A friend forwarded an article from the City of Palms Tournament which featured some top players and teams. The article interviewed some top coaches about their perceptions of the youth development system.
Holy Cross High School (Flushing, N.Y.) Head Coach Paul Gilvary:
“It’s a lot different now than it used to be,” he said prior to his team winning the City of Palms’ third-place game, 74-56, over Helen Cox High of New Orleans. “I think the NCAA has caused the whole situation because of the different times of the year they allow the recruiting. The NCAA has really made the summer very, very important to the kids.”
Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) Head Coach and Athletic Director Kevin Sutton:
“We have our players in summer school and we try to look at everything as to how they do at the collegiate level academically and athletically,” Sutton said. “I feel that 85 to 90 percent of a player’s improvement takes place during the summer. We try to structure our summer around our team’s improvement. If our players continue to improve, that will attract the attention of the college coaches.
“We have 18 to 20 players on Division I or Division II scholarships,” he added. “Exposure, to me, is sometimes often overrated and overstated. As a former college coach, I think it’s better to go see a kid when he is in his more natural environment. That way, I can get a more accurate evaluation of him.”
Head Coach Matt Herting of Bishop Verot in Fort Myers, FL:
“A lot of people say, Ã¢â‚¬ËœWell, you get to play against great competition in the summer.’ I think you get to play against some great competition, but a lot of times you play against bad basketball, which is a problem. AAU coaches are at a disadvantage. A lot of the time, they don’t get much time for practice. And it’s so liquid. If a kid gets mad at me, he can’t just leave Bishop Verot and go play somewhere. In AAU, you can do that.”
Tom Tietze, publisher of Kansas City Basketball Abstract:
“One of the problems we’ve got in this country as far as basketball goes is that kids are playing too many games. They don’t do enough practicing. I’m not sure if that’s gonna change.”