Open Letter to Palm Beach County Girls Hoopers about our Travel Basketball Experience
Parents of Palm Beach Girl Hoopers
Today marks the end of my youngest daughters AAU basketball career, she will pursue a degree in Biology in college next year. My oldest is pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering. It’s been a long, emotional, and rewarding journey. Parents and lady hoopers, focus on grades first and if you’re serious about the game, pay your dues and put work in relentlessly, which brings me to my second point. Give the local travel programs a chance.
When my daughters initially started out, there were no strong programs that went on the exposure circuit and played in front of colleges, but that isn’t the case anymore. Because of politics, favoritism, and nepotism, we’ve encountered one nightmare after another at some point dealing with travel programs throughout Florida. Undoubtedly, my daughters are ballers, if I identified myself, surely you will agree. It’s been a daunting and emotional decade or so spending countless dollars on hotel, travel, team fees and deception. Some out of county programs charge extraordinary fees to join an organization (DO NOT) and provide kids fair opportunity to compete and truly play in front of college coaches on the circuit. Some of these programs make false promises and sell themselves on being a sure-fire pipeline to scholarships. As noted, education first, and then dedication to the craft of basketball. It’s not about the perfect fit for the player, but a fair opportunity for playing time. Some out of county programs are outrageously expensive, yet the player still has to pay thousands more by the end of the season. I have personally seen Palm Beach based travel programs on the circuit over the past few years at the same venues as out of county programs with a variation of college coach attendance, this is why the kids play, correct? A teams name and relationship with schools is good, but during game time, is the player unfairly on the bench? Or seeing fair/earned playing time.
Going forward, I have no dog in the fight, and both of my daughters college expenses were taken care of at birth. While I’m certainly not attempting to market one Palm Beach based girls travel program over the other, I would like to thank the Wellington Wolves for providing my daughter with the platform to play in front of tons of college coaches during the later half of July. Special thanks to Coach J and Coach Marcus (Outstanding men, and amazing coaches). To all programs in Palm Beach County, consider merging of some sorts and stop allowing our talented youth to be swiped away by another out of county program, only to be deceived and robbed of a positive and productive AAU career. Imagine if all this talent can be brought together, evenly divided on multiple teams and age groups under the same umbrella. These teams would consist of guard play, bigs, wings, and shooters evenly divided as possible. Keep in mind, most of our teams are just a solid player away from dominating nationally, put egos and selfishness aside.
Parents and young hoopers, don't allow larger programs to sell you on D1 offers being more valuable than D2 and D3 offers. Some of your finer and best academic schools are not D1. Finally, look at the rosters of your D2/D3 schools, especially those in the North East. You will find multiple players majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Pre-Law, etc., vs College Studies, or being Undecided.
A Palm Beach County Basketball Parent.
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