Top 13 Reasons to Play NCAA Division 1 Basketball

There are so many great reasons players want to play NCAA Division 1 basketball. Every game played at the D1 level means something to everyone involved. Playing NCAA Division 1 basketball is very demanding but you already know this. The decision you have to face is ultimately based on your own personal values and your own skill level and abilities. If you play NCAA Division 1 basketball it is like a full-time job so why do so many players want to make it to this level? If all the rigorous practices, additional team meetings, and extensive off-season training hasn’t put you off – lets take a look at the top 13 reasons players should play NCAA Division 1 basketball.

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TOP 13 REASON TO PLAY NCAA DIVISION 1 BASKETBALL

  1. UNMATCHED OPPORTUNITIES: NCAA D1 offers its players the best opportunities. These opportunities come in the form of athletic scholarships, academic programs and support. This support also includes cost-of-attendance stipends, degree completion programs and academic revenue distribution. Remember, D1 programs are stacked with extensive resources that its D1 players have access to!

2. FULL RIDES: Stating the most obvious, one of the main reasons to play NCAA D1 basketball is to get a full scholarship to attend the school and be a part of a major basketball program. There was a change made to the “full scholarship” which was made to reflect the full cost of attendance for its student athlete.  The traditional scholarship value was only based on the cost of room, board, books, fees and tuition . That has now been increased to provide student athletes with money for: transportation, supplies and other expenses related to attending school. This money can be spent in any way you choose. Under the full cost of attendance philosophy, transportation and other costs are determined by a federal formula and, be aware that things do differ from school to school.

NOTE: D1 schools can offer full or partial scholarships depending on what the coaching staff is looking for and how good of a player you are.

3. OUTSTANDING FACILITIES: NCAA D1 schools have some of the best state-of-the-art athletic facilities which will really enhance your basketball, training and overall student experience. These facilities typically include high-tech equipment, pristine basketball courts, well kept fields and the most advanced sports medicine tools. The facilities also include on-staff medical specialists like physical therapists, nutritionists, doctors, and other relevant professionals to help keep their student athletes in top condition.

4. AMAZING COACHES, TRAINER & TEACHERS: D1 coaches typically have very enticing prospects to coach players at the Division 1 level. Therefore this often attracts a high caliber of coach. Also, the Coaching Staff at Division 1 schools have more pull and influence in the admissions process for their players. This means the admissions requirements for a typical D1 student athlete are more flexible. Additionally, Division 1 student athletes are provided with free tutoring sessions, which are designed to decrease academic stress that comes along, with being a student athlete at the highest level.

5. MULTI YEAR SCHOLARSHIPS: D1 schools have had the ability to offer multi-year scholarships and some schools now offer to pay until completion of a degree at that school.

6. IT TEACHES YOU DISCIPLINE: Division 1 basketball teaches players discipline and responsibility and prepares them for all the challenges that lie ahead once they graduate from college and enter the real world. You can learn some very important life lessons along your college career which can come from your coaches, teammates, professors and many others who will inevitably cross your path. What is taight is that with determination and hard work, there is no limit to your greatness. Through hard work, you can reach your full potential and aim as high as you want to achieve!

7. MEANINGFUL MOMENTS: At the D1 level, every game means something to the players whether you are focused on building your resume to go pro, proving you belong on the team or just wanting to please the massive crowds! every game is meaningful and most college players are giving it their all from start to finish. You are part of a long history of tradition and success. When you put on your D1 uniform from a school like Duke, North Carolina, Gonzaga, UCLA, Kentucky, UConn and so on, you know and understand that the name and the heritage of that school is important and you are making some seriously meaningful memories that will stay with you and shape you for the rest of your life.

8. EXPERIENCE OF A LIFE TIME: Playing D1 means the bright lights on the shiny basketball court, huge fan-base and fantastic uniforms and shoes. This is an experience of a life time, no doubt. You get to play basketball live on tv and streamed/posted online. NCAA D1 programs have an abundance of awesome team apparel: cool sneakers, t-shirts, sweatpants, jackets and more. This is definitely an added benefit and privilege of playing at a D1 school. Also, D1 schools compete in NCAA-run championships; at these championship events, D1 student athletes are celebrated to the fullest! The NCAA has partnerships with Turner/CBS, ESPN and others so you will be televised on all these stations.

NOTE: All NCAA Division 1 Championships are either broadcast nationally or streamed live.

9. ULTIMATE SNACKS AND MEALS: Since April 2014, D1 schools have been allowed to provide food beyond the “traditional” meals and snacks plans which are included in the scholarship grants. This means, those days of student athletes having to scrape additional money together for inexpensive fast food have ended. Players now have so many better options to choose from to meet your nutritional needs. Depending on which school you go to, some schools provide areas near the athletic facility where athletes can make a smoothie, create a protein packed meal or just pick-up a yogurt. It’s not a one size fits all approach either, the schools want to provide their players with as much flexibility in regards to your nutritional needs as possible.

10. YOU CAN STILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR PELL GRANT: Just because you have received an athletic scholarship doesn’t mean you can’t still be eligible for the Pell Grant. It doesn’t impact your ability to qualify for the federal grants which are always based on financial need. Also, student athletes who receive Pell Grant have considerable flexibility on how the money should be spent.

NOTE: The maximum available on a Pell Grant is $6,895 for the 2022-23 school year.

11. ACCESS TO STUDENT ASSISTANCE FUND: This program is designed to help Division 1 athletes take care of what the NCAA terms “essential needs” that can occur from time to time, regardless of demonstrated general financial need. However, conferences are given the flexibility to determine what constitutes an essential need. This assistance fund program can be used for things such as: emergency travel, enrolling in summer school, buy clothes, help student athletes pay child care, parking fees or to buy a suit for a job interview. The D1 schools work with their conference in determining what is appropriate under NCAA rules. Also, the funding provided to a player doesn’t count against scholarship limits.

12. ADDITIONAL MEDICAL COVERAGE AFTER GRADUATION: This started back in 2018 with the Power Five schools now having to provide medical coverage for sports-related injuries up to 2 years after a player graduates or leaves school. Schools outside Power Five can but are not required too. In the PAC-12, schools must provide coverage 4 years beyond your departure from the school or until you turn 26 year old.

13. HELP TO EARN YOUR DEGREE: Since 1989, the NCAA has had what’s called the “Degree Completion Award Program“. If you compete at the Division 1 level, on scholarship AND you are within 30 semester hours of earning your degree, you can receive financial help from the NCAA to graduate! Pretty awesome right? The program has helped more than 2,900 athletes since it started. Based on a rule change which took effective August 1, D1 schools are now required to pay for tuition, fees and books for men’s basketball student-athletes who leave school and then return later to earn their degree. However, for this to apply you must have been in school at least two years before leaving.

NOTE: Players are eligible for the benefit if they were previously on scholarship and fewer than 10 years have passed since they left school. They must also pass the school’s financial aid requirements and meet NCAA academic requirements.

CAN YOU MAKE IT TO THE NBA AFTER PLAYING NCAA DIVISION 1?

You’ve guessed it – yes, of course you can. We all know that the majority of players in the NBA have usually played NCAA D1 basketball first. Several players every year are heading to the NBA Draft.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL OPENINGS

Here you can access the most up-to-date college basketball openings from college coaches looking for players to fill roster spots

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