It is no surprise that basketball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. With the likes of Lebron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant leading the charge, this thrilling, epic sport has become one of the most popular across the globe. But let’s take a step back and look at some of the greatest college basketball players in history, and how they managed to secure basketball scholarships to some of the USA’s most elite basketball programs. Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird all first burst onto the scene at College or University level. So how do you win a university basketball scholarship?
The college basketball programs in the USA are second to none. Players who have the passion, desire, commitment, and overall love for the game of basketball have a chance at representing their university and competing at an incredibly competitive and skillful level.
So what does it take to become a college basketball player? What do you as a student-athlete need to do to catch the eye of a basketball coach or scout in the USA? The list below will give you a guide on how you can win a university basketball scholarship
Focus on your academics
At Aspire Atlantic, we try to drill this into our students’ heads. You are a student-athlete, which means you are a STUDENT before you are an ATHLETE. Believe it or not, USA college basketball coaches want players with good grades. Players who attend class, hand in assignments on time, study for exams, and truly show an interest in obtaining their university degree are highly valued in any sport program. So above all else, make sure you are getting good grades and keeping your GPA at a high level. Before you apply, try to take standardized tests such as the SAT as early and as often as possible. Doing well in the classroom will help you win a university basketball scholarship!
Work On your game
Practice, Practice, Practice!!! Work on your game, improve your skill set, and if you have a weakness, turn it into a strength. The jump from high school to college is huge. Players are bigger, stronger, and more experienced. The game is longer, faster, and more physical. So practice hard and with a purpose – instead of mindlessly shooting at a hoop, set up drills that can improve your dribbling or space creation. There are a number of things you can do to constantly improve your game. Every day you are not getting better, there is a player out there who is!
Create a High-Quality Highlight Video
USA College coaches would love to be able to fly out to South Africa and watch you play in a game or a tournament. However, with the difficulty in traveling, it’s unrealistic to expect that to happen. So we rely heavily on video footage. If you have a game or a practice session, ask your mom, dad, granny, uncle, or best friend to record you. Make sure they are standing at an elevated angle where the camera can record the whole game. If you are at a practice session, set up drills that will highlight your skills, such as shooting, or rebounding. Show the college coaches why you deserve a spot on their roster.
Don’t wait for a school to contact you, Reach out to coaches, and let them know that you are interested. Take a look at their roster, and figure out if the coach likes to recruit international players. If you have the means, visit their campus and attend their showcase events and basketball camps. If possible, have your high school coach contact the school you are interested in and let him/her sing your praises. My point in this step is to seize the opportunity! The internet means we are one click away from connecting with coaches on the other side of the world.
These are just a few tips to help you win a basketball scholarship. The sport of basketball is growing every day, and more and more international players are looking to take that next step and become a college athlete. You could be one of them!
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” Michael Jordan
Remember, it’s always the perfect time to begin your journey towards studying at the university of your dreams. Sign up here for a free consultation with one of our recruitment experts. You could join over 300 student-athletes already placed in the USA, competing at the highest level and earning a world-class degree!