What the College Basketball Recruiters Look for in a Player

college basketball recruiter

Written by Sirikit Elebaran

February 11, 2021


From junior high to high school, high school to college, and then going to college to the pros, real basketball players want to climb the traditional ladder and prove they have what it takes to transcend the level of the legends.

Whether it is a junior college, Mid Major, or even the D1-level, players all over the world would work on their overall conditioning level and hone their technical basketball skills with the hopes of playing at a prestigious university or college and attaining a coveted scholarship or professional contract. However, the competition to play at these levels is fierce and gets dramatically more difficult the higher you go.

In a game where everyone is aiming for the same goal, one must be exceptional in order to get noticed. In today’s blog, we’ll give you three practices that will give you the edge from the crowd.

Do The Little Things

In basketball, the champions aren’t always the extraordinary player on the court; they are the ordinary players, executing the little things, extraordinary well.

For players, these little things might include diving on a loose ball, sprinting back on defense, making the extra pass, or taking charge.

You will also hear from basketball coaches this line during pre-game “We must do the little things our competitor isn’t willing to do.” These are the small things that are often overlooked by the players in court but can surely make a significant impact on the final score.

Control What You Can Control

It’s one of the clique sayings, but there’s a reason for that. Most basketball coaches know that players who focus on the wrong things, like things they have no control over, will waste effort, time, and energy. In sports, there are various things you cannot control, such as the weather, the referee calls, spectators, injuries, playing time, and even your teammates. However, no matter how much you try to contain and manage these factors, it’s pointless.

What you can do is control the controllable in basketball. These aspects include your attitude, fitness, preparation, coachability, emotions, but most importantly- yourself. Basketball is a sport where most things are uncertain, and anything can happen during a game. But once you have a good grasp of yourself and your reactions, you can undoubtedly surpass anything, even the recruitment process. 

Know What The Coaches Look For

According to Coach Donald Watts, here are the three things that coaches look for when evaluating players in his years in the industry:

1. Hardwork: your persistence in practices and games and how much real work you put in.

2. Attitude and Body Language: your approach to the game, both in and outside the court.

3. Coachability: your willingness to learn and get mentored by the people who want to see you improve and excel to the next level.

Coaches don’t actually look for the smart, tough, and competitive player. Individual teams can be full of winners and champions, but what really strikes through the recruiters are disciplined teams with high IQ players, who can justify the confidence they are trying to exude.

The skills are definitely easier to teach to players compared to the dedication to the sport and willingness to learn, and most of the time, the recruiters also look at how to perform even outside the court. And sometimes, that is more important too.

Play With A Purpose

Whether you are playing in a small game or a major tournament, you should always assume that you are being evaluated by someone who can influence your college scholarship in any way. Every play is always a good opportunity to make an impression, and no game should be wasted. Moreover, make sure you apply these tips to ensure that you won’t just be another player on the court. After all, you can’t be get noticed if you play like the rest of the crowd. 

And remember, someone is always watching.


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