Why get involved with college pathways for the guys I coach?
I feel something big has emerged in the past 18 months for basketball and I may be playing a key role in that something. What that something is I am not sure yet, but it is rapidly evolving. Whilst I cannot answer the “what it is” question I can answer the “why am I doing it?”
To answer the why I will share some of the past.
Vision: As a team we will leave a legacy that will be remembered, revered and aspired-to at the Sturt Sabres for future generations. Together we will provide an environment for each other that helps develop a platform for our success as a team, and as individuals, beyond this year, into the future; on and off the floor.
It started to become a reality with the phenomenal players and coaches in the team above. The "why" we are doing this is largely about them. All 13 of them (10 players, 2 Assistants and our team manager). Our team vision was to leave a legacy for ourselves but also others that come through and I guess this may be it. I always say if you create a vision you must pursue it. How can we leave a legacy, what does this mean? At Sturt there has been so much success in U18s before us. How can we expect to leave a legacy in such a success saturated environment?
In my roles at a couple of clubs I have long floated the idea of establishing a college pathways program. It has been at the back of my mind for some time now to help offer the athletes I work with a pathway to college basketball. Why demand so much from them and invest so much into them just to see them to not have REAL opportunities to achieve their dreams? Whilst I never got to play college hoops, was never a thought process, the opportunities to go over really started emerging when I was a junior player. With such a strong love for the game, if I was growing up now I am sure I would have gone across to play – what an experience it would have been. I suspect many going over, over the years, were oblivious to the options and the levels and many kids were only playing Div 2 ball in the states and often this was through coaches or players that played out there. Playing DIv 1 ball in the past was just a pipe dream for all but the absolute elite.
At my last club, there were some great people involved, very good operators in this area. There were also people that took on advising kids on colleges and Australian pathways, but I suspect despite they did not really fully grasp what they were doing either, nor how to go about it. I really feel like that there were kids I invested a stack of time into, set goals with, and developed, that were later let down with poor choices, from a basketball perspective, through possibly poor advice. I didn’t want to let this happen again at the time.
New Opportunities & Challenges.....
Fast forward a few years, now to my new club, Sturt Sabres, and some opportunities have formed because: