Thursday, June 25, 2009

Water wet, AAU ball still sucks

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on AAU basketball and how it doesn't prepare players for college or professional basketball. Even former AAU star Michael Beasley admitted that the he didn't learn anything about playing defense during his time at DC Assault (made famous to casual fans by the Curtis Malone references in the Washington Post Gary Williams hatchet piece earlier in the year) he couldn't remember participating in any defensive drills during his time in AAU basketball.

None of this is new of course. AAU basketball is not about basketball, it is about exposure and promotion. There are some coaches out there that do help improve players but the majority are merely looking for ways to line their own pockets. Many players spend years playing AAU basketball and arrive in college knowing next to nothing about playing the game because the guys "coaching" them don't know much themselves. The influence of high school coaches has continued to wain as AAU basketball has succeeded in professionalizing the youth basketball scene. High school coaches like Morgan Wooten and even current Montrose Christian coach Stu Vetter might be a thing of the past in the coming decades. Many high school coaches don't even have any clue what is going on in the college recruitment of their players and that is a sad development.

The college game has certainly suffered the ill effects of the corrosion of fundamental skills that has resulted from the proliferation of AAU basketball. It is probably true that some of the athletes that come out of AAU basketball are as impressive as players from any era but very few have the skill set or knowledge of the game that even a marginal college player had twenty years ago. I had to laugh when Rudy Gay's mentor/handler/bagman Anthony Lewis tried to take credit for Gay being in the NBA by teaching him "not to settle for easy shots." when he was a 13 year old. He isn't the only fool and charlatan who actually believe that they are helping these kids.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your blog completely...

I have been playing aau ball in massachusets for 4 years now and I can truly say AAU BASKETBALL AND ITS COACHS SUCK!!

I have played 4 two aau teams in the past 4 years and my 1st aau coach promised me and my dad he would help me get to the DII or DIII college level. The coach said he "really believed in me" his exact words...

well, we paid this guy to join his team and within a season, maybe less than that, he had completely moved on from me and focused his attention on other players...

Maybe I'm being selfish but I'm pissed of that an adult, an aau coach, LIED TO ME UP TO MY FACE by saying he would support me and help me to get to the college ball...

AAU COACHS LIE AND THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT MONEY!!!

(btw: my current aau "coach" sucks too and doesn't show up for practices unless he needs money for a tourtment for is "elite" U17 team... He just uses my team, the U16 team, for money!)

Esquire said...

Thanks for your point of view on the subject. When I played in high school AAU wasn't nearly as big as it is now. At least in high school programs the school administration is around to keep the coaches from going off the reservation and to prevent them from using the team as a money making business for themselves. AAU ball is like the wild west these days. Sorry to hear your experience has been so bad. Best of luck with getting a scholarship. Let me know how it turns out for you.