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The huddle

July 17, 2018

Recruiting Horror Story: My AAU Coach Was Controlling My Recruiting Process and it Cost Me Potential Scholarships

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Two inseparable best friends had always had a similar dream, and that was to play college basketball. They would accept help from whomever they could to achieve their goal, and they trusted their AAU coach to help with college coach connections. This coach was selfish and cost both girls some potential scholarship offers.

Lauren and Riley had been best friends since elementary school. They were both standout basketball players throughout their lives and where they were both recruited to play in college. This had always been their dream, and they had been very excited when their AAU coach told them freshman year of high school that he could guarantee them a scholarship if they would play for his organization. As 14-year-old girls aspiring to play at the next level, Lauren and Riley were ecstatic about playing for this AAU program and the coach who promised them their dream.

Lauren and Riley were very successful in the AAU program, and as promised, they were getting the attention from numerous college coaches and the scholarship offers started rolling in. The girls had thought that it would be fun to play together one day in college, but that was never the end goal. If it happened, it happened, but if it didn’t, they would stay in touch and always be good friends. Ultimately, they were just happy that they were both being recruited, and that their AAU coach had helped them get there.

However, what the girls did not know is that the coach demanded that the college coaches contact him before contacting “his” players, a tactic that is typically not used in the recruiting process. Ultimately, this drove some of the college coaches away from continuing the recruiting process with the girls. The AAU coach also decided which coaches the girls could talk to. He decided if a player was “deemed” a good enough basketball school for them. This prevented the girls from talking to some of the higher academic, lower level basketball schools that they were hoping to become a part of.  

One of the girls’ friends, Lauren, was getting recruited by a top basketball school, a higher one than Riley was. The AAU coach did not like that Riley was not getting the top college looks so he started leveraging Lauren’s scholarships to the college coaches behind Lauren’s back. He told coaches that if they wanted Riley, then they had to offer Lauren the same commitments! This made the coaches upset with both the AAU coach and the players. Thankfully, one of the recruiting coaches told Lauren what was happening behind her back. Lauren was livid at the behavior of the AAU coach. Of course, she wanted her best friend to have the same offers, but not at the expense of her college basketball career— plus Riley already had offers.

Lauren and Riley both realized that they needed to take the recruiting process into their own hands. They both took full control of their futures, and they both committed to the different schools— Lauren to a top basketball Institution and Riley to a mid-major basketball institution —  they both are excelling in their basketball programs.

It is essential and very beneficial to have AAU or high school coaches who are helping you through the recruiting process; however, they should not be controlling your recruiting process. You must make sure that they are trustworthy and that you know what they are doing. Are you in control of your recruiting process?

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE