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January 4, 2014

Is the goal to win games or scholarships?





The competitive nature of high school sports comes with the territory. Coaches need to win to retain sponsorships, keep their jobs, and continue to attract superior student-athletes to their school.

Parents and student-athletes however are after the possibility of getting a free education and/or pursue a pro career. This begs the question, should winning games trump putting players in the best position to receive a scholarship.

Coaches, since they're not suppose to recruit, get the luck of the draw when it comes to the student-athletes who enroll in their school. They often times end up with a majority players who are 6'0" or shorter and only one or two players who are 6'6" +. The two 6'6"+ players may be a natural point guards but because of their height relative to the height of the other teammates, they are forced to play out of position in the front-court. They are forced to "sacrifice for the team."

Should the coach continuously play these players out of position or let them play their optimum position in order give colleges the best observation of a potential recruits talents?

Should coaches more is focused on winning the game at all costs; Even at the cost of getting scholarships? It's a tough call but since student-athletes are pretty much locked into a high school once they enroll, it's an important conversation.

Is the goal to win games or win scholarships?

When NYCHoops.net first saw and identified J.J. Moore as a talent, he was playing the 4-5 position with Brentwood HS because he was the tallest player on the team at 6'6". After transferring to South Kent, Moore played his nature position as a wing and his recruiting blew up. Now he starts for Rutgers.

6'6" Danny Green was another player who played out of position while in high school but it actually worked to his advantage. Green attended St. Mary's HS in Manhassett, NY. Again, because he was one of the taller players on the team, he played the 4 and 5 positions. Green still excelled. After becoming a star at North Carolina, Green took the long route to the NBA and currently plays in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs.

For Green, being a jack of all trade was an asset as he was able to defend at four positions. For most others in that scenario, they become jacks of all trade and masters of none.

The answer for many student-athletes who are sacrificing for their high school team is to use AAU as a means to an end. A chance to play in their natural position or at least to cultivate their talent in that position.

While the answer for student-athletes may lie in making the best of their situation, the question still remains for HS coaches. Should they be less focused on winning at all costs or at least equally focused on getting their kids athletic scholarships at all costs?





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