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The Game Plan

Posted by Capital District Girls Basketball League at Jan 22, 2001 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
As a young high school player with the potential for earning a scholarship to play college basketball, I recommend focusing on: 1) Academics. From your freshman year in high school, work hard in school, don't ever miss a class, get tutoring if you need it, and challenge yourself with the course level that can prepare you best for college. If you are not a college qualifier (through a combination of core course grades and ACT/SAT scores) by NCAA standards, you will risk being virtually unrecruitable. 2) Athletic Skills. Work to improve all facets of your athleticism: strength training, cardiovascular, agility, speed, and vertical jump. 3) Basketball Skills. Hone your individual skills of ball handling, passing, shooting, rebounding, and footwork. 4) Game Exposure. Play at the highest level you can during the off-season with AAU teams and attend the highest profile camp you can compete in. The college recruiters must see you. The best way to do this is in the off-season at the venues mentioned above. Coaches can really evaluate a prospect better in game conditions to see how they react to pressure, see if they make smart court decisions, and if they are unselfish and play with intensity. 5) Politics. Sometimes better players are passed over because other kids have more savvy with the politics of how the recruiting game is played. If your high school or AAU coach knows many college coaches, you will have a better chance of being seen. If they don't, you must create your own opportunities. Network with any coaches you come in contact with and tell them you are looking to play at the next level. Put together a highlight film and send copies to the coaches of the schools that are realistically within your reach, talent-wise. The plain and simple truth is that not all players who want to play Division I ball will be able to. Don't let that stop you from striving for that goal. If you work your hardest, you will improve and be able to play college basketball while earning an education, which is of paramount importance. Facing challenges often turns into opportunities in the future.