Today, I am going give you an education on the difference between Division 1, 2 and 3 basketball. Today I am going to tell you what you need to know. Now what you do with this information is totally up to you. I am going to talk about all three levels of NCAA college basketball. Division one, two and three. I am going to explain the difference in all three levels. Don’t forget while I won’t be discussing them. NAIA JUNIOR COLLEGE are excellent options for kids. Regardless of the level understand this…it will be hardest you ever played or practiced….thats’s a fact
Now this is the level that has the most kids play basketball. I will tell you that D3 offers the most flexibility, if a kid wants to play in college. But you must understand that of all the levels this is the most misunderstood. First there is a place for just about every kid at the D3 level. There is a school for everyone regardless of your ability. But you have to understand, like in D1 there are different level of D3 basketball. There are D3 schools that put very little pressure on players time. The commitment just may be practice and games in season. Some D3 teams have less than 10 players on a team. These are schools who are happy to give kids a chance to continue there athletic career and help school morale. There is no high pressure off season training or commitment that would take away time from anyone’s education. Then there are D3 schools like Montclair State, Emory or Tufts for example. These are D3 schools in name only. These school often have D1 players on there roster. They have multiple full time coaches. These school get D1 transfers on there roster. These school operate as Division one schools.
These schools expect real commitment year round. There have weight room training, film sessions, induvial workouts and winning matters. These programs work and act in much the same way as some D1 schools. In fact some cases of these programs are better than some D1 schools. They have better facilities, better fan support and even better budgets. In many cases a kid who is a elite student will prefer to attend a school like this, rather than attend a D1 school who has offered. Why? Because the player values education more than just basketball. Molly Weiss of Marlboro High School and Christina Antonakakis both turned down multiple D1 offers to attend Emory and MIT. The bottom line is just about anyone can play at some level of D3. But you must understand the range. It’s a big range, with the most Academic schools. It’s a great choice for a kid who are good students, who wants a good education and still play basketball in either a high competitive environment or something low key. In most cases education always trumps basketball at this level. Rarely are players asked to missed class for basketball, regularly. One little side note, I have found that more players have successful careers at D3.
Now understand D2 brings all type of misunderstandings to the table. First not all D2 schools give full scholarships. Many only give tuition or in state money, while some D2’s give full scholarships, rarely if ever do they have 10 full scholarships. Many D2 school will even play D1 one teams during the season and give a play a chance to experience D1 basketball. But here are some out there, like Gannon University for example. There is also the issue of coaches, some D2’s have full time coaches. In fact many have 2 full time coaches on staff. But some D2 don’t have any full time coaches on staff. Next there are some D2’s who recruit as D1 schools. These schools are trying to find kids who are D1 that are missed. I find the D2 schools are great evaluators and often find diamonds in the rough. D2’s rely on evaluation way more than recruiting…that’s just one man’s opinion. Now here is the problem with D2 schools. There simply are not as many high academic school in D2 as in D3 or D1 for that matter. Often times kids decide that D3 is better because they can get a better education. Schools like Merrimack and Bentley for example have a big edge because they give scholarships and offer a great education. The problem is there are far too many D2’s that don’t fall into that category. Thus making the competition for a D2 scholarship way harder for the talented players in some cases who are good enough to play D2. But every kid should know this about D2, there are tons of D1 players at D2 schools who got missed during the recruiting process. There are also tons of transfers at this level. So even if you give up a little on the educational side. Know this, you will asked to train all year while in school. You will have a post in and out of season program. You will in some cases be asked to attend summer school to train and get ready for the following season. D2 can be demanding. Those scholarships are not coming without some level of organized commitment. Here is some good news, D2 never stop recruiting, they are always looking for players. There really isn’t a recruiting period unlike D1.
The first thing you should know is that only 5,000 girls play D1 college basketball every year. That’s if every school has 15 full scholarship, which they don’t and if every school fills every scholarship which they don’t. There are 430,000 girls playing high school basketball each year. That’s not counting kids from overseas. Your chances of playing D1 basketball is 1.1%. When am I telling you this? Because it’s a real uphill battle to play Division one basketball.
First the recruiting at this level starts at lighting speed. Justine Pissott is currently the most recruited player in the Shore Conference. She had Power 5 offers before playing her 1st high school game. D1 basketball is the most competitive level of basketball. There are different levels of D1 basketball. You have low major, mid major and high major or Power 5 as it’s called today. There are no partial scholarships at the D1 level and each level has it pit falls. First know this, if you want to play D1 basketball. You better real love the game… ALOT! Make no mistake it will be a full time job, year round. I don’t care what level you are playing at. Even the Patriot and Ivy League teams are now asking kids to give up there summers. There is weight training and condition year round. There is now organized team and induvial practice during the off season with the college coaches. Community service and summer camp are now par for the course for all players. Again if you want to play D1 play basketball plan on giving up most of your free time. Division one basketball is not for everyone. Getting up at 6am for condition doesn’t fit everyone’s schedule or lifestyle. No level of basketball is there more mistakes made by parents and kids. The transfer portal had over 800 kids this year, a staggering number. In many cases the player is not good enough to play D1, the program out grows the player, the player picked a school for the wrong reason or the player is over recruited or a transfer arrives, taking their playing time. Another big reason that is rarely talked about. Some kids cannot handle the academic load. Missing classes is a part of the Division one lifestyle.
The good news about D1, you will play on TV, so your family will see you play every game. Your every need is attended to during the season. You will have tutors, first class hotels, first class transportation. The best food, trainers and equipment. You’ll have free sneakers, bags, shirts and apparel. You will play in big arena’s. Your housing will be first class and you will be treated like royalty around campus. You will receive lots of attention in the media. Now all that may sound good but there are some things that come with this. Like you are really going to learn what teamwork really means. You will learn what hard work really feels and looks like. You are going to really understand what pressure means. You are going to fight for playing time, like your life is on the line...EVERY YEAR! Division 1 more than any level can lead to major disappointment and unhappiness. Now the good news is that a D1 player can always transfer to a lower level of play and be welcomed with open arms.
Now that I explained, all this here are a few things you must understand
D3- you must understand that D3 schools recruit and give me money in the form of academic scholarships and grants. But you must be active and call coaches and visit schools. Many d3 schools recruit right up to the first day of school. But the money goes quick, the sooner you make a decision, the more money is available.
D2-Understand there are tons of talented players fighting for scholarships at this level. You must attend their camps. Invite coaches to watch you play…go attend a game before your senior year. Again you must be active and understand that these schools recruit all year round.
D1-First you need to know if you can play at the D1 level. Next if that’s your goal, go for it. But you must have a fall back plan, if things don’t work out. But understand you will need to preform at a high level in high school and on the AAU circuit. Do not believe that somehow connections will get you to a D1 school.
Tomorrow how to get recruited, what you need to do to reach the level you wish to play…it’s starts at an early age!
TWO BIG CAMPS TO KICK OFF THE SUMMER