Get Started Now
Parents Start Here Athletes Start Here

NCSA Recruiting

Holly  Ismail, Director of Regional Recruiting at NCSA

Holly Ismail, Director of Regional Recruiting

Syracuse University
[email protected]
(312) 638-4870

I have the benefit of understanding the recruiting process from many angles. I was an All-American athlete in high school and was a highly recruited basketball and volleyball player. While the opportunities were there, I had little understanding of the whole process. At 17 years of age and making a huge life decision based mostly on phone conversations with coaches and an official visit, I wished I had more help. I felt fortunate to find a great home at Syracuse University, where I chose to play basketball. I have since been inducted into the Connecticut Basketball and Volleyball Hall of Fame.

My passion for the game continued on the coaching side, and I have coached at the high school level for nine years and the club level for seven. My teams were very successful, winning multiple national tournaments and three state championships. Within that success, I was able to help many of my talented student-athletes in their recruiting process, which has changed dramatically from when I went through it. One of those players was my own daughter. Navigating the recruiting landscape can feel very overwhelming. She ultimately chose Princeton University for the strong mix of academics and athletics. I have been able to see the stresses of recruiting on this level and also from athletes who had to put more work into the exposure part.

Recruiting is an education unto itself, and if parents and athletes don’t understand it, student-athletes will undoubtedly miss out on opportunities, or get stuck not being able to play at all. That brings me to how I came to NCSA. My son wanted to play college football but happened to be on a high school team that did not have much success and college coaches were not coming to his campus to find their next recruit. We found out about NCSA and the help they can provide and decided it was well worth it to see what they could do for him. My son went from having no college contacts to being sought after from multiple DII and DII programs very quickly. Within six months, he had multiple offers and was making his decision to attend Mercyhurst University and realize his dream to play college football at the DII level and study graphic design. I saw firsthand what NCSA does for student-athletes, and I wanted to be a part of it.