HS vs AAU tough choices . . .
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Author:  JoeSimmons [ 14 May 2015, 08:37 ]
Post subject:  HS vs AAU tough choices . . .

This issue has been debated a thousand times and most of the times I agree that HS basketball should play an important role in the development of its players. But sometimes HS programs put both parents and players in no win situations. I've always supported our local public school programs, last year I've even volunteered to coach the middle school girl's summer league team and conducted open gyms in the fall.

Background information: My 13yo daughter is going into the 9th grade next year. She has been playing basketball since the 4th grade first starting in the local Rec league then joined a local AAU team after the winter season. She's a legit 5'10; hopefully she will end up at 6'. She played the 5 in MS, but will be a natural 3-4 in HS. She led her team to the middle school championship and was named MVP. She was approached by a couple of powerhouse private schools, we visited a couple but they are too far away to commute every day (1hr drive) and plus there's no bus transportation and we would be responsible to get her there. This spring she also had the opportunity move up to a more national level AAU team with better coaching. The majority of girls on her new team are going to play for the private schools mentioned above.

Her mom and I are very cautious about her development, on her new team she is probably the 7th or 8th best player since the level of play is higher than what she played locally. Both her AAU coach and a local college assistant coach who is a friend of ours said she has potential because the athletic ability is there. Now here's the issue; our local high school has a mid-level program, they fired the coach a year ago (3-17) and hired a new coach that previously coached the middle school team before my daughter played there. Parents I've talked to wanted an experienced coach that was a dedicated basketball coach, current coach is also the Head Field Hockey and Assistant Lacrosse coach. The school has approx. 1500 students and has girls who are deceit athletes physically but lack fundamental skills in specific sports. They made the playoffs (14-6) but IMO mostly on athletic ability and got bounce by 15pts in first round; they lost 28-71 earlier in the year to the eventual state champion.

So here is the issue: Coach calls a parent meeting to establish offseason workout schedule. First meeting was canceled, after that the first two workouts/open gym sessions were also cancel once for low participation and the next time the coach was unavailable. We then get this message that was sent out to all the players:

"Due to only one person responding to the message yesterday, work-outs and open gym will be cancelled this week. We will try again next week. I understand that some of you are playing on an AAU team, but you need to still be conditioning and working out with our school team. So please remember that all spring and summer workouts are optional for you, but your playing time in the winter will also be optional for me."

I'm having reservations on how to support the HS program but also see where the AAU program that my daughter is involved is necessary for her development. They have practice twice a week, with optional skill sessions and strength and agility sessions on the off weekends (she also currently plays lacrosse for the MS team.) Her AAU coach also trains college girls on the side and has offered to work with my daughter on the side to get her up to speed with the other girls when he does his personal workouts. I know this is not the norm, but it just frustrates me that her AAU team has girls commuting an hour away 2 to 3 times a week and they have not cancelled a practice or workout yet and her local HS who is just 5 minutes away IMO lacks the coaching and dedication needed for my daughter to progress. Where should my allegiance fall?

Author:  Coach Rob [ 14 May 2015, 11:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: HS vs AAU tough choices . . .

For clarification, are you asking if you should skip the hs training and stay with the AAU training over the summer? If no one is really showing interest in the hs summer training program, I doubt not attending will affect playing time. Sometimes you find yourself doing the "politically correct" thing, but in this situation, I'd do what's best for your daughter. What would she rather do?

If you have the financial means and your daughter is motivated to do it, I'd definitely work with the college coach on the side.

Keep in mind AAU programs are there to make money. Unless you're in a special situation, I'm guessing you pay a good chunk to play and train with that team. HS has limited funded unless they have a really good booster club.

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