With the end of high school basketball near and the summer AAU circuit right around the corner, I wanted to take the time to look at a relatively new summer opportunity for aspiring college players, which are the Academic Showcase Basketball Camps!
While there are not a ton of Academic Showcase Camps out there, there are a decent number to choose from and it’s important to do some research before attending.
Whether you want to play in the Ivy League or for a top-rated institution at the DIII level, you could benefit from attending one of these events…or you could just be flushing your money down the toilet.
Let’s evaluate some aspects of Academic Showcase Basketball Camps so you can determine if, and which ones, are right for you.
What Are Academic Showcase Camps?
These events are sometimes run at colleges and universities. For example, schools like Yale and Columbia hold Elite Camps every year where some of the top high school academically gifted basketball players in the country try to get the attention of college coaches.
Or, Academic Showcase Camps are organized by private companies that try to attract the attention of college coaches ….I’ll use the term “organized” loosely depending on who’s running the show.
You can expect for a good Academic Showcase Camp to have coaches in attendance (remember, DIII coaches have no rules on when they can recruit and evaluate).
Be prepared to play a lot of games and take part in some drills. These events are mostly used as a way for college coaches to see you play live, 5v5, full-court games against other good players.
Players should expect to be evaluated on their toughness, leadership skills and coachability, just to name a few. Some of these events may also include an educational component to them as well. More on that later!
Before registering for an Academic Showcase Camp, you need to ask yourself if an event like this is for you. Many of the schools that either host or attend these camps are on the level of Ivy League schools when it comes to academics.
Do you have the grades to attend a college like that?
Do you have at least a 3.0 GPA, preferably a 3.5 or higher?
What about your SAT scores? ACT scores?
These scores need to be higher than you might think to get into some of the top colleges in the country. You might be able to play basketball, but for a lot of the coaches attending these events, if your academics aren’t up to par, they are going to cross your name off their list and move on.
How about your basketball skills?
You may think that playing DIII is easy or think you could hang in the Ivy League, but I’m here to tell you that it’s tougher than you think!
Read The Truth About DIII Basketball or attend an Ivy League practice and/or game. You will see that these guys can play and these coaches can coach.
If you are not playing for your high school team or even earning significant minutes (unless you’re playing for one of the top high school programs in the country) it will be unlikely you will get the attention of any college coaches.
What to Look for Before Registering
Before putting down any money, it’s extremely important to do some research about who is putting on the event.
Who is running the event and what is their history?
Did they play basketball themselves?
Have they coached at a high level?
Do they have a nice website?
Are there any reviews online about anything they’ve done in the past?
Unfortunately, there are a ton of people out there that hold these events, make a bunch of promises and then under deliver. Do your research before you go and, as negative as it sounds, be skeptical of those promising too much!
What Are Some Benefits?
Academic Showcase Camps can be extremely beneficial or a waste of time and money. But, they could put you in front of a healthy number of college coaches that could want you to come to their school.
It also opens you up to the opportunity that a coach in attendance talks to another coach about you…you never know! It will also let you know where you stand.
Seeing a bunch of players in one place, all with similar academics should allow you to judge your basketball skills pretty quickly! You could also learn something about a school or an entire division of college basketball that you knew nothing about.
Did you know that there are no scholarships in DIII basketball, but you could potentially get financial aid?
Do you know much about the DIII Centennial Conference?
There are so many details to consider that an event like this could help you come away with a better understanding of where you want to go and how to get there.
There are a few more specific benefits to attending a well done Academic Showcase Camp that you should read about here!
PSB is excited to host our own series of Academic Showcase Basketball Camps this coming spring, summer and fall. With our experience and connections at the college level, our Academic Showcase Camps are sure to be beneficial for all that attend.
Find out more details on our own events on our website or visit this page!