We all want big name colleges like Duke and North Carolina to have the coach show up at our front door telling us how much he wants us to play for his college and offering basketball scholarships.
Unfortunately, that is only the case with a small fraction of the colleges out there. There are hundreds of Division 2,3, and NAIA schools that don’t have the money to do this type of recruiting and are looking for local athletes that have thrown themselves out there and showcased their abilities.
Here are some things you can do to get noticed by the smaller colleges and hopefully be offered a scholarship:
First, start early. Don’t wait until after your last season as a basketball player to look at colleges. By that time, all of the scholarship money is given out and the team is probably already made. Start contacting colleges your Freshman or Sophomore year, and definitely work hard your Junior year to get your name out there.
Second, talk to your high school coach. Tell him or her your ambitions about wanting to play in college. If he or she really thinks you can play at the college level, they may have college contacts that can be a huge benefit to you. Or they may even call the college on your behalf explaining to the college coach how great of a play you are.
Third, look for colleges in your local area that you want to play for and contact their coach. Send an e-mail with your goals and some information about yourself, such as your basketball statistics, grades, and maybe a highlight video of game performances.
Fourth, make a highlight video of yourself to showcase your skills. Video programs in Windows and Apple have made it easier to compile a video of your best moves. Make a video, upload it to YouTube, and include it in any e-mails you send to coaches or recruiters. This helps the coaches put actual skills to a name.
Fifth, focus on grades. Remember, basketball is important, but your number one priority should be grades! If you don’t earn good enough grades or a high enough SAT score, you might not even be able to play in college. Plus, if you get good grades a college is much more likely to recruit you. If you have the means, try to attend a recruiting camp or “Showcase Camp” in your area. This is a basketball camp where college recruiters look for athletes to play at their college.
Here are some additional resources about playing basketball in college: