Welcome back to Hardwood High School, your top-tier source for tips, techniques, drills about everything in high school basketball. This is a weekly blog from the @HempsteadHuddle, so check back every week for more insightful pieces. Volume one was about the importance of great defense, and the second volume was all about you, the high school basketball player, who’s looking for the best opportunity to play at the next level. Week three was all about Duke and UNC basketball’s coaches and their high-level tips.
This week is all about AAU basketball. The AAU basketball circuit is as equally responsible for getting more basketball players recruited than actual high school basketball games. AAU basketball allows aspiring college athletes to have year-around exposure. This year-around exposure allows colleges from across the United States to find their future program standouts at NCAA sanctioned tournaments. Outside of exposure of the athlete to coaches from the NCAA level, AAU basketball players have the ability to gauge their skills against everyone from their region and beyond. If you are ready to own your college recruiting experience, follow these simple steps and you will be getting offers before you know it.
Tip #1: Research Local AAU Teams
Whether you live in rural Iowa, or big city California, there should be an AAU organization within 100 miles of your home. A great resource to find teams in your area is AAU sports website. If you visit this link, you will be able to search specific areas that will accommodate you and your family. Most AAU club team websites will have a breakdown of the process needed to tryout for their organization. You can usually see their schedules for the upcoming year, including the local and national tournaments they frequent. Your best bet it to try to find an organization that suits your skill level, and a team that you can shine on. Like I said in the second volume Harwood High, ride the shooting star. If you find a player that is getting national notoriety in your area and his AAU team has a need at your position, join that team right away. I’m never the one to ride another person’s coattail, but in the case of high school basketball, playing alongside another top athlete will never hurt your college recruiting status.
Tip #2: Research the Coach
You wouldn’t join a college team with a coach you didn’t believe in right? So why would you ever join an AAU team with a coach who doesn’t believe in your talent. The great thing about AAU basketball is that you don’t need sign a contract to play with a team, and you are free to come and go. Contrary to that fact, you want to find a program that is progressively growing and has a coach who has the national connections to get you to the next level. Another important aspect to finding a great AAU coach, is verifying his certifications and his level of clearance with the major tournaments. My little brother was apart of an AAU team had plenty of talent, but the coach was only able to place his squad in local tournaments in Arizona. He had to leave his team once he realized that he wasn’t going to be able to compete in the high-level matchups in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
AAU basketball can change your life’s destination and take your skill to the next level. Your focus should be playing harder and not about the day-to-day politics of your basketball program. There are politics at every level of athletics; your job is to never allow these issues to suppress with your success in your sport. Ultimately, you should continue to work on your game, so when it comes time to show and prove, your skill speaks for itself. Check back next week for another installment of Hardwood High. Until then, this is Yorick Hempstead signing off.