For several years now,AAU basketball has taken the world by storm. In the past 20 years, AAU basketball has served as a playground for several of NBA's greatest stars. From Kevin Garnett to Carmelo Anthony, AAU basketball is a must if you plan to get better. However, alot of high school coaches and basketball purists have frowned upon AAU basketball. '' It's making the game bad.'' Or,'' it is creating bad habits for players.'' AAAU basketball has had some black eyes.From coaches involved in drug scandals, to coaches exploiting kids through shoe companies, to advisors getting money off of kids for going to certain colleges, AAU basketball hasn't been your perfect child. Regardless of what you think about AAU basketball, it is still a necessity in today's basketball world. Here is 5 reasons why AAU basketball is important.
1. AAU basketball is more accessible for college coaches. Think about this, college coaches can't see players play during their season. They are coaching while you are playing. In April and July,college coaches have free access to see kids whenever they want. It makes recruiting a national event now. For example, 55 kids in the state of Georgia,received Division 1 scholarships. 41 of those players left the state of Georgia to play ball. That number is contributed to coaches being at AAU events. Remember, high school ball is for the pagentry, AAU ball is for the coaches.
2. Players are playing against the best every game. The Nike EYBL was the best thing to happen to AAU ball.It gave us something structured and a true champion for that circuit. Shortly there after, Adidas and Under Armour followed suit. In these leagues, you are playing against the top players in America. As a college coach,it is a delight to walk in the gym and see Thon Maker vs Diamond Stone. Or Ivan Rabb vs Daniel Giddens. These players are getting better,but more importantly their high schools are getting better. Another factor when you play against these top teams, lower tier teams want a crack at those top teams as well. They know if I can beat the top teams, I can beat anybody. Go ask Jeff Teague what he did to Derrick Rose 8 years ago in Las Vegas.Derrick Rose was a top 50 player.Jeff Teague wasn't ranked at all. After that Jeff Teague started creating buzz.
3. High School basketball is better. Ok high school coaches, this question is for you. Name the top teams in your state? I can guarantee you that 90% of those powerhouse teams in your state, has players that play AAU ball faithfully. If you talk to some of the coaches of those major programs, they endorse AAU ball. Coaches that endorse AAU ball,know that makes their kids better. Coaches that dont endorse AAU ball or has kids that dont play AAU ball, probably are looking in the want ads for coaching jobs. An coaches,please dont give me I dont want them to get hurt speech. Most of these athletes are playing other sports anyway. The risk is just as high playing AAU ball as running track.
4. AAU basketball builds relationships amongst players. One of the main reasons people are upset about players wanting to play with other players in the NBA is from AAU basketball. Guys meet each other at camps and events and it makes them want to play with each other. During the season, you are not able to see your basketball buddies. AAU basketball allows kids from Rhode Island to be friends with guys from Georgia.It is a beautiful thing.
5. Exposure,but not just playing in front of college coaches. Any adult can answer this question. Name the last time in a 6 month time period,you went to Las Vegas,Atlanta,Chicago,Dallas,Minneapolis and Hampton,Virginia?.....................Im waiting.Like I thought,you haven't. It is allowing kids from the inner city areas a chance to leave their crime infested neighborhoods. It is a chance for kids to visit cities they may never visit again in their lives. It's a chance for kids to have something to write about when they return to school. AAU basketball gives you this opportunity to visit places all over America. Five years ago,I took my AAU team to play in an AAU event in Memphis, Tennessee.In between games, I took them to the Lorraine Motel. That is where Dr.Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968.Today,it is a National Civil Right Museum. Some of my players got emotional. Some of them were speechless. That visit is something they will never forget.
To all those people that aren't in favor of AAU basketball, I hope you have a better understanding of AAU basketball. AAU basketball is also one of the main reasons, crime rates in alot of cities are going down... Raise your glass,let's toast AAU basketball.