Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Why Do So Many Top High School Players Attend Prep Schools?

I actually wrote this blog 6-months ago, however, I never hit the "return" key mostly because of the last paragraph about shoe company involvement in top players.  Even though I am passionate about my line of work, it was water you didn't want to tread around.  It was this underground world that was dominating the arena, however, people just didn't talk about it out loud.   Well, with the recent FBI stings, the secret is out of the bag which eventually will be good for everyone involved in the basketball arena.  

Over the past 5 years, we have seen a major trend of top high school players moving to "Prep Schools" or "Prep Academies" all over the USA.  It seems that nowadays there are 5-10 new prep academies popping up year.  At the same time, there are around the same that are shut down each year.  Although the success rates are very low for pop-up prep schools, there are some that are very good at helping these top student-athletes reach their dream to the NBA.  

So why are so many players gravitating to prep schools?  Below is a really good analysis.

The NUMBER 1 reason why these players are going to prep schools, comes down to what the rest of the world in any business sector strives towards.....EARNING MONEY!.   Let's get something straight.  With the new NBA Bargaining Agreement set, basketball is a business.  It used to be a business as you entered college, but now it is a business as you enter your Freshman year in High School.  Some may say that is not right or unjust, but it is reality.  There is too much money involved and money to be capitalized on for any family to over look.  Before it was about State Championships and staying loyal to your region or high school, but that mindset is changing.  Because for players who have a chance to earn money (a lot of it) in the NBA, it is not about state championships, it is about being prepared for college to succeed immediately and then possibly get to the NBA.

The longer you are in college, the less money you will earn playing professionally (one less year of income and, or could drop in NBA draft status).

Top 25 or even Top 50 players go to prep school because they get:

- Better competition daily at practice
- Better competition in games
- A few less time restrictions (Some high schools do not start until early November)
- Better challenging of players IQ
- More challenges
- More work on the body and conditioning 
- A challenge to their mentality and how they approach the game
- More peer challenging, be around others of similar size and athleticism and motivation
- The duplication of what you will see in college and possibly in the NBA as it relates to on court game translation
- Better coaching as it pertains to the individual and his skill set
- Reduce the opportunity to get injured by playing with guys as athletic and as big as you and can move as opposed to kids who may be half your size, and can't move as well, not as athletic, and can't react like you can
- Expand your game and focus on the things that translate to the next level as opposed to focusing on winning a game (you may have an advantage on the floor in a regular HS game and you have to go to that because the goal is to win, however at the next level, you may not be able to do that because it won't be allowed)

The difference over 4 years between the #1 pick (Markelle Fultz) and the #20 pick for example (Harry Giles) is:

$37,400,017 and $10,621,750

That is a difference of approximately: 27 million dollars!

There is a lot at stake financially for guys who have the potential to play in the NBA, and every year not maximized to realize someone's potential could cost that person millions of dollars.

Furthermore, another reason why kids are attending prep schools is because of Shoe Companies. It must be noted that this is the less honorable path. Various Shoe companies would like to keep their kids in their brand. Pushing a top player to their "prep school", keeps this player in their brand.  The longer relationship they have with the families, the higher chance they will have signing them when they do turn Pro.  It's all about finding the one gem that can sell shoes.  At Prolific Prep, we are not pressured, nor influenced by our shoe sponsor, however, we have seen it happen in front of our eyes with recruits every year. 

If you had a son in this position, would you really be worrying about winning a State Championships, or breaking school records? 

For the record, Josh Jackson above was drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the #4 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.  Josh played for Prolific Prep (Adidas), but ended up signing a shoe deal with Under Armor.