High school basketball coaches talk high school camps vs. travel ball during summer

Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 4:38 PM EDT
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By: Joey Lamar | WCTV Eyewitness Sports

April 27, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- There's has been a growing debate about what is the best way for basketball players to gain attention to potentially secure a college scholarship.

The summer is critical for recruiting, as college coaches have time to attend prep games, as opposed to just watching a clip online during the season.

"Not every high school is fortunate to have college coaches visit their campus during the season," Lincoln girls' basketball head coach Rod Mack said. "AAU gives young ladies a chance to get out there and be seen in front of college coaches."

Those games are usually at big tournaments in a central location, where teams are guaranteed a minimum number of contests and several coaches can see a player.

"Some tournaments could have about 16 clubs," travel ball coach Dell Robertson said. "You could go to some of the larger, high-exposure events that could have 64 to 100 teams."

For high school coaches, the summer is for development through team camps. However, the growth of travel basketball tournaments limits their time in the month of June.

"You have the moments where you may do somethings with the team where you are missing one or two players because they are traveling trying to get the opportunity to be seen by college coaches," Mack said.

Lincoln coach Jerry Humphries coaches high school and travel ball. He said there is an unspoken rivalry. However, he sees the benefits of travel ball.

"In Leon County," Humphries said, "We know what we are up against. When we are traveling in these big tournaments, sometimes it could be a buzz saw because you are playing against talent that is head and shoulders above anything we have seen in Leon County."

Coach Robertson said, while the global pandemic has temporarily stopped in-person recruiting. This could lead to a rise in coaches watching old games.

"Coaches don't actually have to be in the arena anymore," Robertson said. "They can actually subscribe to a viewing channel. If they hear about a good player, that player can get exposure from a live stream or a delayed stream."

With the current health situation, team camps and summer travel ball season are in question.

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