College basketball camps are a chance for high school basketball players to show their skills on the court in front of college coaches. With the college basketball season running at the same time as high school games and tournaments, camps are crucial to getting coach exposure. This section dives into the different types of camps, helping families choose the right one for them.
During the regular season, college and high school basketball games are scattered throughout the week, making it extremely difficult for college coaches to travel and see their top prospects play in-person. But in the off-season—especially during live periods—they can hit the road and scout several players at once. In fact, it’s common for the athletics department to split up and travel to different camps and tournaments so they can attend as many events as possible. That’s why summer basketball camps and tournaments are such a crucial part of the women’s basketball recruiting process.
Basketball tournaments provide student-athletes with an opportunity to see how they measure up against top recruits across the country and more importantly, it gives them a chance to compete in front of college coaches. While several different tournaments can prove to be advantageous—local and nationwide—families should thoroughly research events and connect with college coaches ahead of time to improve their chances of being recruited.
Timing matters, too, as summer is an essential time in the recruiting process. When coaches are in season, they don’t have many opportunities to travel to high school basketball games. Instead, they’re more likely to travel during the off-season and attend certified events where they can watch several athletes compete at once. While NCAA Division 1 and some Division 2 coaches have more flexibility with their budget to travel, Division 3 college coaches tend to recruit at local tournaments.
Keep in mind that coaches attend tournaments with a list of recruits they want to see play. So, student-athletes should reach out to coaches via email and telephone before events and let them know where they’ll be playing. When student-athletes call coaches, they’re allowed to talk on the phone. As long as the student-athlete is the one initiating contact, communication is allowed. That’s why it’s so important to be proactive and loop in a high school or club coach who can act as a liaison and help facilitate a time to talk.
Here are a few popular tournaments that coaches attend. You can also visit the NCAA’s website to see a list of certified events where coaches will be.
Basketball camps give student-athletes an opportunity to compete against top recruits, refine their skills and compete in front of college coaches. Typically, coaches invite student-athletes to participate in their camp via email. They might also mail information to families. However, it’s important to decipher the kind of invitation you’re receiving—personal or generic.
The truth is that many schools use showcases and camps as money-makers. Can athletes gain valuable skills and improve their game at a camp? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean they’re being recruited. Coaches tend to invite a lot of athletes to their camps and simply don’t have the time to notice everyone. So, athletes who receive a generic invite are mainly there for skills development and aren’t actively being recruited.
On the other hand, student-athletes who receive a personal invitation are more likely on the coach’s list of top prospects and will be evaluated in-person. These recruits already established a relationship with the coach and even spoke to them on the phone (remember, when the student-athlete initiates contact and calls a coach, they’re allowed to talk on the phone). We often remind families to be proactive in their recruiting, and this is especially important when it comes to camps. Email coaches an online profile and highlight film to get on their radar before you attend.
IMG Academy’s girls basketball camps feature position-specific, customized training for players seeking to reach their full potential. Camps incorporate technical instruction and drills as well as guided game-situational play combined with physical and mental conditioning. IMG coaches have experience competing and coaching at the collegiate and professional levels and work with campers through position-specific drills along with competition elements, scrimmages, & situational play.
Camp can be a very beneficial experience for families. It gives student-athletes a chance to see what college life is like, while also improving their game. We recommend that you research individual basketball camps that we have included in this list, but we also want to make sure you know the main differences between college and exposure camps.
Keep in mind that most coaches attend events with a list of players they want to see. If you want to get recruited at a camp or showcase, you need to reach out to college coaches ahead of time. Email your online profile, including your highlight video, and follow up with a phone call.
When calculating the cost of a camp, families need to consider both the camp’s registration fee and additional travel expenses to attend. A one- or two-day basketball camp will typically cost between $50 and $300, while a four- or five-day overnight camp can be north of $1,000. The type of camp, number of instructors and level of facilities all affect the cost of a basketball camp.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.
Camps are a great way to develop your technical ability and strategy, especially in the offseason, and play in front of college coaches. See a list of the best basketball camps near me.
We are continuously adding new camps to this list, so check back often to find more camp opportunities!