Basketball Recruiting tips for Student-Athletes

Rick Pitino

Are you a student-athlete looking to play collegiate basketball one day? Maybe you’re even a parent playing a major role in your child’s basketball career, doing everything possible to make their goal a reality.

Remember the days when in every city there would be at least five popular club teams (AAU)? A team put together with a well-respected coach with a resume known for developing potentially collegiate players, or even a team hosting a tryout for statewide top talent? Nowadays you can just start up a club team (AAU) and build from the ground up with hopes of gaining national recognition for the athletes and the program.

I think it’s great that coaches, parents, peers etc. have gone out of their way to start up these programs. In some areas it gives the youth an outlet for something positive and also a chance at the next level. Many years ago, getting a basketball scholarship was extremely competitive. Don’t get me wrong — you still have to be elite and well-rounded to obtain a basketball scholarship today. However, the outlets, resources, and recruiting processes have changed tremendously.

For example, remember sending out recruit questionnaires to your dream school? Or even putting together that one year of film with just your “good game” highlights? Let’s be real, everyone that has played basketball at a very young age was D-1 material in his or her mind. There’s nothing wrong with that because it shows confidence, and that’s a big piece that’s needed when considering playing college basketball.

Steps to consider:

A good coach or scout usually recognizes a potential collegiate athlete by the time they’re in 8th grade. Some athletes take longer to develop. However, many show their capabilities early on in their careers. The outlets that today’s athletes have are remarkable.

The Three C’s:

Confidence- If you don’t have it you’re going to struggle. For example, if you’re a small player but you’re putting up outstanding stats against the best in your class, someone will eventually notice you.

Consistency- You have to stay in the gym. There is no easy way out when considering playing college basketball. Someone is always working to take your spot. Staying consistent to the game will say a lot to coaches, reporters, scouts etc. It also will show in your game on the court.

Competitive- Think about how many people are pursuing this same goal? In order to be the best you have to compete with the best. It also helps with getting your name on the radar.

If you’re a student-athlete looking to play collegiate basketball, take the time out and READ. If you have the potential, resources are available to you.

Attend camps — developmental camps, position camps, and even elite camps if granted the opportunity.

Choose an AAU team that’s going to benefit you, not the coach. Make sure the team attends top events, which are usually where the college coaches will be in attendance depending on your talent level.

Attend a showcase, one of the best outlets in my opinion available for athletes today.

Do your research. Yes, coaches have rules as to when they can communicate with athletes. However, calling and being consistent never hurts. Take some responsibility for your own career.

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” – Tim Notke


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