EYE ON THE PRIZE

I was able to join the inaugural press conference with the College Basketball Parents Association. Below you will see what this new group plans to accomplish.

The College Basketball Parents Association (CBPA) has launched as a new organization for the parents and guardians of current and future men’s and women’s college basketball players. The CBPA is a community-building resource established with the purpose of connecting, educating and empowering parents, as they guide their student-athletes through the ever-evolving complexities of NCAA basketball.

The CBPA

is a national, independent association that will prepare and educate parents throughout their student-athlete’s college experience, including current evolving issues along with managing the transition after basketball into a post-graduate career, graduate school or professional sports, and by learning from each other and industry experts. There is no cost to joining the CBPA, and parents and guardians of college basketball players can become members by visiting www.thecbpa.org.

If this organization is successful, it will become a tremendous resource for parents and student-athletes trying to navigate what seems like the abyss between their senior year of high school to entering the realm collegiate basketball. That’s because most parents are completely “in the dark” when it comes to all the rules and regulations that must be followed.

To help with that right of passage for men and women hoopsters, the immediate goals for the CBPA are to:
  1. Build a nationwide community of parents by opening membership to all parents/guardians of men’s and women’s college basketball players at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels.
  2. Listen to the membership and determine the educational resources needed in order to best address the issues facing college sports.
  3. Finalize the Steering Committee with additional regional ambassadors throughout the country.
  4. Develop an outreach plan for the families of future college basketball players.
I had a chance to pose a couple of questions to the group.

The one that I asked of Clark Kellogg, who is not only one of the top NCAA basketball commentators but a parents of multiple college scholarship student-athletes as well, on the role of the AAU program has brought to the landscape. His very interesting response as you can read below.

LH : With the emergence of the AAU program and the lessening in importance of the high school basketball programs and coach when it comes to recruiting high level student-athletes, do you believe that’s what’s causing parents to not get the information that they need because it’s not coming from the school coach or guidance counselor, but more so from the AAU coach that isn’t associated with the high school?

CK : Leo, the landscape has changed dramatically and not all of it is for the worst. I know AAU basketball gets painted with a significantly bad brush. When you talk about recruiting, there’s good and bad in all of it. Kids are valuing the AAU experience for their basketball futures more than perhaps the high school experience. Right now the AAU experience has more value in the eyes of kids and parents. As a result, that circuit does take a higher priority not just with the parents and the kids but with the college coaches. They place significant priority on that as well. I do think that it has created a bit of vacuum in terms of how things used to be handled. Going back to my ancient days when I was recruited as a top player in the country, my parents were involved. My high school coach was involved because the AAU hadn’t got to where it is now. I just think that’s part of the evolution and change and even more reason for this organization coming to fruition for the purpose of education and empowerment and allowed the advocate voices of parents to be part of that ecosystem that has been constructed. I’m excited to see that. I’m also excited to see the CBPA grow and evolve more of what the parents talk about and determine the things they would like to try and be engaged with one another and with the game. Clearly, the AAU has impacted the families and the high school coaches, for sure.

I’m hoping the CBPA, as Mr. Spock would say,

will “live long and prosper” because it’s needed. As a parent, like Clark, of scholarship athletes, I can see how the recruiting experience could be overwhelming.

Having a resource of other parents that have gone through the process will be priceless. For that reason, we at It’s Sports Magazine are pledging our full support of the CBPA and will do whatever is in our power to publicize its exploits.

So, if you have a scholarship-level basketball player in your family, you need to join. It’s the right thing to do for your child.