“If your son is dedicated to playing basketball at a competitive high school level this is the program he needs to be in. Three years ago my son became a Wolverine and he loves playing for Garry, Kevinn, Dustin, Jose and Larry. The ability of the coaches to build confidence is one of the attributes of the program. They concentrate on fundamentals, ball handling and competition, and although they demand the kids work hard, they have a lot of fun. The coaches require the players act with integrity on and off the court, they continue to impress us and we are proud to be a part of the Wolverine family”
-Spanish Springs Parent
My son played with the Wolverines last year (2011). It was an phenomenally positive experience. The coaches are outstanding. My son’s skills improved by practicing with and against the best that Northern Nevada has to offer. The coaches push the kids to improve but do it with a positive and constructive approach. The tournaments were first rate, playing against the best AAU teams in the nation. The friendships that were developed will be long lasting. An absolutely incredible program. Many, many, thanks to the Wolverines!
Tips from a Parent
As a parent of a son who has received a basketball scholarship to play basketball for the University of Riverside, I have gained a substantial amount of knowledge having gone through AAU Basketball and high school basketball seasons as well as the college recruiting process over the last few years. While this information is still fresh in my mind I would like to share the process of how to get your son a basketball scholarship from my past experiences. I will be talking to players, parents, and high school coaches. Let me first begin by saying as in all future plans the earlier you start the better. We began travel basketball while our son was in 4th grade. He was already ahead of most kids his age on the growth table. However, just because your son may be vertically challenged should not deter you from getting started. You don’t know how tall he’s going to be and besides there are plenty of guards playing college basketball that are only 5ft 7in. If your son has an interest in the game be sure to cultivate that interest.
To The Parents: As your son is beginning to play basketball at a young age be sure that fundamentals are being taught. Be sure proper instruction is being learned so bad habits will not have to be broken later. Many high school basketball programs have affiliations with AAU and summer basketball programs and it is important that your son gets on one of these teams. I will discuss AAU programs a little later. Tutors are used in academics and should be considered in athletics also. Encourage your son to practice and master his skills. The first and most important of these skills no matter how short or tall your son may be is ball handling. If you can handle the rock you can play college basketball. It’s that simple.
As mentioned earlier joining a good AAU program is the most important thing you can do for your son. There are many different AAU teams and they are all quite different. In the younger years AAU teams are more instructional and play more local tournaments due to limited funds. As your son begins to play high school basketball, AAU becomes more important and becomes a business. Most good AAU programs have a 15 and under, a 16 and under and 17 and under teams. The higher profile teams travel the country and play in front of 1000′s of college scouts and recruiting services. This should be the goal as a parent to get your son on one of these teams. AAU programs have college contacts and many are feeder programs for those colleges. There are many showcases that come to your area throughout the year. Sign up and go to these showcases. Your son needs to be noticed and this is the best way to have that done. Dad’s, one more thing. You are not a coach. You do not know more than a good AAU coach. Do not shout instructions to your son during the game. Keep your mouth shut.
To The Player: I am talking to you now under the assumption you are fifteen. You have spent the past 6 or 7 years dribbling, shooting, passing and working on your craft. You are fundamentally sound. If not, start today. You are probably on your JV or Varsity team starting your high school career. First of all let’s get an understanding that you don’t know squat about basketball. Your basketball IQ is low and you are ignorant in every aspect of the game. As the advice in the last paragraph I gave to your dad, keep your mouth shut. Only open it to ask your coach a question. Pay attention to the instruction you receive. As in all sports practice. Give 100% all the time. You owe it to yourself and team as well as to the paying fans in your high school gymnasium on game night. Work on your weakest basketball skills during practice and when you work alone. Play to your strengths on game night.
As you play on your AAU team the next three summers you will be playing in front of scouts and coaches representing Division I, II, and III colleges as well as many others. Don’t get all hyped up on yourself thinking you are a DI prospect. D2 and D3 offer scholarships too. It’s all about where you fit and can play. You may even think about a Junior College. Many Junior Colleges are feeders for DI schools. Also all of these coaches are friends of each other. All have at one time or another worked for each other. DII and DIII coaches become DI coaches someday. If a DII college is interested in you listen to what they have to say. You may get an offer.
Now you knew it was coming. Grades. You will not get a college scholarship if you have bad grades and skip class. You don’t have to be a 4.0+ student either. The NCAA has a sliding scale for DI athletes. It is basically the higher your GPA the lower your ACT or SAT scores can be. You noticed I said NCAA DI. DII schools do not have the sliding scale and are harder to qualify for. What can you do? Again start early. As a freshman, get the highest grades you can. Many athletes have not qualified because they did poorly their freshman year. This is the most important academic year towards you getting a scholarship.
To the high school coach: First of all thank you for what you do. You helped in getting my son a scholarship worth about $130,000. For you I am indebted. Now let’s help the next student and his family. I ask that you seek advice and help from other coaches and AAU programs. I also ask that you get to know all your local college coaches from Junior College to DI on a first name basis. Work their clinics and put on your own. Let them know you have a player that may be of interest to them. Be involved in your players lives, keeping track of their grades and mentoring them. Know their families and friends. If your player is starting to run with the wrong crowd and are friends with questionable characters let the parents know. You are the coach of the team and need to run it with an iron hand. Set policy and do not compromise. Communicate to the parents and players and let them know you are totally in charge. Period. Together you all will succeed.
Parents and players. I have only scratched the surface in the advice I have given you. Having a love for the game of basketball and what it has given to our family I would be more than happy to help and answer questions you may have in obtaining a basketball scholarship.