So you think you can play at the next level? You have invested endless hours in individual, club and high school basketball practices and games.
Lots of money has been spent on training, uniform and tournament travel associated expenses. You have also burned the candles late into many nights with countless hours studying to ensure that your academic performance attracts rather than detract from your chances of playing basketball on the collegiate level.
The road has been difficult so far and the time has arrived for you to reach out for that basketball college scholarship. You have both the game and the grades and now you are ready to take the final steps to make the college basketball scholarship offer come true.
Below are critical steps that can make that dream come to fruition:
No.1: Take the Right Classes
Make sure that your high school core course schedule is in-line with the requirements of your choice of college(s).
No.2: Register With the NCAA
No later than your Junior year, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to validate your status as an amateur athlete.
No.3: Make Your List(s)
Compile a list of schools you would like to attend. Make sure to divide them into three sub-lists of four or five schools per list with each list categorized as either the A, B or C list to ensure that you establish a range of best to acceptable schools.
No.4: Create a Video
The recruiting video is one of the most important ways an athlete can attract the attention of coaches at the university level. Avoid substandard video quality and unnecessary production components. You should have 10 to 15 highlight plays-- with an additional game half included to show real-time ability. Keep your video short, simple and as professional-looking as possible. Hiring a videographer might be a worthwhile expense.
No. 5: Research the Schools
Check out the school's website to find out the best coach or school official to contact. Get to know the school’s basketball history to include both information on the coaching staff, current and former players, successes and playing system. Be knowledgeable about the school and know why you want to attend the institution.
No.6: First Contact
Place yourself on a college's radar in an aggressive--but friendly--way. It is a good idea to begin contacting coaches in the summer before your sophomore year.
Include an introduction explaining who you are and why you're contacting them and a copy of your recruiting video or a link where they can view your video. Include all this in a recruiting resume with details such as stats, honors, academic data and contact information for your high school coaches. Contact can be done by telephone as well but it is highly recommended that you mail your resume first and then follow-up with a telephone outreach.
No.7: Increase Your Game--and Your Exposure--at a University Basketball Camp
School basketball camps generally serve to help an athlete get better and to help an athlete get noticed. Consider this a job interview and like any job, it's all about networking and creating relationships. Be on your best behavior and be ready to learn as much as possible. You might just get recruited, without even realizing it.
No.8: The Final Choice
When making a final choice on scholarship offers presented, take a close look at the quality of the education at the school, the financial package offered and whether you will get playing time. For example, are they offering a full-ride? A partial scholarship? If one school offers a significantly greater financial award, it shouldn't be considered lightly since it helps you to both avoid going into major debt and it demonstrates their interest in you as an athlete and a student. Will you be receiving playing time on the next level. Do you have a good chance of getting in the starting lineup by your sophomore and junior year?
At the end of the day, choose the school that offers you the best environment for athletic, academic and personal development.