Understanding College Basketball Recruitment Process

Understanding the Process: College Basketball Recruitment

It’s a big deal. You have been working so hard for so many years. You want to make sure you get recruited by the best schools but you’re really not sure how to get the process started. So, what is a college basketball recruitment? You’re a college basketball recruit if you are a high school player who has been approached by a college coach to play on the school’s basketball team or, you’re a player who has attended a junior college or post grad program and are now looking to attend a 4-year school.


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

What is College Basketball Recruitment?

College basketball recruiting is when a college coach invites you (the prospective student athlete) to play and compete on their collegiate basketball team, to fully engage in their men’s basketball program. Getting recruited for basketball by a basketball Coach can begin as early as your sophomore year with college coaches and scouts reaching out to you via a variety of outreach methods (emails, phones calls, letters, invites etc.). If a college coach is interested in you, they will remain in contact with you all the way through your high school career to graduation. Some Coaches may even begin to make you offers. This usually happens for “players of interest” in their senior year of high school.

What Are the Methods Used By College Coaches & Scouts in the Basketball Recruitment Process?

There are multiple methods of contct that college coaches can utilize to connect with players and start the recruitment process. Most college coaches will use more than one. Here are some of the most popular methods used to recruit players of interest:

The rules by which the college coach must follow do vary depending on the athletic association they are members of and the level of the school. For example, NCAA Division 1 coaches have to follow rules which are different and much more strict than a college coach from an NCAA Division 3 school. The same goes for a NAIA college coaches. The recruitment rules for NAIA coaches are very different to the rules an NCAA coach must follow. This applies to all of the different athletic associations: NJCAACCCAANCCAAUSCAA.

Taking a closer look at the NCAA. The NCAA rules strictly dictate the following and cannot be bent or broken in any way. This is to ensure that the recruitment process is always fair and consistent. The NCAA rules govern when a college coach can:

  • Reach out to potential student athletes
  • Attend and watch games to recruit players
  • Invite a player on an official or unofficial visit to the school
  • Interact with a prospective student athlete within certain dates and timelines

Recruiting is a long process. It can get pretty complex at times especially if you’re at the higher tier end of the college basketball spectrum (your top NCAA division 1 basketball programs). You need to make it your job to know all the rules for every level (NCAA D1, D2, D3, NAIA, USCAA, JUCO, USCAA etc.). It is very important you understand how the college basketball recruitment process works so you can prepare you recruitment plan and successfully work within them.

If you want to get recruited to play basketball in college it is advisable that you start working on your goal as early as the beginning in your freshman year. This doesn’t mean that if you are older you can’t get recruited, you still can. No matter what age you start the college recruitment process, it is going to take a great deal of effort, focus and dedication to get it done.

Here is How it Works

Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches and school Scouts are all classed under the umbrella term “College Recruiters“. These College Recruiters go out on the road and actively search online to identify high school student athletes or juco/post grad players who they might be interested in. These recruiters very often keep their own personal rosters and notes. These usually include details on basketball players who grab their attention and interest. This process does depend on the method of outreach and what particular needs they are looking to fill for that position. Once they have identified a prospective student athlete that they think will be a good fit for their basketball program, they will then track their performance throughout the player’s high school career. During this time they will also work on building a relationship with the player(s) and attend games as well as following their rankings.

Definitions of common terms for college basketball:

A college basketball recruit –  is typically a high school player who is contacted by a college coach to play for their college basketball team following the strict regulations set by their affiliated athletic association.

A college basketball prospect – is typically a high school basketball player who attracts the attention and interest of a college coach or scout. You are considered a prospect if you play high school basketball from your freshman year until you graduate and onwards. However, just because a player is considered a prospect does not mean they will be recruited. College basketball teams send out many letters every year to potential prospects who never end up being recruited.

A college basketball commit – is a player who was a college basketball recruit but has progressed further in the recruitment process and committed to the school and basketball team who were recruiting them.

PLAN IT OUT – Here’s Some Advice to Help You Plan Out Your College Basketball Recruiting Strategy

Ideally, as previously stated, you would start your recruitment process in your freshman year to get on the college coaches radar early. However, these tips apply to freshman and older players who need some guidance on where to start with their college basketball recruitment:

  1. Create a list of prospective colleges
  2. Play for an AAU basketball team
  3. Attend basketball camps and clinics
  4. Film all your games – this should start in your sophomore year
  5. Send emails & call college coaches – this should start in your sophomore year
  6. Attend elite basketball camps
  7. Respond to emails & return any calls you’ve received
  8. Make sure you are maintaining your GPA – your grades are very important in getting recruited
  9. Send a well put together highlight video to college coaches – this should start in your junior year
  10. Schedule official visits to colleges you are interested in – this should begin in your senior year
  11. Schedule unofficial visits – narrow your list down to just a few colleges that you are really interested in and who are really interested in you.

CONCLUSION on College Basketball Recruitment:

As with most things in life, it is important to start working on your recruitment process early on. The key to successful college basketball recruitment is understanding and planning. First you need to understand the processes the college coaches undertake and the rules they have to abide by. Secondly, you need to create a plan that works within these processes. You must also set deadlines for yourself. You need deadlines to make sure you stay on track and get things done. Getting recruited to college isn’t just a given, you have to work really hard and go up against some tough competition. If you can apply all the things that have been outlined in this article, you will certainly give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding at achieving your college basketball goals!


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