Basketball ID camps

Hello, long time lurker, I am wondering if there is anyone on the board who has been through women’s hoops recruiting? My freshman daughter is deciding between soccer and basketball but leaning heavily towards basketball as the sport she wants to pursue in college. For most of her life, it was soccer so that’s what I’ve researched in terms of recruiting. Plan change!

We are in NE, she plays at a highly academic prep school. Most likely academic fits will be Ivy or top Nescac. Not sure she has the school interest to play bigger school D1 - I don’t see her being excited to go to the University of Somewhere to play D1. Additionally, she will most likely be majoring in something pretty intense (she is an intense and academic kid) so D1s, where academics don’t come first, are 100% out for her personality.

At this point, her college fund is in excellent shape and I am not looking to make a decision based on ath scholarship.

Does anyone have experience with good camps for the summer? I know Harvard and Princeton have them. Are they good? (I ask because I know that some of the Ivy soccer camps have a less than stellar rep). What about Nescac’s do they do camps as well? Her school coach is not the greatest and I think she is going to need help being seen. AAU coach is better but new to the team so again, she needs help being seen.

Yes, I know I am putting the cart before the horse. However, it has to get rolling sometime! Based on her general academic profile an Ivy would be a match if a coach wanted her (I have been reading this site enough to know that people are going to freak out about this statement.)

Thank you for any help, guidance, or stories about how you navigated this with your own kid.

D now plays D3 bball at CMS (combined team Claremont Mckenna, Havey Mudd and Scripps). She is in her 2nd year. She first looked at schools for academics, then basketball. Schools whose coaches approached D and were of interest to her included : Swathmore, any of the 5 C’s (Claremont Consortium), Occidental, Wellesley, Bryn Mahr, Catholic (big outlier) and a few others. She contacted coaches at schools of interest. We visited a bunch both on list above and others soph and Jr HS year. Attended many camps put on by colleges of interest Jr year, but many of the schools she was interested did not have camps. Attended a few camps at Brown and other schools in New England area. Mostly relied on tape from AAU. There were coaches who recruited her based on camp play, from AAU tournaments but many recruited from the tapes she submitted.

Now is the time to start making tapes. Whole games and highlight videos. We also paid for tape professionally taken at the nationals in DC. Fill out the profile at each schools athletic recruitment page. When, if you visit reach out to coach and asst and ask for a meeting. It is usually with asst early on. Test the water. Good luck.

Thank you @mamom the whole recruiting thing seems very random to me. There’s a girl on my daughters team being recruited and it just seems like luck. The right person sees you at the right time, you’re having a hot game, and boom.

@hoopsorsoccer, recruiting is not luck. Mostly it is hard work and a commitment to the process. Yes, of course, it may be luck if a highly desirable college has an opening in your daughter’s position at the time she is applying or that a given recruit has the camp of her life at the school of choice. But, most recruits make their own luck by starting early (as you are doing), making tapes, making a plan, reaching out to coaches and visiting colleges. It is nice to plan for basketball camps and showcases, and you should, but do not assume that simply because you attend a camp that the college is going to recruit your daughter. It could happen. Or, your daughter might just be just one of many. After going to countless camps and being laser focused on my kids, I took a step back and asked myself how many of the athletes at the camp were not good enough to play in college. Most were good enough, but many did not continue to go to camps or press ahead with the process. Stick with it.

Basketball recruiting is a little different than soccer. Basketball is a headcount sport for D1 so the coaches can’t just add another recruit to the team. Even at the Ivies they are going to be very competitive on the court and in the classroom.

I’d stick with the AAU camps.

Ok, I don’t think I understood the differences between basketball and soccer recruiting. Up until this year she’s been planning to play soccer in college. Right now both club Coaches have said “this is the last season you can play both, you have to choose.” Surprisingly to me she is choosing bb, or seems to be.

I say luck because in soccer it is certainly a factor. I do not discount the hard work at all. The luck part is that there are typically a whole team of players that are working incredibly hard and one makes a great play in an otherwise mediocre game and people see and that’s what they remember. Our club is filled with girls who are all good enough players to be recruited by x or y school but only a couple are. We’ve seen them play enough to know that part of that is luck. Whose head is turned towards your field at a showcase when you make that play vs whose head is turned to the adjacent field.

I think bb is different and I’m starting to realize that more and more. But please know that I know hard work is #1, my kid was at the court every day of break except Christmas Day. I’m sure other kids were as well but my kid has the hard work/effort part nailed. Now I feel like it’s my job to get the targeted list of schools right.

My D only attended basketball camps if a coach saw her play live (or saw film) and invited her to attend their elite camp and to visit the college. She was invited to and attended Dartmouth, Brown, U of Chicago, Claremont McKenna (CMC), Williams, Wash U StL, and a NESCAC/LAC multiple college camp in NYC come to mind. I remember she was signed up to attend the Princeton camp, but I cannot recall if she attended or had to cancel at the last minute. I didn’t go to that one.

We were living in Colorado, which really stinks because the elite LAC and Ivy coaches don’t have big travel budgets to see more than 0 or 1 tournament a year in the mountain states. You have the Ivies and many LACs in your backyard, which is really a plus.

I guess I don’t think of it as luck, or random, but more as just part of the challenge of college recruiting. My D3 Men’s Soccer player was told he was one of the top 5 recruits at kid’s top choice school, then that program’s coach saw him at a different event where my kid played through an injury – and that was the end of email responses from that school. That was tough, because it was his favorite school, the money would work, we had family ties to it etc. But he moved on to find other programs which were good fits, and had 4 amazing years at a school he loved and made friends for life from his team. So my view is, a student athlete who develops a coherent plan, is realistic about academic and athletic reach/match and safeties, stays in touch with coaches, listens to what is being said (rather than, as is soooo tempting, focuses just on the positive part of the message), sends updates, does camps etc. will have solid choices when the music stops. My overall advice would be, avoid the idea of a dream school all together, focus on finding a handful of good fits, academically and athletically, and adapt as needed to changing circumstances.

I was a AAU b-ball coach (and assistant) for a couple high level female teams several years ago. The teams played multiple high level tournaments in CA, FL, NV and OR. Not one of the girls did ID camps that I can remember. College recruiters would come to see players at the AAU tournaments as well as watch their HS teams. Maybe things have changed in the past 3-4 years?

Once again, thank you for all the very helpful comments.

Regarding her level. She is almost certainly top nescac/ivy level. From the basketball I’ve seen she could also play low D1/D2. She is absolutely NOT a solid D1 player. Princeton bb I think would be a stretch for her bb wise, from what I’ve seen they are an exceptional ivy team basically filled with legit D1 recruits. She plays with a girl who’s being recruited ivy now (2 years older) when they scrimmage my daughter can shut her down and score on her. Certainly they have different strengths! She was an all star at USJN last summer (it’s not my impression that that means a whole lot though).

I think part of the confusion is that yes, she will chase top nescac/Ivy teams as her reaches. Academically those schools will be at her level in terms of being happy at college.

What I don’t know and am totally uneducated about are what she should chase as matches or safeties. It seems a bit like she’d have to give up basketball for academic safeties (I don’t think I’d encourage/suggest/allow her giving up academics for a basketball school if that even exists, she’s not going pro). Or go lower D3, sacrificing both “perceived” academic quality and greatly sacrificing basketball quality (which may end up being just fine with her).

I’ve also coached and played before that. What I’ve noticed in the past couple years is that the number of aau teams has exploded so in our area talent is really spread out and it is hard to find a great team. So my thinking on going to camps is that it’s a chance to see colleges and have coaches see you somewhat regardless of the team you are on (we are lucky where every camp I’d go to in a summer is a two hour drive so kind of an easy proposition). Yes, you are correct there are college coaches at many of our games but not necessarily college coaches of colleges she wants to go to at this point.

Yes I feel very lucky that we live in an area that makes this slightly easier! We even have people to stay with near most targets so it’s stinkin easy to do a one day camp at many of the East coast schools.

@hoopsorsoccer Interesting that talent is spread thin where you are located. Back here, as the kids progress through AAU system and play each other, the kids, and parents too, become friends and ultimately recruit each other to play on the same team(s). Eventually you get powerhouse teams with the best kids in specific age groups playing together on the same AAU teams, but then compete against each other during HS season.

Ivy League WBB is actually pretty good basketball.

Well, to get you started, here are the NCAA Div 1 women’s basketball RPI rankings below the Top 100.

Therefore, they are full ride if the coach offers your D, which is certainly a perk.
I list only those that are in the Top 40 USNWR academic rankings.

I listed Ivies (no athletic scholarships) as a reference for the level of the listed teams:
RPI — USNWR ---- D1 College
281 — 34 ---- UC Santa Barbara
259 — 14 ---- Brown
248 — 36 ---- UC Irvine
223 — 39 — UC Davis
205 — 24 — Georgetown
200 — 40 — Boston U
197 — 12 — Dartmouth
196 — 40 — Northeastern
184 ---- 17 — Rice
146 — 3 — Columbia
144 — 17 ---- Cornell
127 — 40 — William & Mary
125 — 2 ---- Harvard
122 ---- 17 LAC ---- Davidson
106 ---- 17 LAC — Colgate
103 ---- 27 LAC — Holy Cross
101 — 23 LAC — Richmond

The other 3 Ivies are currently Top 100.
I excluded all Power 5 Conference universities, since even if they are currently not great teams, they can/will recruit at a very high level most years.

If you think she can play above a Top 100, then there are more academic universities to consider.

Athletes aren’t giving up academics for athletics, even at top schools. The academics are there if the player wants them, even at schools that are really good at basketball.

You are looking for the balance of academics and bb for your daughter and that can be in D1, D2, or D3. The division level doesn’t dictate the playing level (except in top D1). A mid d1 player might be a top D3 or D2 player, or a D3 player might have picked her school for a particular academic program but could easily have played D1. Do not think that players on top D1 teams (in any sport) aren’t also top students. The quarterback for Air Force was a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship this year and he missed a game to go to the interview.

This girl didn’t even play basketball before high school and is now at Stanford.

Maybe I’m the only one confused, but you say that Ivy/NESCAC are her level both academically and basketball-wise. So then they aren’t really super reaches, or am I missing something?

If you want to have her go to a top academic school where it might be harder to get in w/o sports, so having her be a basketball recruit would help, you could consider D3’s (so she’d be an impact player and sought after) like Carleton, Macalester, University of Chicago, Swarthmore, Haverford etc.

If you go to a big school with top academics, as far as I can think off the top of my head, those schools are the super reaches because their athletic level is super high. I’m thinking schools like Duke, Stanford, Georgetown etc.

She has her Ivy/LAC reach schools in mind.

She wants to find one or more that meet the following criteria:

  1. Academic safeties from an admissions standpoint
  1. but only from an admissions standpoint, because the basketball coach decides. They are actually very strong academically.
  2. that aren't super high level athletic level, so exclude the Stanfords, Notre Dames, (Power 5 Conference) level
  3. I would add that D1 basketball scholarship is a free education, which is better than a kick in the teeth for any parent.

From the list I sent, Rice, Georgetown, etc look like they would meet all those criteria.
Academic safety, because the coach offers the scholarship.

Great academics.

Not so great at women’s basketball right now.
Free education.

Georgetown doesn’t award athletic aid like other schools. Not all sports are fully funded, so there may not be 13 bb scholarships. But the other catholic schools might be a good place to look–Fordham, BC, Dayton, Scranton, Holy Cross. The schools are a nice size, usually 5000-10,000 students. A lot of the Catholic inner city urban schools focused on basketball because they couldn’t afford football teams in the mid-20th century, and with Title IX added women’s teams. They are good.

Isn’t the daughter a freshman? So I’d assume those schools are reaches, as they are for anyone, until the coach says “yes you are it, I’m going to bat for you.” So once the coach says that they aren’t reaches because kid has the academics to get in but she won’t know that until junior year/start of senior year because coaches can get wishy washy right?

Don’t have to give specifics, but what is your daughter’s level in soccer? ECNL/DA? ODP? PDP? YNT TC, Camp etc?
Really rare to be dual sport at a really high level. Curious.

I’m curious too! My son is in a similar situation but it’s crushing him.