There is no question about it: If you want to be recruited to play basketball in college, you have to ascertain and earn every advantage possible. Competition for only a certain number of spots on each team is fierce. With athletic department budgets as they are, many players are often asked to play two and sometimes three different positions on the floor at various times. It is critical that you possess the ability to consistently demonstrate excellent basketball fundamentals as well as display the capacity to be able to adjust and perform at whatever position you may be called upon to play.
It is also important to keep in mind that one coach may be looking at your qualities and abilities for a certain position, while at the same time, another coach is looking at you for another position. Clearly it is imperative, if you want to be recruited, that you be dedicated, committed, willing to make sacrifices, and understanding of the game and the process.
Here's how to get recruited to play college basketball:
- Remember first, you are a student-athlete, not just an athlete. The NCAA uses a "balancing formula" on your GPA and SAT/ACT scores to determine your scholarship eligibility. For example, the lowest acceptable SAT score is 820; however if you have a 3.85 GPA and score a 720 on your SAT, then you are still eligible. It works vice versa as well. The higher your SAT score, the lower your GPA can be to be eligible. The NCAA incorporates this in an effort to weigh out fairness toward those who may be "poor testers." The bottom line, however, remains: If you do not have the grades, you will not have a chance to play at the collegiate level.
- It is essential to possess fundamental basketball skills. Quickness, speed, strength, jumping ability, shooting percentage, and defensive ability are all necessary and important parts of the game that you must be able to demonstrate consistently on the floor. You may even want to make a college basketball recruiting video to display your skills.
- If you do not possess all these skills, it doesn't mean you cannot be recruited. Size sometimes makes up for quickness. Shooting percentage sometimes makes up for speed. Do not write yourself out of the opportunity if you do not possess every important skill.
- Sometimes coaches are looking for players who can simply play the game. Know the rules and terms of the game, and be a player who rises up to whatever your coach asks of you. Have the attitude of giving 100% in your training and practice drills. These traits go a long way in recruiters' eyes.
- Make sure you complete and submit all paperwork on time. Register for the NCAA clearinghouse at the beginning of your junior year if you want to play college sports. Register and take your first SAT/ACT at the earliest time possible after your sophomore year, ideally in the summer between this and your junior year.
- Respond and return all correspondences from coaches. Coaches can begin correspondence with players they are interested in recruiting during the player's sophomore year. Do not let these correspondences go unreturned or unanswered. If a coach asks you to send film, send it. If one invites you to a summer camp, go. It is vital to remember that the recruiting process feeds on itself. You stop feeding it and it will stop feeding you.
Helpful Position Skill Guidelines Recruiters look at:
- Point Guard: Ball handling, passing ability, court awareness, scoring ability, defensive ability, leadership.
- #2 Guard: Consistent jump shooter with 3-point range, scoring ability, ball handling, passing skills, rebounding, defensive ability, leadership, physical ability.
- Small Forward: Scoring ability, passing ability, rebounding, physical ability.
- Power Forward: Scoring ability, passing ability, defensive ability, rebounding, physical ability.
- Center: Scoring ability, passing ability, rebounding, defensive ability, physical ability.
Remember, there are many recruits so you need to do your best to stand out from the crowd. If you have a desire to be recruited to play basketball in college, you must be willing to make sacrifices, hear the doubts of others, and stay committed and determined on your path. Tommy Lasorda once said, "The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in determination."