Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pro's and Con's of AAU Basketball - part 1

Pro's and Con's of AAU BAketball -Part 1 

Pro's and Con's of AAU Basketball. - part 1 

Yes, this is in the wake of another NBA Star talking poorly of AAU Basketball.
Months ago, it was Kobe Bryant, recently LEBRON JMES spoke about his concerns Of AAU system.
See link attached

I will share this, I have a unique perspective when writing about AAU basketball.
I coached my son in his AAU years at the age of 15-16-17, I was given the opportunity to do so when I was between my Professional Coaching from China and Venezuela. I would coach in China and in the summer coach my son, then attend the NBA Summer league. The same with Venezuela, the summer coach my son and try to get to the NBA summer league.
Thurl Bailey a selfless man who won a NCAA championship with Coach Jimmy V at NC State, then with Hall of Fame Coach Jerry Sloan of the Utah Jazz. "Big T" Thurl Bailey had a younger son who he was providing opportunities for with his AAU group.
I felt BIG T was in it for all the right reasons, he wasn't in it to get rich, or chase sponsorship endorsements. He was it in for the Kids of all ages in his program.
I was honored and humbled Big T would run me down and present the opportunity to me.
He always asked me to coach the 17 U team, and I was honored.
I had coached successfully at the college level and coached nationally ranked Teams at the college level. So, I know first hand what coaches are looking for and I wanted to prepare the players and make it an easier transition for them from HS to College, plus I had a strong network of college coaches who were my friends.
I also have my many years of coaching at the professional level, so I wasn't in it for me or a resume builder. I wasn't in it for the money, I was in it for the development for the kids, to help the players and assist the families with your choices and educate them and make them aware of the opportunities that are out there. 
I wanted to be the voice of reason, educate the parents on how to be parents of student/athletes. How to support them in a healthy and productive way. Be there to fuel their emotional tanks. I wouldn't make promises , I would provide opportunity.
I wanted both the parents and players to use AAU for what it was.
An opportunity to showcase their skills sets to coaches of the next level for exposure,  also use it as a measuring stick, to see their skills sets vs those on a national level.

But, I was honest, I told both the players and the parents, I was going to work them hard, I was going to prepare them mentally, physically and spiritually for the next step of their journey.
I wouldn't yell and scream at their kids, they know when they make a mistake, they don't need a man screaming at them to embarrass them in front of their peers and crowds at a practice or a game.

I wouldn't show favoritism to my son, I could separate father/coach.
I needed to prepare him as well, and enabling him would only paralyze him, I wanted to empower him and his team mates.

Here is the link for Lebron James thoughts on AAU

To be continued 
Part 2 coming soon

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