Overwhelmed by the Recruiting Process? Focus on Education First

I returned recently from a major east coast summer basketball camp where I had a lengthy discussion about the recruiting process with the mother of a talented junior. Her son is a good student who already holds offers from D1 schools, none of them big-time. A single mom with two kids who never went to college and never played sports, she told me she has little awareness of colleges or basketball programs. Working two jobs (they are a low income family) leaves her precious little time to deal with the recruiting process. I told her I’d had a conversation at the camp with a coach who said she was not returning his calls. She acknowledged that was a problem and said she feels overwhelmed by all the attention. “There are so many schools”, she said, “how do I handle this”?

The answer is simple, although a surprisingly large number of families never figure it out. Start with the schools offering the most highly rated educations. (See separate blog showing list). This quickly shrinks the list while having the added benefit of keeping priorities straight, often next to impossible in this process, even for those who are good at it. Focusing on the top-rated academic schools cuts the number of possible schools from approximately 265 (outside the big-time basketball conferences) to about 45, while maintaining priorities. For most, only about half of those 45 will actually show recruiting interest. Now the list is manageable and efficient, goals are intact and focus is tight. The chance of success has increased greatly.