Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Double Takes! Haven't I seen you Before!
Hold up......Wait a minute! Those old enough to remember or fill in the blanks when someone shouts out...."Hold up", will understand! LOL! Well, that was my thought as i sat in the stands at Reebok U yesterday. I'm sitting there watching the talented campers compete in games being held on two courts at Philadelphia University and of course, the summer scene is where coaches get to mingle and see each for the first time since the past season or the Final Four. For some coaches, it's the first and only time they will see some of their counterparts and get a chance to network face to face. Now, the camp started on the 6th but college coaches weren't allowed to attend until the evening of the 8th and a lot of the coaches came down from Eastern Invitation in Ewing, NJ. Anyway, I'm sitting there watching these youngsters go at it and coaches from every major school in the country walk by, hand slapping, jousting for position so the campers can see them and making contact with the important AAU coaches etc., who are in attendance and I think..."What am I doing here?". See, the camps are a great way to see an abundance of talent at one location but the real recruiting is done after camp, during phone calls, making the right contacts and finding out who the decision makers are. So, while it's good to have the opportunity to evaluate the talent, being in that setting too long doesn't necessarily make sense for the smaller schools. While the campers walk by and marvel at the coaches from schools they either grew up dreaming about attending or watching on T.V, the smaller less visible schools can only evaluate and gather valuable information to be used at a later date. See, sometimes when you are in that setting it's like being "Ugly Betty", they can't really see you through all the "gorgeous" others around or, so folks won't think crazy about that analogy, think about not being one of the popular kids in school but wanting to date one of the most attractive kids in school. Most of ya'll will relate to one of those analogies. Well I decided to leave and return to the team camp being held at the 2008 Hoop Group Elite Team camp in North Plainfield, NJ. There are 64 high school teams participating in two divisions with each team guaranteed at least three games. The games are spread through out numerous sites so you have a chance to be the only school watching a particular kid. This setting also give coaches a chance to see a campers in their regular high school setting. Camps are tough for some because guards dominate the ball and if you are not aggressively going after ball, you could get lost or not get noticed. Oh....campers and coaches go through the same thing! If you work hard enough, you can get a great prom date because you've found a diamond in the rough! And the "Nerds" and "Ugly Betties" start to look more attractive as you peel back the layers. Get it? LOL!