I’m a junior basketball recruit. What should I be doing now in March to help aid in the basketball recruiting process? 

One of the features that I hope to do monthly is to focus on what I feel recruits in football, basketball, and possibly other sports should be doing right now to help themselves in the recruiting. As I have said many times, this is a difficult journey and most families are intimidated by it. But if you focus on what you need to do, it can help you work towards that scholarship.

This look will focus on what you need to do to help yourself hopefully earn a scholarship down the road or open doors to college that you were previously not considering. While many people still think that if you are good enough, schools will find you. The problem is that the schools that may eventually find you (If they do at all) will be unable to give you any scholarship money. You will be found but your student loan bills will haunt you for quite sometime (Which I can attest to).

If you have not figured it out already, the main area that you need to be focused on is finding an AAU team. If you really think that you are a scholarship player at the college level (I am talking Division I or II), you need to play for an AAU team. This is very essential because the exposure you get while on the AAU circuit is something that you can get nowhere else. College coaches from around the country will be traveling to a variety of tournaments. While they may not have set out to watch you, it is a good chance to showcase your skills in front of these coaches.

A big problem now is that most AAU teams have already started their practices and some have gotten tournaments in already. If you are not on an AAU team, your best bet is to try and figure out what the best teams are in your around (Include your state and bordering states in your search). Contact their coaches and talk to them about how many people they have on their team, if there are any other open spots, or if you can be an alternative. With so many things happening during the spring and summer for high school athletes, there are always spots where you can be an alternative (Most kids miss action for prom).

One of the interesting things when comparing the basketball recruiting process and the football recruiting process is the use of highlight videos. If you have a great highlight video in football, you could easily get a scholarship offer without being seen by the coaches. Chances are slim that this will happen in hoops. While making a highlight video can help you in recruiting for basketball, it is by no means an immediate path to a scholarship.

College basketball coaches feel that anyone can loop together five minutes of their top plays on the basketball court. Because games are so high scoring, it is easy to do that. The coaches want to see basketball players against other top players throughout the country. They want to know if the athlete can defend? How is his demeanor towards coaches and other players? Does he make those around him better? If you are in the recruiting process, a highlight tape can help. But coaches will rely much more heavily on full game tapes and seeing the player in action for themselves.

If you have not done so already, I would recommend going through the first few steps in the Five Steps to a Scholarship series (CLICK HERE FOR THAT ARTICLE). You do want to put together a profile, find schools that match you, and then market yourself to those schools. As mentioned above, it would help to put together a website and a highlight video but is not as important if you play for an AAU team that travels the country.

Depending on your area and your ability, contact local college coaches and see if you can play open gyms with them. With it being the spring, many of the athletes may be away with work or class obligations. This gives you a chance to see what the college game is about. Even if it is Division III basketball, it is good to try to go against bigger and better competition. This will definitely help you in the long run.

And if your schedule can fit it, I would recommend going out for track. It is good for all athletes to go out for track as it helps with your speed and endurance. If you are interested, talk to the track coaches about just practicing and helping whenever you can. They need to know that basketball comes first but if you are a good kid, they will probably let you go out.

Another area to look into is the elite camps that basketball coaches hold. No, I am not talking about the week overnight at State University. The chances of you getting a scholarship through that are very, very small. I am talking about the elite camps that coaches hold for a day or two with a very small price tag. This can definitely help you with the recruiting process just because so many different coaches are in attendance.

 

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