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Increase Your Chances of Getting Noticed

Coaches start scouting top level basketball talent when the players are in middle school.

Sound early? It is, but coaches want the opportunity to follow the best players throughout their high school playing careers. That’s why taking a few steps as early as possible to get on a coaching staff’s radar makes sense. Here’s how:

Reach Out

It doesn’t cost anything to start reaching out to coaches through email or telephone, but let’s be clear. This is something for you to do. Practice with your parents and mentors but make the call or send the email yourself. This type of initiative will set you apart from other athletes and introduce you to the coaches you’re interested in playing for. Having someone else call or email for you will do the exact opposite.

  • Email:
    • Emails are not the same as text messages. Start with a greeting, end with a closing, and type your name and phone number at the bottom.
    • Have a professional email address. Keep it simple.
    • Think about your message. State what do you want the coaching staff to know about you clearly. If you have stats, put them in.
    • Proofread and use spell check.
  • Phone Calls
    • Manners matter. Everyone’s time is important. Thank the coach for taking your call.
    • Be enthusiastic and informed on the college’s program so you can offer something to the conversation.

Create a Recruiting Profile

With your parents’ or coach’s help, research the recruiting websites that allow players to post profiles and videos online. More than 90% of college coaches say they begin the recruiting process online. They use the Internet to search for athletes and do their preliminary skill evaluations.

Make a list of Schools

If you’re player with your eye on a college scholarship, chances are you’re probably following college hoops now. Start making a list of the schools that interest you. Give some thought to the type of school you want to attend—location, size and environment–and the major you think you want to study. Do some research on your own. Find out about the coaching staff and their backgrounds and philosophies. Learn about the cities and towns where these colleges and universities are.

When you can describe what you want from a school and a basketball program, the coaching staff will perceive you as a mature and responsible candidate with clear goals or aspirations. At some point, you can begin to whittle your list down with the help of an experienced mentor, but for now—educate yourself.

Visit as Many Schools as You Can

If you have been able to connect with a coach via email or telephone, ask that coach if you can visit the campus and meet with them. This is a mature step that demonstrates a strong desire to attend that school and play for that program. If a coach agrees to meet with you, take advantage of this opportunity to impress them in person.

Improve Your Grades

Good grades are a big advantage in the recruiting process. If you are a student athlete who meets the minimum qualifications to receive an academic scholarship, your offer does not count against the athletic budget of the coach.

Meeting the following requirements does not guarantee that you will receive an academic scholarship; it only makes you eligible to receive one. Incoming freshmen need to:

  • Have a 3.5 GPA
  • Be in the top 20% of their class
  • Have either a combined Math & reading SAT score of 1140 or an ACT composite score of 100. .

Attend College Basketball Camps and Showcases

Basketball camps are summer camps run by colleges that have basketball programs. Attending one of these is a great way to learn more about the game from established college coaches and get exposure to scholarship decision-makers. You will also be able to talk to other student athletes from high school and AAU teams—those connections can sometimes lead to experiences that improve your game and your exposure.

Basketball showcases are events that give you a stage on which you can play with other prospective college basketball recruits and display your skills on the court and your leadership ability to scholarship decision-makers. Costs are higher than camp fees but provide excellent exposure and experience. Many basketball showcases will create a video of your games to assist in your recruiting process.

Don’t Miss Deadlines

Applying to schools and getting a scholarship are two separate processes.
You must apply and get accepted to the school you want to attend an application and get accepted to a school you are interested in attending. Find out when the application deadlines are and plan ahead to be sure you submit your application on time.

Know when the recruiting deadlines are. There are certain signing periods for each sport. Outside of these signing periods, you will not be able to receive a scholarship.

It is also important to register AND be cleared by the NCAA and NAIA Eligibility Centers so that coaches know you are academically eligible.

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