How to Get Recruited for College Basketball

Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr. preaches “Hard work, dedication!

Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr. also once said “Skills pay the bills.”

In order to get recruited for college basketball, you’re going to need hard work, dedication, and skills.

We are going to share our thoughts on how to get recruited for college basketball by breaking down the things that you need to do. I am going to share pieces of my story to help you in the process.

I played basketball at a Division II powerhouse. Football was my skill, but basketball became my love towards the end of my high school career so I put in the hard work and dedication to get recruited for college basketball.

 

Hard Work

Tip 1. Create a highlight tape.

  • You may need to pay a videographer to piece together highlights from your season.
  • Your coach needs to make sure every game is filmed. If your coach does not film it, have one of your friends or parents film every game.

Tip 2.  Pick two games where you feel you played your best and save the entire game.

  • Have the videographer edit out the timeouts and time spent shooting free throws unless you are shooting them.



Tip 3.  Put together a short tape showing your weaknesses in games.

Tip 4. Video tape yourself doing specific drills such as two ball dribbling or banana curl shots.

  • This is to highlight your strengths and ability to show your progression.

Tip 5. If you’re the leader of your high school team, see if one of your locker room or before game speeches can be recorded. Coaches want leaders.

Tip 6.  Get in the weight room.

  • You can add 4 to 6 points a game just by being stronger than other players. I know this from experience. I was more athletically gifted than other players in my league, but I did not hit the weight room until college. Players would simply muscle past me for offensive rebounds and put backs. Go be that player that can get offensive rebounds and put backs.
  • Be a garbage man. People like to hate on what are considered garbage points, but points are points. The stat sheet won’t say how you got 20 points. It will simply say that you got 20 points.

Tip 7. Run outside and uphill.

  • This will develop your quads and calves. This will also increase your cardio. The longer you’re able to productively stay in a game, the more opportunity you have to impress coaches.

Tip 8. When you’re on the bench for a break or in foul trouble continue to cheer on your teammates.

  • Develop personal friendships with players that sit on the bench. Having those friendships will show coaches that you’re a likeable person and are constantly into the game. Develop small superstitions. When I sat on the bench each of us would press the person’s shoe next to us with our thumbs when a teammate was shooting a free throw. Obviously, this didn’t do anything for the person shooting, but it showed our coach that we were a team.

Tip 9. Work on your body language.

  • It is ok to show emotion, but it is not ok to show poor emotions or to speak negatively towards your teammates or coach. If you yell at a teammate, make sure they are words of encouragement.

Tip 10.  Take a charge

  • Coaches love a player that is willing to sacrifice their body for the good of the team.

 

Dedication

Ball is Life, right?

Tip 1. Play basketball year-round.

Tip 2. Play for your high school team and find a suitable AAU team

  • AAU is primarily geared towards offensive players and a run and gun system. You’re going to need to find a coach and team that fits your style of play.

Tip 3. Show up to open gyms.

  • If you live near a college or JUCO (junior college) they often have open gym nights. A lot of times, the coaches will play in these open gym games so you have the ability to show off your skillset. Do not take these games lightly as coaches try to get under younger player’s skin.

Tip 4. Go play at the park against your friends.

  • Sometimes your friends may not be as good at basketball as you, but maybe they do something really well that you might want to learn from them. I had a friend that didn’t even play basketball competitively, but he liked Manu Ginobili so he developed a Euro step. He ended up teaching me this move which added more to my open court repertoire.

Tip 5. Email, Email, Email, and call coaches.

  • Go to http://www.ncaa.com/standings/basketball-men/d1 for NCAA schools. Change the dropdown menu to see other Divisions
  • You can find a coach’s contact information by going to Google.com. Type in the school name and the words “athletic department directory”. From there, you’ll be able to find coach’s email addresses, phone numbers, and recruiting questionnaires. Fill out the questionnaires and follow them up with emails or phone calls. Make sure to ask the coaches if you can send them videos of yourself.  Upload videos of yourself to the internet via YouTube or some other hosting site and provide the links to the coaches.
  • Email well over 50 schools. Play the law of large numbers here. Someone is bound to respond. You must be vigilant in attacking this process.
  • There are recruiting services that can do this for you. However, it is more personal if you do the work yourself.

Tip 6. Do not forget about NAIA schools or Junior Colleges. Both of those type of schools still offer athletic and academic scholarships.

 

 

Skills

Tip 1. Master the skills you already possess and turn your weaknesses into skills.

  • If you’re a shooter, shoot the ball.
  • If you’re not a shooter, learn to develop a long-range shot.  The game is changing; coaches want to stretch the floor to put pressure on defenses. There is no more room for just slashers anymore. Coaches would much rather have a 3 and D player than a slasher and D player.
  • Put yourself through rigorous 2 ball dribbling drills. Everyone on the court should be able to handle the ball. If you watch Steph Curry before a game, you’ll see he is doing 2 ball dribbling drills. We’re not saying you have to be Steph Curry, but you do need to train your non-dominate hand.
  • Work on being able to finish around the basket with both hands. Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving are prime examples of being able to do this.

Tip 2. Do well on the SAT and/or ACT and keep your grades up.

  • Coaches will ask you what your SAT and/or ACT scores are.
    1. That was the first question the coach I played for asked me.
  • Don’t be a dummy, you have to study for these things.
    1. Of course, it’s a pain to do, but you’ll thank yourself later for having done so.
    2. I know a lot of basketball players far more talented than myself that did not ever reach their basketball playing potential because they did not have the grades or scores to play at a Division I or II level. Instead they played at a JUCO for two years against lesser competition and missed out on those two years of true development.
  • If you do not receive a full-athletic scholarship, but you have the grades, your scholarship can be partially athletic and partially academic which could cover the entire cost or really offset the cost of college.

Tip 3. Rebound the damn ball.

  • Positions 1 through 5 must rebound the damn ball. You should have the mentality that every missed shot is your rebound. To the point that you get a foul every so often for attacking a rebound too hard. I don’t care if you are 5’7 and 160 pounds, that damn ball is yours for the taking.

Tip 4. Make your free throws.

  • What’s better than free money? This is free money. You want to boost your scoring average? Make your free throws. You could boost your scoring average by 3 to 4 points a game if you shoot in the 90% range and attack the basket. 19 sounds a hell of a lot better than 15, right?

Tip 5.  Play help side defense

  • Coaches don’t expect everyone to be phenomenal on ball defenders. It’s too difficult to increase foot speed, but everyone can be terrific help side defenders. That’s just training your basketball IQ and effort

 

Talent?

You can have all of the talent in the world, but if you do not have the grades, scores, work ethic, or dedication, then you will not be able to showcase your talents. I repeat, email, email, email, and call coaches. You have to get your name out there. Put in the time and effort to research destinations that might fit your skillset. Send letters of recommendation. Have your coaches email and call college coaches.

Skills may pay the bills, but hard work and dedication get you the job.