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Will Smith | The US Prep School System. What it's like, things to look out for and look for

June 30, 2018

Intro by Coach Janx


Will is one of the rare few of coaches from Australia coaching in the United States, even rarer in that he is from South Australia and even rarer again in that he coaches in the Prep School level of competitions.


In South Australia he previously played Premier League with Forestville Eagles, before moving to Eastern Mavericks and then starting his coaching journey with Eastern.  Quickly finding a real love for coaching he decided to take the big plunge into fulltime coaching, packup shop and head to NBA China to work in the youth basketball sector there.   He has since moved over to the United States working for St Louis Christian Academy a private, prep school with a strong basketball program, whilst still running a coaching program in China called World Hoops Basketball Academy.


In this article Will takes us into the very different world of high level US High and Prep School basketball, what to look for in bad vs a good prep school, the style of game played, as well as some tips and advice on selecting a college.  This is a good read for any athlete, parents, coaches and supporters who are might be considering US High School/Prep School or just interested in learning more about overseas basketball.  Whilst we always enjoy reading content and opinions I HIGHLY recommend that any athletes considering this pathway seek out advice from a number of coaches with experience and knowledge in basketball pathways, both here and in the US, before making such a decision, there a lot variables involved.  I’ve seen poor decisions made without speaking and listening to the right mix of people first and considering specific variables for themselves.


Over to Coach Smith


 PICTURED:  Will and the team from St Louis Christian Academy Prep School at Game 6 of round 1 of the NBA playoffs between the Cavs and the Pacers.


For High School aged athletes the talent level, level of general competition, amount of games and the whole deal I believe is unsurpassed in the world compared to the United States.


Unfortunately a lot of this derives from the harsh realities we already know; For many kids in the USA- basketball is their ticket to a better life. Some players struggle with school, have bad situations at home, or come from poor socio-economic backgrounds. However, this painful truth has also helped borne a fire, hunger and passion unrivaled. Games are intense, filled with scrappy players who fight tooth and nail every possession. The competitive nature of getting ‘an offer’ from a college team makes each game, tournament and season much more important.


USA High School Basketball Landscape


For those who don’t know- players are ranked inside America for their