As most Ohio basketball fans know, John Stovall is an athority when it comes to boys hoops in the state. With his role with Nike, ESPN and Prep Spotlight, Stovall understands the inner working of travel basketball and what college coaches are looking for in recruites. Below Stovall offers several tips that may prove helpful to aspiring ballers. Feel free to share you comments and questions in the "comments" section below.
1) Be open, friendly and grateful to any college that contacts you. It is truly a blessing! First, you don't want to burn any bridges. Your goal should be to go to school for free despite the level. Second, the basketball community is very small. People and coaches talk. You don't want to be the family that has a bad or rude reputation.
2) Not counting academics (which should be priority one) your basketball goal should be to play once you get to college. Level is overrated. If you want to be a Pro it will never happen if you are not playing 30 minutes a game. A player at a D3 level school that scores 1500 points for his college career has a better chance at having some type of professional career than a player at a high major school that sits the bench for 4 years. It is better to have a great college experience even if you have to play at a "smaller" school. The key is to play! That's my opinion.....you have to make your own.
3) The level chooses you...you don't choose the level. In other words if you think you are D1 and there are only D2 schools recruiting you then guess what.....you are D2!! It's still school for free! You are 1 of a very few players (generally 40 to 60 per year) in Ohio that gets a basketball scholarship. Be happy and embrace it! If you tell D2 schools you are not interested and that is all that has offered you a scholarship you are making a mistake. You could end up with nothing. Recruiting is like dating for women. It is best to go with the guy that wants you and shows he cares for you. When they pursue a guy that has not shown any interest it normally does not turn out very good. Go where you are truly wanted.
4) If possible be sure to go to practice before choosing a school. It gives you some idea of what the environment will be like.
5) As soon as possible during the recruiting process have the schools you are interested in examine your transcript and let you know what you need to do qualify academically as well as what is needed to gain admittance to the school. The sooner you have this information the better. Even being a freshman is not too soon.
6) Letters from schools does not constitute being recruited. You are not being recruited until a school actually calls you. Even that isn't that significant. It only counts once they put money on the table..ie...offer you a scholarship. My advice is to stay totally open and only count those schools that actually offer you a scholarship.
Please send any questions you may have to Mr. Taylor. I will answer as many as I can. I hope this helps. I will write some summer basketball suggestions soon.
Thanks for "listening."