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By Luke Allen | Things to watch for if you want to be NCAA D1 college eligible, academically

February 11, 2018

 

 

PICTURED: The opportunity to secure US Athletic Scholarship is a great one but you must be fully prepared to be eligible through High School. 

 

 

We are in the midst of a very significant point in time for South Australian basketball, Australian basketball for that matter. More and more athletes are currently on active, Division 1 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball scholarships than ever (History made in South Australian Basketball - FOUR Athletes Commit to NCAA Div 1 Men's programs in the 2017 class | https://goo.gl/obmHPl), proving that the goals and dreams of South Australian athletes participating in major college basketball in the US is a reality.  This is probably the same with other states but SA is batting well above our weight in this regard at the moment.

 

In decades gone by every minute was spent with a ball in your hands. If you dreamed of playing basketball at the highest level it meant practicing to be better than the next player, sun up till sun down.

 

There was no time made for anything else and the obsession of making sure you were putting in more hours than anyone else dominated your life with little regard for anything else- except to perhaps catch a game when the tank was empty. Looking back, we were largely naive, as a nation,  to the requirements of what it took to play basketball beyond our own shores, particularly college basketball.

 

We all know about the great commitment and sacrifice athletes in SA and around Australia make to focus on reaching their goals; hours on the court, hundreds of shots a day, individual workouts, strength/agility training, endless travel, financial strain, team and state commitments. Likewise, also significant, are the commitments by their support group in their families and mentors.

 

If you coach, mentor or work with an elite athlete (or someone striving to be) you know all to well just how jam packed their timetable really is. But, unlike in years gone past, in the mix of this schedule of early morning workouts and late-night practice, it is evident that time is always set aside to meet the needs of their academic work.

 

Persuing a college basketball career is not for everyone as Paul Mesecke described in his blog ‘Lessons on College Pathways’ (https://goo.gl/mRoonJ ) but, if playing college basketball is a goal of yours or your child’s’ there are important factors you need to consider in planning a pathway and it requires more than just being an elite dedicated athlete.

 

College recruiters look for hard working, high character people who take pride in the classroom not just students with glowing basketball credentials. One of the first questions a college coach will ask us when they are seriously interested in the athlete are in relation to academics.   Will they be a qualifier?  Have they done their SATs?