Connecticut Premiere AAU Basketball: Welcome

Wednesday, April 15
Welcome To Connecticut Premiere AAU Basketball

Check Premiere News for Information and Updates.

Gentlemen please be at the gyms for games 45 minutes prior to the start time.

Thanks

Coach V

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**Interested in learning more about Connecticut Premiere Basketball?**
- Here are some frequently asked questions about AAU and Premiere Basketball. -

*What is AAU?
        AAU stands for the Amateur Athletic Association and is the oldest and largest single sponsor of amateur sports in the United States. AAU holds events in basketball, baseball, soccer, track and field, volleyball, weightlifting, karate, swimming – you name it – as long as its amateur, AAU holds events in it!
    Up until the US allowed professional athletes to compete on Olympic teams, AAU oversaw our olympic teams (Remember Michael Jordan and the “Dream Team”?). AAU still sponsors the Junior Olympics (JO Games), the Nationals and the Jr. Nationals. For us, the Connecticut AAU sanctions basketball tournaments for member clubs and players.

*How are AAU teams formed?
        AAU teams are sponsored by AAU registered “club”. A “club” is simply one or more adult volunteers who get together and form for the purpose of supervising and participating in a given sport. Connecticut Premiere is an “AAU Club” and has sponsored basketball teams for the last five years.

*Are there age or levels of teams?
        Yes and no. For purposes of a “qualifying tournament” age matters, for “invitational tournaments” the rules are less strict. AAU age for boy’s basketball is determined as of September 1 of each year. Whatever a player’s age is on September 1 of the year he is playing, that’s his AAU age. For example, a player who turns 13 on Sept 1, 2007 will be “13 and under” or “u13” for the spring and summer 2007 season. There is an exception for boys who have stayed back.

*What is the AAU season?
        This is a good question and goes to the heart of how AAU basketball got so popular. Several years ago there were spring, summer and fall college Division I “contact periods” – times when a college coach could go see a prospective high school athlete to evaluate him for a possible college scholarship to play a given sport. Div I coaches can offer 15 basketball scholarships per academic year (less for Div II and none for Div III).
    Naturally, during the basketball season, the college coach was busy with his own team, and during spring or fall, the high school players were not in season and tied up with studies. Summer became THE time to recruit for college teams. Teams began to form and travel to give college coaches an opportunity to see and evaluate players (two teams loaded with talented high school players would give a coach a chance to see 15-20 potential scholarship athletes as opposed to attending a given high school game where only 1 or 2 players were at that skill level).
    Coaches began to attend these AAU tournaments and that brought out more teams and more coaches…and so on….it became THE place to be seen and recruited. “Summer basketball” is at the heart of college recruiting. The season runs after “March Madness” and runs through the July “contact period”. July is also home every year to the AAU National Championships and major national invitational tournaments like the “Main Event” and “The Big Time” held in late July in Las Vegas every year. Literally hundred of college coaches and millions of dollars of education in the form of athletic scholarships happen in Vegas. Of course there are many other invitational tournaments held around the country – Double Pump, Bob Gibbons, Hoop Group’s Jamfest, and so many more.
    Of course, despite the hype, there are no college coaches at u15 and under. In fact, a college coach cannot make a contact until after a high school player’s sophomore summer.

*Are there AAU leagues?
        No, or very, very few. All of AAU basketball is based on weekend tournaments; tournaments hosted, staffed, supervised by AAU clubs. On any given weekend in April through June, just in New England, there are as many as 50 tournaments going on. Each tournament director (host) determines the weekend, finds gyms, hires referees, sets up concessions, scheduling, etc. Flyers are mailed (emailed these days) out and registrations are accepted. Of course, some tournaments cater to certain levels of play (most have “A-B-C” registration levels, but some are definitely recruiting tourneys…for the older kids….and some are just fun ones).

*Are there championships?
        Yes – there is a state and national championship at each age level. You must qualify in the state tournament (usually the top three teams) to attend a national AAU tournament. Most “invitational” tournaments are “pool play” style – just 3 or 4 games with no “winner” per se. Its competition and game experience for just play’s sake.

*How are teams formed and when does the season start?
        Each club will recruit and assign coaches to the teams they want to sponsor for that year. Those coaches will recruit throughout the travel, CYO or high school season. Usually, they know the talent in the area at their age level. If enough kids want to play, some clubs will hold a tryout and pick the top players. Some clubs will sponsor as many teams as they have kids – so no one is turned away.
    The AAU basketball season runs from late March through June, with National tournaments held in late July. There are development and exposure camps held in early July that serious players should attend!.

*What does it cost and how do we pay for it?
        Tournaments run around $400 for 3-4 games on a weekend. Uniforms cost $100, insurance and AAU membership average $25-30 per player. A club will usually spend $5,000 - $8,000 during a season with travel, practice gym rentals, equipment, etc. – everything but sneakers for the kids. CT Premiere charges $750 for an 8-10 tournament season which results in 40-50 games over a three month period – it’s intense but provides a great value.
    Over the years I’ve seen candy drives, pasta suppers, car washes. They’re all fun, but sponsor letters sent out to family, friends, neighbors, etc bring the biggest and easiest return. (See sample handout).

*Why is AAU basketball participation so desirable?
        First of all, if a kid can talk his parents into a $750 commitment, he loves the game and wants to be there. The kids he’ll be playing against feel the same way and the competition tends to be better; so does the coaching – AAU team coaches tend to be more committed and more dedicated, and so…better teachers of the game. When you play 3 or 4 games in a 48 hr. period, the learning curve is dramatically reduced – corrections and reinforcement occurs in a very short time.

*CT Premiere uses a curriculum of skill development to teach fundamentals which have evolved since Mike Romano began coaching AAU in the early 1990’s. Many people talk about fundamentals, but we define it and stick to it. Even when a dad or newer coach gets involved, we have the skill set program and drills to make players better. We also have mandatory minimum playing time – you can’t get better if you don’t play!

*What does the 2007 practice and season look like?
        We usually practice 2x per week for 1.5 to 2 hrs each. Once is clinic style – stations, drills, individual skill development. The second night is set work – press breakers, plays, team defense and the like.
    During the 12 or so weekends in April, May and June, we plan to attend 6-10 tournaments, mostly in state with no overnights. We like overnights to see teams from other states and also because of the responsibility being away from home teaches.

For any other questions, feel free to give Mike Romano a call:
Cell: 860-982-8308
Work: 860-563-7482
Fax: 860-257-3195
Or, Email Premiere at: ctpremiere@cox.net        

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