A Letter From The Editor: To The Student-Athlete

by Anthony Ray | Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

While we continue to go through these very difficult times in our nation's history, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many members of the Arizona basketball community to miss out on gaining exposure to college coaches around the country this spring and summer. I wanted to write this for all of those that have felt that they are suffering in their college recruitment, and the many possible opportunities that the spring and summer evaluation period could have brought through playing with your respective club teams/programs, and also with your high school programs during a normal evaluation period.

I am very sad for the many seniors (Class of 2020) that were not given the opportunity to have one last opportunity to be seen, especially from a state such as Arizona where it remains difficult to gain exposure to smaller college programs. While many bigger programs currently are recruiting the state at a high level these days, due to the loads of talent now in the state due to prep school programs, there are still hundreds more student-athletes that want opportunities and will not get them now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am also very sad for the up-and-coming seniors (Class of 2021) that were looking to gain recruiting exposure to college coaches this spring and summer, in preparation for their senior seasons. While some members of the class are now off the recruiting board, 99% of these prospects have not been seen or evaluated by college coaches, which will result in many more unsigned senior prospects next spring (2021).

There is a new growing pandemic taking place in America right now, and it is not an illness, but rather the lack of recruitment opportunities available to student-athletes across the country in all sports, but our focus being basketball. Unless, you are a prospect that college programs already know very well, or you have a hype man promoting you to college coaches that has very strong personal relationships, enough to sway the opinion of college coaches, you will be lost in the shuffle - hoping there is a high school or prep season in the fold for this year or next year that will give you somewhat of an opportunity to showcase your talent, after the potential cancellation of the spring and summer NCAA Evaluation Periods.

Regardless of whether there is a high school or prep season this year or beginning in January (2021), the recruitment opportunities for Arizona student-athletes for the 2021 Class, like it was for the 2020 Class, will be much tighter than before the COVID pandemic - in a state where recruitment opportunities were already difficult. My advice to any prospective student-athlete is preparation. Make sure you are academically ready to go. When school does begin for you or you are permitted to contact your Academic Advisor, please do so and make sure you are in the right classes and ready for college. Work hard academically this year to improve your academic situation. Make sure to schedule to take your SAT/ACT College Entrance Examination, if you already haven't, and attempt to get the highest score you can to ensure you are prepared and ready to go when your time is ready or when a college program does express interest in you. Most important, take your college basketball future in your own hands and begin contacting college coaches and programs on your own. Put together a highlight film and create a letter and send it to as many college programs as possible to gain exposure, regardless of an NCAA Eval Period. For most student-athletes, do not focus on Division-I programs, but focus on Division-II and Division-III schools primarily. If you are a division-I talent, chances are they will find you or you will get your fair share of recruitment anyway. By promoting yourself, you will maximize your opportunities, especially now, since college coaches are not on the road anyway, and have the time to review what you send to them.

Our staff at Arizona Preps' is committed to writing as many stories, as possible, about Arizona's top boys and girls basketball prospects, in an attempt to help the state get the word out about our top prospects that deserve the recruiting attention. I have personally grown our staff over the past several months to do just that, as we now have as many as (10) different members on our staff that are each all committed to growing Arizona basketball and promoting our state's top basketball talent. We have no other motivation than to help student-athletes accomplish their goals on and off the court and work very hard daily to improve the minimal opportunities that are currently available to the state's best basketball talent.

Hopefully, this pandemic will end sooner now than later, but if the predictions that we have all heard are true, then we have no idea when this situation will end or when there will be a cure for the virus. There could end up being no high school basketball season this year. We have to prepare for that, and if that is the case, then we will continue to work as hard as ever to help each of you with your promotion of your efforts.

Everyone out there stay safe and keep your heads up. This too shall pass.

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  1. coach G says:

    Hey Anthony , How about my Field Level site to help kids find NAIA schools as well as D-2 D-3 and JC !!

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