July is here and the heart of the AAU basketball season is in full swing. Players and teams from across North America, and in some cases the world (I’ve met coaches and teams from both Dubai and Australia) travel from state to state, gym to gym in hopes of improving their ranking, gaining exposure, and ultimately securing a US college scholarship.
I am fortunate enough to have gone through the recruiting process both as a player, and now as the director of a program where I help parents and players navigate through a world filled with promises, hype and big dreams. I believe having been on both sides of this process has given me a unique perspective.
The game of basketball is growing, and truly becoming global. As participation increases at all levels the competition for US college scholarships become tougher each year. All this leads to the question I get asked all the time.
“Coach, what do I need to do to land a scholarship and what are college coaches looking for? The answer isn’t as easy as many parents and players want to believe.
With the increased participation the evaluation process has become more important than ever, as coaches do not have time to sift through the thousands of names playing AAU basketball. Coaches increasingly rely on scouting reports from talent “evaluators” which has spawned an entirely new industry in itself. There are now so many scouting services and talent evaluators, many with zero coaching or playing experience that this process becomes even harder. Now there are some very good ones, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve come across many reports and spoken to enough college coaches to know that these reports are all subjective. In other words, it comes down to the eye of the beholder. Things such as height, weight, age, school etc…at times vary from report to report
These reports and evaluations are not certified. They need to be. One good showing on any given weekend can send a players stock skyrocketing, or just as easily the can sink faster than they can recover.
I truly believe that a certified evaluation , which by no means is easy, is the direction we need to move in. This will allow coaches and players to have a better idea of where they stand so they can plan and move accordingly as they try to improve their stock. Example, a player who continuously tries to be the best scorer on his/her team but really needs to work on and build his/her game around good decision making to play at the next level.
So again, what is it? What does it take? What separates players when all things are even?
What are intangibles? Because even this is up for debate, but I have my own list of things I look for while evaluating talent.
Here are a few, not all, to consider…in no particular order
4. Mental Toughness
6. Playing Experience
8. Decision making
Like I said its July and everyone is on the move, including me. I just landed in Vegas to take part in the Fab 48
Stay tuned as I breakdown what some of these intangibles mean.
Till then….stay up and stay #Blessed