I have been a recruiter at every level. I have recruited players drafted into the NBA from the D1 .. D2.. and D3 level. Not many if any folks can say that. I was a good recruiter for a number of reasons. I ate, slept and dreamed recruiting. I also may have stretched a few rules in my day. I also have have had over 500 kids from my basketball program move on to college. I can make this statement with ZERO HESITATION. I know who the best recruiters are and who the paper tigers are. Many times people will call a coach a great recruiter when in fact there really not. But perception is reality in the world of college basketball. Just like those who want to advise kids on the recruiting. Here is what I discovered long ago, many want to be players in the process for all the wrong reasons.
I have tremendous respect for Tracey Sabino and her Shoreshots organization. The biggest reason is that she goes deep into her organization to help kids more on to the next level. You never see her players on Twitter bragging about offers. That’s because they get to brag after they sign or commit. Too often we see organizations bragging about their stars players getting offers. But you never hear about that kid who isn’t a star. Tracey Sabino takes care all of her players not just the stars. It’s what separates her from other organizations. You see folks love talking about and helping those star players who need your help like a hole in the head.
It shocks me when people spent time and energy calling and talking to coaches about star players. I wonder why? Well I do know why, it makes them feel like a power broker or someone with juice. I never spoke to one college coach when Justine Pissott was coming out of high school. Yes a number of coaches including the U of Tennessee reached out to be a number of times. Yet I never returned one of there phone calls. My thinking was, doesn’t Justine have a mom and dad? Why do they need to speak to me. My energy was focused on GEORGIA HEINE, Abby Ferguson and Ashley O’Connor. Why did I need to worry about ALLY CARMAN? She was a kid that did not need my help. Never once did I ever have a recruiting conversation with her. Addy Nyemcheck is going to play at any school in the country one day. She asked me “ can we talk about recruiting”… my response “ you’re a big girl you don’t need my help” . I have not had one conversation with the Liggio sisters. Never once spoke to GANDY MALOU MAMEL about recruiting. Why because it’s none of my business. But guess what? There are those who love helping kids like these high profile players. Why? Because it makes them feel important. That’s why! Instead of helping the kid who needs it.
Folks love to brag about delivering for a kid with a million offers. No you didn’t deliver anything. You were along for the ride and the kid and their family gave you a bus ticket. Delivering for a kid is when the kid has no recruiting identity and you find a way for that kid. You give them name recognition and Coach them up. You give them truth and help make the dream a reality. It’s that kid who is you 5th-10th player on your roster that needs your help and support. But those kids take work and don’t generate attention. The coaches aren’t calling you, you’re calling them. There is nothing sexy about helping EMMA BRUEN or a LAYLA LAWS. They don’t move the D1 hype needle. But some love to take credit at the end, despite spending all there days promoting and hyping that star player, who never needed your help to begin with
Recruiting should not be about patting yourself on the back. Taking credit for a kids success especially when we know that kid was great long before they met you. Nobody should be in the middle of highly recruited players recruiting. Let me tell you a little secret. Most highly recruited players don’t care what you say anyway. They’re just being respectful and if they like you., are just trying to make you feel part of the process. In the end they don’t really give a shit what you think… TRUST ME ON THAT ONE!
If you want to be a real player in the recruiting process, learn a few things. Don’t talk a whole lot. Work in silence and focus on the kids that really need your help. By the way for the record… I KNOW THE FOLKS WITH REAL JUICE and there not on social media bragging about some kid going to U CONN OR BAYLOR… and I’ve had two kids go to both schools so I know!
PERCEPTION IS NOT ALWAYS THE REALITY