I Love Aau Basketball

by : Al Woods

The landscape of high school basketball is changing. The up and coming power is AAU basketball. Why do I say this? Because it's true. High school basketball is not the same anymore. It use to be a big deal to play on your high school team but that time is over. AAU basketball offers more to the student athlete than just being on the high school basketball team. AAU basketball programs run like small corporations. These programs have presidents, treasurers, trainers, and many coaches. They raise money for their programs and do a great job with recruiting.

All of these programs are non-profit and bring in many donations. The part of AAU basketball that I can see that's fun for the players is the traveling. Many of the programs are going to tournaments all over the country and players are staying at hotels, eating at good restaurants all the time and are doing things kids like to do. AAU basketball is fun and there's more parental involvement.

The AAU players have greater advantages that high school teams don't. During your high school season you play 20 or so games with teams in your community which means you get on the school bus and travel to another school to play. There are no hotels or places to eat after the game like you would get during the AAU season and there is no travel.

During the AAU season you have a different coach and sometimes and entirely different group of coaches. Other major advantages I see are recruiting good players to the AAU program whereas in high school, you're stuck with the players who go to that school.
Recruiting is a big deal these days. College coaches want to see as many players in one place, at one time and you can't really do that during the high school basketball season.

At some of the AAU events there are hundreds of teams with thousands of players. It would make sense for college recruiters to attend because it's much easier to see all of the good players in one place. College coaches can see these players play many games during the length of a tournament and it is a great advantage to the players of these AAU basketball programs.

AAU basketball players can play 40 to 50 games and there are many other perks that go along with that such as, players receiving free shoes and new uniforms. In high school, you are stuck with same old outdated jersey that's been worn a million times by many other players.

AAU programs also have power. When it comes to recruiting they have the most talented teams and players and college recruiters want to get to know these AAU coaches. College coaches can only get to these players by going through the AAU coaches. I've heard that some AAU coaches will say things like, "if you make a donation of $10,000 you can have access to my players". Now keep in mind, this is not illegal. AAU programs are non-profit and have to raise money somehow. College programs do make these types of donations and it's all good for everyone.

Back in the day and not that long ago, some high school coaches would try to ruin a high student athlete's chances of getting recruited for college but with the power of AAU basketball, you can't get over on players any more. The players now have more options and there's nothing wrong with options.

The things that I'm hearing and seeing with AAU basketball is that some major college recruits are bypassing the high school basketball season altogether. If it's about recruiting and being seen then all you would have to do is only play AAU basketball. By only playing AAU basketball, you can still been seen by a greater number of college coaches and I think it would be a better advantage to play AAU basketball. The only downside I can really see is if you are an average basketball player and are not on a good AAU basketball program. Then, you would need the high school basketball season.

To be recruited in high school it would help if your team played in the state tournament every year. College programs would come and see the players playing--all in one place. That still goes on but the value is not so important any more. Not every team makes it to the state tournament and good players sometimes get overlooked. But if you are lucky enough to be on a good AAU team, then you will be seen by a large number of coaches.

Think about this: some smaller college programs who don't have the big recruiting budgets have to pick which events to attend each year. These smaller college programs must spend their money wisely so, to attend a large AAU basketball tournament would be in that college's best interest. College programs don't need to attend the high school basketball games anymore because they're only going to see one good player--maybe. College coaches are funny about how they recruit players and they're not coming just to see one player anymore. AAU basketball offers more. It's like one-stop shopping--get it all and see it all in one place.

I don't know if the coaching is any diffident or better with AAU basketball versus high school coaching. It may be about the same because a lot of high school coaches are AAU basketball coaches. What I do see is the AAU coaches having more time to put into their own programs and players. Also, many AAU coaches don't have to deal with the high school BS from school administrators and athletic directors. AAU coaches can bypass many restrictions that are placed on high school coaches.

Yes, being an AAU basketball coach has its many advantages. Being an AAU coach, you can build the program how you want and pick or recruit the players you want now. High school coaches are teachers and do not have the time to fully help their own players with recruiting.

There will come a time when AAU basketball is more powerful than high school basketball. In the future, you will see more AAU basketball events on T.V. Some AAU programs will even start their own television network and maybe run their own programming on the Internet.

AAU basketball is what's happening now! I love AAU basketball!


? 2007 Al Woods