Certainly some of us play basketball because we love it, and to become improved for next year's middle school and high school teams. These are two wonderful, fundamental reasons to play. Especially for the younger age groups. But for the serious "Big Boys & Girls", beginning on Tuesday, July 6th it's when things really heat up.
It's the beginning of the NCAA Live Period, when Division One college coaches are allowed in the house to observe high quality players in all star settings. There are a gazillion offerings out there of over priced and under delivering tournaments all designed to have your team come to Las Vegas, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, etc. There will literally be about 300,000 boys and girls at these live events this July all hoping and dreaming of that elusive D-1 scholarship.
Sadly, all that will be left at the end of the day for most teams will be a stack of bills totalling about $20-30,000 per team with most of them seeing nary a coach as they're relegated to the "back gyms" which in reality are miles and miles away from the action. Once in a while, there will be a player on a mom and pop team who deserves attention and typically a low D-1 program will make the trek to the off site to take a peek and when they do what a bizz it causes between the parents in attendance.
Everyone is chasing the EXPOSURE opportunity. The reality is, it's a "closed shop". The same name clubs with the history of having a roster of D-1 prospects will get the choice floors, the "super pools" and the opportunities at the invitation only events and ultimately the bulk of the scholarships.
This information is not to cast things in a negative light, only to give a sense of reality to the July madness. Of course, what keeps everyone coming back is that dark horse who wins the race and the exception to the rule.
I want to wish everyone safe travels as we all go down the various roads of summer basketball. Let's hope for an injury free July and also that many of these kids dreams come true. Everyone loves a Cinderellla Story.