reading this) are growing up in is so much different from the world I or your parents came up in. Everything and everyone is connected. There is technology that you use without thinking about it that your parents get frustrated just trying to figure out the basics of. Information is at your fingertips, so use it. You’re on the Internet right now, and anything you could possibly want to know is a 10-second search away. If you want to see what colleges are within 30 miles of home, Google it. If you want to know how many seniors are graduating from a school you’re considering, look up their roster. If you want to send some video to a coach, get that coach’s office or cell phone number from the team’s website and let her know you’re sending it, and that you will be following up (very important as coaches receive lots of unsolicited video/stats from players just like you all year long).
- Present Yourself Properly When You Reach Out To Schools. This entails a few things. One is to take control of the process — not your parents or AAU coach. You. A college coach wants to build a relationship with the player he’ll be dealing with for the next four years. If you send your parents to reach out and make first contact for you, what will you do the first time you have a bad game or get yelled at in practice or benched in a game — call mom or dad to talk to the coach? College is a transition to adulthood, so start doing adult things, like handling your business, yourself. Another is to have your grades in order. Speak to the counselors at your high school — every school has them — and find out what courses/test scores you need to have completed/achieved to be eligible to play college basketball. This information is also freely available on the NCAA’s website. If you don’t have the proper grades or test scores or credits, your video and stats package means nothing. Ineligible is ineligible. Again, this is your job. If you can read this post and your Facebook feed, you can read NCAA guidelines. This is your career we’re talking about, after all.
About 3% of high school seniors ever play one game in the NCAA. So it would be a hell of an accomplishment for you to make it happen for yourself. That said, understand that there are hundreds of thousands of other players driving in the same lane as you. Be lazy if you choose. Place responsibility for your future on another person’s hands if you wish. Just remember who has to live with the consequences.