College basketball is my personal favorite level of basketball competition. Why? I love the high competition level mixed with the unselfish offensive principles and hard nosed defense.
It also doesn’t hurt that college basketball is home to the NCAA Tournament, well known as “March Madness,” which pits 65 teams together in a single elimination tournament where anything and everything can happen.
If you are at the high school level or lower, a dream of yours may be to someday play in the NBA. While there is nothing wrong with reaching high, you need to start with a goal that is much more attainable in the next few years.
For example, if you are in middle school, your next goal should be to make the varsity high school basketball team by your sophomore or junior year. If you are in high school, it’s never too early to start planning for college and the possibility of playing college ball.
It’s important to remember that a very small percentage of high school basketball players go on to play college ball, and a very tiny percent of that small percent advance to someday play in the NBA or another professional league.
College Basketball Tips
What’s the bottom line?
Playing ball at a very high level (what I consider college or professional ball) is incredibly difficult and it will take much more than pure luck. It will also take much more than raw talent. If you really want to play college ball and then someday advance to the NBA, you must work hard every day.
For players who dream about college or professional ball, it’s not a three or four days a week kind of thing. These people often eat and drink basketball, finding an opportunity to play whenever possible. Players who are successful at a very high level of playing ball are A) usually blessed with some natural athleticism, B) work extremely hard and practice everyday, and C) display a lot of knowledge and high IQ of the game.
If you are serious about playing college ball, you need to think about basketball under these terms: While my friends are inside playing video games or watching a movie, I’m working on my game. It’s the greatest college basketball tip I can give you.
I’m not saying you cannot have fun, but a mediocre player never becomes great without a lot of practice and a great player never becomes dominant without a ton of practice.
Denver Nuggets point guard and All-Star Chauncey Billups looked at it this way when he was young. “If I wasn’t out playing ball,” Billups told a reporter in an interview, “I knew someone else was working on their game and getting better than I was. I had to constantly work at my game to become the best.”
There are currently 344 teams playing college basketball at the Division I level. This may sound like a ton of schools, but when you consider each team only has roughly 15 scholarship players and multiply that number by 344, you reach an equation of 5,160 players. Once again, that may sound like a large number but when you spread it out over the hundreds of thousands of players playing in high school this winter, the odds of playing Division I ball is incredibly low.
Division I is the highest level of college basketball, however several gifted players shine at the D-II, D-III, and NIAA levels.
I’m not here to discourage you with these statistics but rather to encourage you to work harder than you ever thought possible. Playing basketball at the college level is one of the most rewarding experiences an athlete can ever ask for.
If you are fortunate enough, you’ll receive a full-ride scholarship which means your entire education at a four-year university is covered. What’s the average tuition and room and board at a university for a year? Anywhere from $5,000-$30,000.
So as you can see with these college basketball tips, playing at the college level has more than one benefit. You’ll receive a fine education, learn from a knowledgeable coach, and play with exceptional athletes in a game you have come to know and love.
It all starts with a lot of hard work and getting your name out there to prospective universities with the assistance of your high school basketball coach.