basketball recruiting

Why Parents & Players Shouldn’t Use Paid College Basketball Recruiting Services

College basketball recruiting services is a subject that fires me up and one I constantly get asked about by parents, so I want to delve into the truth about college basketball recruiting services in this post.

As I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, I think the majority of showcase/evaluation camps and recruiting services are a scam that use the confusion and frustration of parents with the recruiting process to make “easy” money. I am not saying ALL of them are scams, but I do feel that most of them are!

There are typically the two types of college basketball recruiting services:

  1. Recruiting services where the parents/players are the client and they pay the service to help them get recruited by colleges. The service then provides information on player free of charge to colleges.
  2. Recruiting services where the college programs/coaches are the client and they pay the service to make them aware of potential recruits. It is typically free for parents/players in this case unless the evaluation comes from a “showcase/evaluation camp” that the parent/player has paid for.

My opinion is that, in most cases, the big college recruiting services in scenario #1 above in which the parents/players are the client are definitely not worth it and parents should NOT pay for these services.


Well, let’s just think logically about it.

Basketball Recruiting Services: Representing Parents & Players

college basketball recruiting servicesIf a parent/player pays a recruiting service, that service now has a responsibility to get that player as many college looks as possible. With that in mind, the service will then blast that player out to as many colleges as possible without even really thinking about player ability, fit, level, etc.

Because of this, college coaches end up getting hundreds of emails with thousands of kids on them, and most of the kids simply are not good enough to play at that level.

So what happens is college coaches don’t waste their time with mass emailed lists of players from these services as it is like trying find a needle in a haystack. And if they do happen to check into a player that the recruiting service claims to be there level, the coaches typically find that not to be the case and immediately being to lose trust in that recruiting service. Once this happens enough times (and it will!) that coach loses ALL trust in that service and won’t even bother to open the emails.

Furthermore, there is essentially an unlimited number of parents/players that are willing to sign up for these college scouting services, so the recruiting services that don’t end up getting a player an offer to play college basketball by end of senior season, looks at it as no big deal because, hey, there are plenty of freshman, sophomore and juniors coming up to sell the dream!

Basketball Recruiting Services: Representing College Coaches

Conversely, in scenario #2 above, if the college coaches are the one paying for the recruiting service then the service has a responsibility to provide that school with the best possible list of prospects for that school.

The recruiting service will thus take into account player ability, fit, level, etc. because if these services don’t provide useful scouting reports with legitimate prospects then the college program will drop them and stop paying for it.

And guess what?

There is not an unlimited number of colleges like there are on the other side of the equation with players/parents, so the scouting service will be out of clients real quick, which means no more business!

In other words, the scouting reports will typically be of higher quality in scenario #2 whereas in scenario #1 the scouting service is much more about quantity of players they can get to sign up. It’s just a numbers game in scenario #1 … if they can get enough kids to sign up then surely a few of them will get scholarships and the service can then claim that they got those players the offers (which may or may not be the case).

So what would we advise?

Be your own recruiting service and don’t waste money paying someone else to do a job you can do yourself!


Well, we’ve written about it before here. It’s pretty easy, but it does take some time and effort. You just have to be proactive, but at least you’ll save a lot of money!

And if you do decide to go with a paid recruiting service anyway, try to use a smaller, more personalized service. There are some decent ones out there. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you if it doesn’t work out!

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