I get it!
Playing Division One (D1) basketball is the signature level for defining a player’s success. According to the NCAA web-site only 1% of high school participants will play D1 basketball (see chart below). Historically speaking, we have tagged our region as not successfully moving kids to the D1 level however it appears that statistically we are probably in the ball park and not that far off.
While I have previously written about how the Rockford region is a small college hot-bed in my blog ERIC PALM IS A PRO!, I also believe there are a few things we need to do to increase our kids’ chances of playing D1 basketball. First and foremost, we need to help educate our student-athletes and parents about what it takes in the classroom to achieve their dreams of playing D1 basketball. The best and easiest way to start the education process is for student athletes and their parents to understand the NCAA web-site inside and out. This link (click here) provides a pretty simple outline for minimum requirements for eligibility.
While meeting NCAA standards should be a given, unfortunately it’s not and we need to change the culture of preparedness with kids at younger ages.
It’s pretty clear to me that the Rockford region is on the cusp of improving it’s basketball recruiting culture but after jumping back into the competitive high school game for a couple years, I am reminded of the fact that our kids need to take ownership of their grades.
Here is a list of a few simple concepts to understand and improve on…
- Get a 4.0 or higher your freshman year. OK, fine…maybe a 4.0 isn’t for everybody, but it is certainly easier to move your GPA your Freshman and Sophomore year than it is your Junior or Senior year. Too many of our kids do not take high school seriously their freshman year and are climbing out of a hole when opportunities present themselves.
- Understand what CORE classes are!! In laymen’s terms, D1 schools do not look at your PE class and your Foods class, they look at Math and English. See link here to understanding CORE classes per the NCAA.
- Understand what your CORE GPA is!!! A cumulative GPA is NOT the same as your cumulative CORE GPA.
- Hop on KHAN ACADEMY and practice the ACT and SAT practice tests!!! Khan Academy is FREE and available to anyone. This is funded by people like Bill and Melinda Gates and is a great resource to improve test scores at earlier ages.
- Self-Educate yourself to meet and exceed these eligibility standards! We need to understand what makes our kids eligible in high school doesn’t necessarily qualify them for college and that each school varies.
- Be an active participant in your own rescue!!! Eligibility ultimately falls on the shoulders of our student-athletes but we as a community need to do a better job and make sure that our kids are meeting and exceeding eligibility standards. Do not wait on your counselor, coach, teacher or administration to do this for you. Once again, this ultimately falls on the student-athlete. Our student-athletes need to understand how to ask others for help/resources that are out there…but don’t wait on others, solve your own problems.
To be a hot-bed in basketball, we need to improve our culture and improve our kids’ grades/test-scores. To be clear, here is what I have first-hand knowledge of when it comes to our region’s recruiting classes. We have 8 boys basketball players that are currently working to improve their grades and/or test-scores to receive scholarships from varying colleges. Among the 8 players, we have 17 schools that are either waiting on our kids to improve their test-scores or have completely passed on offering these players full scholarships due to their test scores not meeting eligibility standards. To be clear, this is not what a hot-bed looks like, but when I say that we are on the cusp of becoming a hot-bed in boys basketball it couldn’t be more accurate. I look forward to helping improve our recruiting culture. Unfortunately, this is our region today but together we can change it.
Coach Jason Warner
Rockford Elite Basketball is currently working to build an educational component to our program which will focus on college preparation.