THE JOURNEY CONTINUES FOR THE CHOSEN FEW

CAPO

GIGI CAPONEGRO

Today many kids will head off to school and begin their college careers. It’s been a journey for many of these kids. The sacrifice made by the players and their families was a risk from day one. Nothing is ever promised when one embark on this type of journey. I watched Gigi Caponegro (LIU) shoot one last time with her good friend Megan Furch(HAVERFORD) for 2 hours at Hoop Group. I watched Kelly Crouch (WAGNER) grind all week at Ball handling camp and play college pick up after. These are two kids who worked right to the bitter end of the high school careers. There both leave for college today and I can assure you are ready for D1 basketball. They also gave up a lot on the way to make their dreams come true. They made good training decisions, AAU decisions and choice of high school decisions…but above all, never MADE EXCUSES!

CROUCH

Nicole Morris(Holy Cross) and Kelly Crouch(Wagner) both D1 bound

When a player signs a letter of Intent, to attend a college; it’s all smiles that day. Most don’t see all that goes into making that day come true. Most people don’t understand all the tears and frustration that went along with making that special day. Most don’t see all the pressures along the way. They don’t see the all the travel that takes place over the years. They don’t see all the financial sacrifices made. The money spent on training, AAU and in some cases high school. Most don’t see the political dance of keeping a high school and an AAU coach happy, as both try to control the player. They don’t see the pressure of training with one trainer or the next. They don’t see all the drama of AAU basketball.  All these sacrifices, often don’t result in a free education or even a chance to continue an athletic career. It’s the risk every player and parent takes chasing the dream.

SEEK

The journey to college basketball is not an easy one. Many kids simply reach a point sometimes when they just don’t want to play anymore. They lose their edge,  what was once fun makes them unhappy and the sacrifices don’t add up to the end results. They lose the love of the game, they get burnt out. Some simply come to the realization that their dreams are not going to come true and simply give up. Some get injured. Some find new dreams to chase. There are hundreds of reasons why a player sometimes fulfill their dreams and why some don’t. But make no mistake each has paid a price along the way. The time one spends chasing the dream of college basketball is astronomical and often painful. It can’t be measured by just time, the mental and physical sacrifice can’t be measured.

PROMISE

Now for the lucky chosen few, it’s off to college. It’s different in college because there are no political games. They play for keeps in college. Jobs and families are on the line, this is not about keeping parents happy or playing to the crowd. This is about WINNING and competition. The best play in college and it’s that simple. The journey many players took to make their dreams come true, will help each player. These players know about missing parties, not seeing friends, studying when dead tired. They know about giving up their summers. They understand the sacrifices their parents made… EVEN WHEN THEY WERE NOT SURE IT WAS WORTH IT.  They know what it’s like to overcome doubters and haters. They know what having coaches who are not fair or trust worthy look like. These things could have been road blocks along the way. But these kids have fought off all the temptations to give up on their hopes and dreams. It’s truly what separates them form all the others. They have fought the good fight every step of the way. Their hard and unforgiving journey along the way will help make their adjustment in college just a little easier.

Just like the players who will hit the road during the live recruiting period. Some players will be ready for the next big step in their athletic lives. But some will not, Gigi Caponegro and Kelly Crouch for example I know are ready. They have been on their  grind since April, they have been on a mission. Watching Gigi handle the ball yesterday was shocking to me.  Some players will not be ready and it will serve as a learning experience for them. Sort of a life lesson, in how to prepare for bigger and better things. Nothing is harder than when a college coach ask you how a player looks and you know the player hasn’t been in the gym or has been taking short cuts. It’s painful because a coach is counting on the player, you can hear it in their voice. But you don’t want to send a red flag up before a player has played a game in college. The truth is many kids have fulfilled their dreams just getting a scholarship to college,  now they simply need a break. They needed to dial back the training, play a little, shoot a little and run a little, lift a little. They are no longer desperate to prove they have what it takes.  They need time with friends and family. They need to be a REGULAR KID.  They need that social life that was denied for so long, not that kid going to school on an athletic scholarship. It’s these kids I worry most about because they will soon find out that college basketball is not always fun and eats up most of your free time. Players who are not ready become the black the sheep of the program. They and their parents often become angry and bitter, never understanding how college basketball truly works. They believed they have paid the price to rest and enjoy the accomplishments of the past.  They  will  soon learn the harsh reality of college athletics.

GODSPEED

So their off and let’s hope their journey starts and ends the way the it started, with smiles. There is nothing and I mean nothing like college sports. I can assure you, that if you ask any player who has played, if they could do it all again, the answer would be yes…THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL experience is amazing. You will never part of anything more exciting….SO ENJOY AND GOD SPEED TO EVERYONE…YOU EARNED IT!

 

UPDATES

POINT GUARD SCHOOL STARTS THIS TUESDAY…KESSLER @HOOPGROUP.COM OR SIGN UP ON LINE….PARENTS PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS IS A GREAT TEACHING EVENT…COLLEGE PLAYERS WELCOMED

 

GIRLS ACADEMIC ELITE APRIL 29TH…AS OF FRIDAY THEIR WERE 27 SPOTS AVAILABLE…high school and aau coaches I don’t know how a good student can miss this event (THERE IS NO CONFLICK WITH BATTLE OF BALTIMORE OR THE MAROON AND WHITE CLASSIC)

 

COLLEGE COACHE …PLAYER UPDATE

DEZZY ALLEN IS BACK WITH MARTORELLI HAWKS…SHE LOOKED GREAT IN SHOOTING SESSION YESTERDAY. . I also believe she is close to making a verbal decision.

 

MUL

LOLA MULLANEY WILL BE GUESTING  WITH ALLEN SHORESHOTS AT SPOOKY NOOK

I WILL BLOG ABOUT NBS CAMP AND GET A ROSTER AND CHEAT SHEET OUT FRIDAY…NBS IS DURING THE LIVE PERIOD BREAK THIS YEAR…NBS CAMP SPOTS ARE STILL OPEN!

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