As in the world of college football, traditional basketball scholarships at the most competitive universities require a great deal of talent in the sport and the ability to catch the attention of college recruiters. Many players begin their scholarship and college search early on - as early as in the 9th grade. Players also check in often with coaches throughout high school so that recruiters can track their statistics and athletic development. To improve your chances in landing a basketball scholarship, we encourage you to start the process early, practice talking with college coaches, creating an impressive player reel, visiting as many colleges as you can, researching your prospective colleges thoroughly, maintaining strong academics, acquiring multiple references, and keeping up with deadlines.
Much of the funding for basketball scholarships is controlled by the NCAA, which means there is a great emphasis placed on not only talent but academic records, as scholarship recipients must meet certain GPA requirements. Depending on your talent, coaches may be more or less flexible with academic requirements needed to attend their university.
For those looking for full or partial rides at the top basketball programs, players should know they need to be on the lookout for recruiters who are looking for a team that will win them championships and bring in alumni dollars. Players who want a smaller school or who may not have the skills on the court that would catch a recruiter's eye have more options. Private organizations and local groups often place less emphasis on talent than financial need, extracurricular activities and academic records. Players at all skill levels may find themselves eligible for awards not offered directly by the college they plan to attend.
When it comes to getting recruited and getting an athletic scholarship, there is research and preparation required on your part. Since coaches work to award players based on their program's needs, you will need to create a target list of schools you are interesting in attending and compiling all the contact information for the coaches. Creating a resume or player reel are good ways to showcase your talents. If coaches are not reaching out to you, take initiative and start the communication yourself by replying to every email you get, calling coaches to express your interest, and arranging times to converse with the coaches. Attending summer camps and showcases help gain exposure. Also, be sure to know the NCAA and NAIA rules and regulations as you search different schools with different programs.
For additional information about basketball scholarships and awards based on different criteria, try conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.