Several of the country’s best players play AAU boys basketball. In fact, the quality of many AAU boys basketball teams is top of the line as their players compete against the best while learning how to be a part of a team that is comprised of players as good as themselves. Also, AAU boys basketball tournaments offer playing opportunities in addition to high school hoops, and, in many cases, are better options. This is especially the case if the quality of high school basketball where the player is located is relatively poor.
Athletes in a variety of sports have been taking advantage of AAU sign up options since it was formed in 1888. In fact, the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) used to play a significant role in selecting American athletes for the Olympics before the organization transitioned its focus to youth sports in the late 1970s. Today, AAU membership is nearly three-quarters of a million. Although AAU basketball is arguably the most famous of its sports offerings, it oversees 35 sports ranging from baseball to baton twirling and from sport stacking to track & field.
If you’re asking yourself, “Are there AAU basketball teams near me?” the answer is most likely, “Yes.” Teams are located in 56 districts throughout the country, districts that are often but not always based on state borders. The focus of AAU boys basketball is generally on weekend tournaments with teams playing around 3-5 games in a weekend. Most AAU basketball tournaments are scheduled from March-October, outside of the high school season, with a focus on April-July. This timing also allows college coaches to scout and recruit players during their own offseason.
What does it take to play on AAU basketball teams? The good news is that you should be able to find AAU boys basketball squads that fit your ability level, regardless of what that is. Of course, if you want to play with the best, then you need to be able to bring a lot to the table in order to earn spots on top teams and playing time with them.
AAU basketball tournaments take place throughout the country, and AAU also organizes a considerable number of AAU boys basketball nationals. The age ranges of these events start at the 7 & Under age category and go up to AAU basketball players who are in their late teens. AAU boys basketball nationals generally take place in July with many of them being played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The number and variety of AAU basketball tournaments that are held elsewhere and at other times of the year is impressive. Players and teams signing up should take note of how many games are guaranteed and the quality of the teams that are expected to take part. The cost per team per tournament tends to range from around $100-$700. Of course, do also take note of the thousands of non-AAU youth basketball tournaments that are held as well.
These competitions provide a number of benefits for AAU boys basketball players. The most significant one is being able to play several games in a short time period against opposition that is generally similar in skill level to your own. Depending on the event, you might also be able to showcase your skills for one or more college coaches.
AAU boys basketball is divided into 56 districts. Although many of these are identical to state borders such as the districts covering Georgia, Iowa, Colorado and Arizona, a number of others are not. For example, the Missouri Valley district not only includes the entire state of Kansas, but it is also comprised of half of the state of Missouri. Conversely, some more populated states are home to several districts. Texas is split into five districts, one of which also includes the entire state of New Mexico. Take a look at the AAU boys basketball district map to find out more about your home district prior to signing up for AAU membership.
If you’re looking for AAU boys basketball rankings, the best places to go are often the individual districts’ official websites. For example, Indiana provides team rankings for various age groups. AAU boys basketball schedules are often included on those websites. In addition, the national office offers details on its national championship events.
AAU boys basketball players tend to not be ranked, but rankings of the top high school players are often quite useful as many if not all of these players will also play on AAU boys basketball squads.
AAU boys basketball membership cost is $14 or $16 per year, running from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. The extra $2 that you could pay when completing your AAU sign up would cover the costs of extended coverage. AAU membership also allows players to take part in a variety of other sports in addition to basketball.
AAU boys basketball tryouts often but not always incur an additional cost. These prices can vary, but consider $25 to be a rough guideline. Note that the cost generally includes access to a number of tryouts that are being conducted by that organization, not just one. You are encouraged to participate in tryouts as doing so is generally the best way for you to get on the best teams and receive top competition. At the tryout, be prepared to be tested physically and mentally in individual and team settings. Simply perform your best as the intention of a tryout is to ensure that you are placed on a team that best fits you, but do keep in mind that strong work ethics are generally thought of highly.
To find AAU boys basketball squads to try out for, head to your local district’s official website. For example, New England AAU Basketball has a useful tool for doing so. If information is not there, otherwise contact your local district to see if they have any information on tryouts in your area. Also use the AAU’s national office’s tool so that you can take full advantage of your AAU membership.
AAU Club Level 1 provides your new club with the ability to participate in AAU basketball tournaments. This costs $30. AAU Club Level 2 allows you to play host to AAU basketball tournaments. You would need to pay $60 in order to enjoy that additional benefit. Lastly, AAU Club Level 3 membership includes a number of tax-exempt benefits, so consider paying the $300 cost for that if receiving those benefits can apply to you.
Before taking advantage of AAU membership, it is important to consider the pros and cons of doing so.
If you are a top player looking to get recruited by the best basketball colleges, AAU boys basketball events provide some of the best competition for you, helping prepare you for college hoops as well as expose your skills to college coaches. Both of these factors might not be as available playing high school basketball. AAU boys basketball experience can also offer you an avenue towards impressing those involved with the Junior Basketball Association, which is important if you want a non-college option. However, if you play in the Junior Basketball Association, you will be ineligible for NCAA basketball.
One of the cons is that many teams do not offer much practice time, and winning tends to have a substantial focus of some coaches as opposed to developing players. Of course, it is important to know how to win games and trophies, but you also need to improve your core base of skills in order to improve the odds that you will win games and trophies in the future, such as at college. Also, the quality of AAU boys basketball coaching is not consistently high, so make sure to fully research any clubs that you are considering in order to work with top AAU boys basketball coaches.
Another con to consider prior to garnering AAU membership is that playing in AAU boys basketball tournaments can add up cost-wise. Although the cost of an AAU membership is not significant, playing in a number of tournaments is, sometimes reaching thousands of dollars for a top player in any given summer. Costs to transport and accommodate teams and players should be considered as well. But note that many AAU basketball teams offer some financial assistance, so include that as a factor to look into during your research process.
Numerous players make the transition from AAU boys basketball to college basketball every year. If you are also looking to make that transition from boys basketball to college basketball, make sure to get started on the process now if you are in high school. That is because the recruiting process should start your freshman year of high school. Although college coaches are not allowed to contact you yet, you can reach out to them
You should also consider what the general expectations are for other players in your position looking to move on from AAU boys basketball into the college game. For example, a center looking to join an NCAA Division I roster should be about 6’10” or taller and average around 12-15 points and 8-10 rebounds per game. Also, a point guard wanting to play D1 hoops should be around 6’2″ and average at least 10 points and about 6-8 assists per game. Of course, those figures can vary, especially when differing levels of competition are accounted for, but they are baseline standards
If you would like to successfully navigate the college basketball recruiting process, note that there are a number of steps that you should complete as you make the transition from AAU boys basketball to the college game.
NCSA (Next College Student Athlete) has been providing several benefits to those with aspirations of playing on college rosters in a variety of sports ever since its founding in 1980. At that time, Chris Krause wanted to ensure that high school and AAU athletes would not be as confused as he was when he was recruited to play college football in the 1980s, so he founded NCSA. In the decades that have followed, the NCSA network has increased considerably. Not only do 25,000 NCSA athletes commit to a college for sports every year, but 35,000 coaches also use its services to help fill out their rosters
As a result of the quality of the services that NCSA has offered, it has received a considerable number of positive reviews, including receiving an average Google Reviews score of 4.9 out of 5 stars with more than 2,000 reviews being considered in that ranking. This is due to how much those at NCSA value finding the best fits for those on both sides of the recruiting process. Not only do they want to ensure that players find fits on the teams and in the colleges and communities that work for them, but they also want coaches to be happy with the types of players who they will have playing for them over the next few years
If you would like to take advantage of these services and place yourself on a college basketball roster at a top university, make sure to fill out your free NCSA profile today. If you have any questions about the form or about what NCSA has to offer you in the coming months and years, call 866 495-5172, and further clarification will be provided.