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September 29, 2021

5 Best Basketball Showcases and Camps to Gain Exposure

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In today’s athletic world, recruiting starts early, especially at the Division I level. An important way to get noticed by college coaches is to go to the right camps, showcases, and tournaments. 

When planning your off-season play, think about what’s best for your long term goal. Would you rather sit on the bench of a high exposure team in a shoe competition or improve your play and gain experience on a smaller scale travel team? Are you going to tournaments at the right time: are coaches busy with their own season or is it outside the NCAA designated live period? 

Peach Jam
Teams in the Nike EYBL (Elite Youth Basketball League) compete year round for the opportunity to compete in this tournament. Peach Jam is the peak of Grassroots play. The top 24 teams compete for five days in one of the most competitive team environments created in amateur basketball. There are hundreds of DI prospects competing under one roof. The tournament has been accused of being too crowded to be useful, but it is one of the most significant opportunities college scouts have to watch the best athletes compete. Falling in the first few weeks of July, the Peach Jam is the last time coaches have to watch prospects before the National Signing Period in November. 

Zero Gravity: Elite Student-Athlete Prospect Camp
Zero Gravity Basketball was formed to fill the void of the everyday player looking to improve their level of play and gain the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. Zero Gravity offers numerous camps, showcases, and seasonal circuits. The most notable of such is the Elite Student-Athlete Prospect Camp in California. It is open to Juniors, Seniors, and Post Grad athletes. Last year over 80 colleges and scouts were in attendance accompanied by numerous media outlets. Athletes who have competed have been recruited by the top academic and athletic schools in the country. Aside from gaining invaluable basketball exposure and experience, this camp includes information sessions.

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Hoop Group Jam Fest Tournaments
Hoop Group is a nation-wide basketball company dedicated to helping players continue their athletic and academic career at the highest level possible. Hoop Group has an extensive list of programs for players of every level. Most notable from Hoop Group are their nationwide Jam Fest tournaments. There are hundreds of college coaches from DI, DII, and DIII schools at every tournament. The impressive venues allow for multiple games under one roof to help players gain the maximum amount of exposure. The Atlantic City and Summer Jam Fests (in NJ and PA respectively) are during critical NCAA live periods. Athletes looking to play at the DII or DIII level should pursue the DC and Providence Jam Fests. 

Related: Chapman University Women’s Basketball Coach Gives Honest  Recruiting Advice

UPenn Elite Camp
University of Pennsylvania coach Steve Donahue hosts multiple one-day elite camps each summer. After a day with the Ivy League staff, athletes will have received individual instruction and invaluable lessons on what it takes to compete at the DI level. The camp is open to boys in grades 9-12 in The Palestra (UPenn’s historic gym). The camp is $150 per session with a team rate of $750 for 10 players. Unlike many other elite DI school camps, the coaching staff extends from the Penn staff to include DII and DIII coaches. The camp is a notable recruiting and evaluation opportunity for college-bound athletes.

Related: 5 Basketball Tips to Help Student Athletes

Paul Biancardi Camp
Paul Biancardi’s resume alone is reason to participate in one of his 2-day basketball camps. After his own collegiate basketball career, Biancardi coached at the DIII level then the DI level for 20 years. He is currently the National Director of Recruiting at ESPN, where “he is responsible for ranking, grading, and evaluating the nation’s best talent.” 

At the camp, players will take part in a variety of individual and team drills to improve their basketball skills and IQ. Coach Biancardi will also host a Q&A session for parents and players to conclude the camp. Biancardi’s camps are in numerous states, including NY, NC, TX, and AL. The camps are open to players in grades 8-12, and cost between $150- $250. Biancardi’s camp sometimes occurs during a non-live period. Although that means coaches cannot attend, it is an excellent time to improve your skills and make a name for yourself.