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The huddle

July 6, 2018

Recruiting Horror Story: They Never Wanted Me in the First Place

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The Big East is home of the most competitive Division I Men’s Basketball teams in the country including Catholic private school Villanova University, the two-time reigning champions of the NCAA tournament. Kalif Young, standing at 6’9” and at a weight of 255 lbs, had the luxury of being heavily recruited by two prominent names in the Big East; Marquette University and Providence College. The Providence College Men’s Basketball team was ranked 5th in the Big East at the end of the 2018 regular season with 10-8 conference wins, and 21-14 wins overall. The Marquette Men’s Basketball team is one below Providence being ranked 6th at the end of the 2018 regular season with 9-9 conference wins, and 21-14 wins overall as well. Providence College ended up making the 2018 NCAA tournament on a bid only to lose to Texas A&M in the first round.

Standing at 6’9” at a weight of 255 lbs, being recruited as a Forward for any basketball program was not a big problem for up and coming Junior, Kalif Young. He even recalls a handful of schools emailing and calling him daily, checking in on everything from what his response might be to their offer to what he ate for breakfast that morning. “Recruiting is hard because you have to say no a lot.” Young expresses, a problem most up-and-coming high school athletes would love to have. However, having every school from California to Rhode Island recruiting you is not all it is cracked up to be, who knows who’s telling the full truth?

Eighteen-year-old Kalif Young from Vaughan, Ontario, unfortunately, did not know the world of recruitment, as well as someone from LRT Sports, would. Were the coaches entirely interested in what his potential skills could bring to the court? Or, did they want him to better the starting players that were already there? He had no idea the true intentions of each coach he talked to. However, wherever he went, he wanted competition, the opportunity to play, to be as close to his family as possible, and he wanted to be treated as a person rather than property.

As he went through his recruiting process, however, he started to understand which coaches wanted him and which ones probably did not. “There were some coaches who would call and check up on me every day, so it was hard to let some of them go,” Young says, in reminiscence; those were the coaches that cared because they made it apparent in their actions. It was not always a call about basketball but also about his well-being. He felt it was quite hard to say no to those colleges, but some schools just aren’t the right fit. He found it better to pick schools that lined up best with the criteria he had first set out when thinking about the recruitment process. So, he had to cipher through colleges regularly, even if meant saying no to the cooperative schools.

Young says that coaches lose interest quickly, but he also says that some of those colleges probably didn’t want him in the first place. “Some colleges didn’t seem to reply as fast as others or seem very interested in me as a person,” Young says, something that he feels is very important when dealing with the recruitment process. There is always a college that reaches out a bit more than the others; those are the colleges that would prove a better fit, it did for Young!

When it came down to the last two college options – Marquette University or Providence College – Young went with the coach that seemed to care for him most. “Coach (Ed Cooley) seemed to care for me as a person, and I liked that, so I committed there (Providence College).” Young disclosed his final thoughts before his decision to commit to Providence College as lucky number 13. He followed all the previous guidelines that he set out to make his final decision, and it worked out in his favor.

Where there is a “yes” however, there is also a “no.” Marquette was still left on the wrong side of Young’s decision, and he had to deliver the fatal word he hated so much – no. However, although Marquette seemed very interested in Young at first, after he finally rejected their offer, it had seemed Young was never an interest to them at all. “They cut me off pretty quickly after that,” Young remembers after his inevitable phone call with Marquette. However, Young says that their reaction had just shown him even further that he had made the right decision.

When it comes to the recruiting process, no matter how sweet the deal may seem, it is always nice to know all the facts and history about how the school recruits. Following guidelines that were set early saved Young the pain of possibly picking the wrong school for him. The recruitment process is full of surprises, even for players who seem to have it all figured out. Knowing in advance what is wanted out of the recruitment process can save a lot of time and heartache, take it from Young!

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE