E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes)- America's Premiere Youth Basketball Organization. "We are not at team, we are a FAMILY!"

2014: Kyle Riddley
Davidson Juco
2014: Brandon Laurencin
Erskin College
2013: Chad Frazier
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
2013: Donovan Williams
Livingstone College
2013: Julian Eleby
2013: Darrius Mingo
Shaw University

 2013: PJ Heath
Benedict College
2013: Markus Gagum
Union College

2013: Carlos Heath
Brevard College

2013: Benjamin Hawks
Columbia International
2013: Nick Schofield
Central Carolina Junior College
2013: Josh Lee
Central Carolina Junior College
2013: Detwon Rogers 
   Southern Idaho 

 2012: Reggie Price
Hampton University

2012: Jarmor'e Cloud
Benedict College
2011: Andrew Komornik
University of South Carolina

2011: Ace Chalmers
Davidson Junior College

2011: Ben Fountain
University of South Carolina (full academic)

2011: Chase Bollinger
University of South Carolina (full academic)

2011: Jonn Sherrill
Gardner Webb University

2011: Caleb Porter
The Citadel

2011: Joey Skav
University of North Carolina (full academic)

2011: Kellan Ebert
University of North Carolina (academics)

2011: Seth Still
Phiffer Univerity

2011: Ian Ebert
University of North Carolina (academics)

2011: Chris Farmer
Winthrop University

2010: Akil Mitchell
University of Virginia

2010: Rodney Cobia
2010: Nate Johnson
Guilford College

2010: Travis Liner
Gardner Webb University

2010: Al Degraffnreid
Fayetteville State University

2010: Eric Howell
Johnson C. Smith University

2010: Ares Smith
Wolfford College

2010: Caleb Bacon
Palm Beach Atlantic

2010: Craig Raye, Jr.
Maryville College

2010: Damon Magazu
East Carolina University

2010: David Batson
King College

2010: Deonte Lipscomb
North Carolina Central University

2010: KJ Ross
Rockingham Junior College

2010: TJ Hallice
Mercer University

2010: Mitchell Hargett
Phifer University

2010: Julius Polite
Belmont Abby

2010: Steven Clark
Wake Forest (full academic)

2010: Charles Morrison
Caldwell Junior College

2009: Rashawn Harrington
Binghamton University

2009: Jace Whitley
Winthrop University

2009: Brandon Douglas
Averett University

2009: Reggie White
Livingstone College

2009: Aaron Bennett
Caldwell Junior College

2009: Nicholas Hailey
UNC Greensboro

2009: Alonzo Long
Belmont Abby

2009: Danquill Sherrill
Davidson Junior College

2009: Edward Cox
Central Carolina Junior College

2009: Marcus McGovern
Louisburg Junior College

2009: Evan Floyd
Georgetown University

2009: Jamell Wiiliams
Fayetteville State University

2009: Taylor Wagnor
Wofford College

2009: Malcolm Green
Emory & Henry College

2009: Jonathan Parham
Morris College



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"We are not a team, we are a FAMILY!"
Guide to Basketball Scholarships

"We are not a team, we are a FAMILY!"

Guide to Basketball Scholarships

The more you know before the letters and the phone calls start arriving, before you start filling out questionnaires, and before you send out highlight videos, the more likely you are to make the best decision for your future in basketball and life.

The problem is, you probably haven't been recruited before. You have dream schools but aren't sure where your realistic options are. You're not even sure how many scholarships a certain school can give out to figure if you have a chance at one.

Knowing the numbers is a good start, so here's a breakdown of scholarships for each level of college basketball:

NCAA Division I

How Many Schools: There are 341 schools playing Division I men's basketball. Programs like North Carolina, Kansas and UCLA are well-known on the men's side. Division I women's basketball features 338 programs, including powerhouse teams like Tennessee and Connecticut.

Scholarship Count: Division I women's programs are allowed 15 scholarships. Men's programs are allowed 13 scholarships.

Scholarship Breakdown: Scholarships in Division I basketball must be full rides. No partial athletic scholarships are given in Division I basketball.

NCAA Division II

How Many Schools: There are 290 men's programs and 291 women's programs in Division II basketball. Winona (Minn.) State is one of the top men's programs in D-II, while Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., has a strong women's program.

Scholarship Count: Both men's and women's programs at the Division II level are afforded 10 scholarships.

Scholarship Breakdown: Scholarships can be split up among the entire roster. Both full and partial rides can be offered in Division II.

NCAA Division III

How Many Schools: There are around 395 Division III men's programs and 425 women's programs nationwide.

Scholarship Count: Athletic scholarships are not offered at Division III schools.

Scholarship Breakdown: Though athletic scholarships aren't available, many student-athletes can earn an academic scholarship or receive a need-based grant while playing basketball.


NAIA Division I

How Many Schools: There are 113 men's programs and 112 women's programs in NAIA Division I.

Scholarship Count: Both men's and women's programs are allowed 11 scholarships.

Scholarship Breakdown: Partial scholarships are common in NAIA. Strong academic students meeting a certain criteria can receive aid without it counting toward the scholarship limit.


NAIA Division II

How Many Schools: There are 149 men's programs and 148 women's programs in NAIA Division II.

Scholarship Count: Division II programs in the NAIA are allowed six scholarships for both men and women.

Scholarship Breakdown: Like Division I, partial scholarships are common in NAIA Division II. Students with good academic standing can meet a certain criteria and be eligible to receive aid without it counting toward the team's limits.


NJCAA Division I

How Many Schools: There are 179 women's programs in Division I and 216 men's programs.

Scholarship Count: Both men's and women's programs in the NJCAA are allowed 15 scholarships.

Scholarship Breakdown: Scholarships at the junior-college level often are full rides, though not always. Scholarships can include tuition, fees, books, room and board.


NJCAA Division II

How Many Schools: NJCAA Division II has 123 men's programs and 130 women's programs.

Scholarship Count: Men's and women's programs have 15 scholarships to work with.

Scholarship Breakdown: NJCAA Division II scholarships can offer only tuition, fees and books--not room and board.


NJCAA Division III

How Many Schools: Division III of the NJCAA features 99 men's programs and 86 women's programs.

'We are not a team, we are a FAMILY!"

Prep Star Alumni: Akil Mitchell
Tips to Help You Land a Scholarship

Prep Star Alumni: Travis Liner

5 Quick Tips to Help You Land a Scholarship

In my many years as a basketball  coach I have been fortunate enough to have worked with hundreds of high school players who have gone on to play college basketball. These players have gone to schools ranging from Division III to major Division I. It is important to understand that only a very small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of kids who play high school basketball are fortunate enough to play in college, and an even smaller percentage play on scholarship. The competition is fierce!

If you are 7-foot, a scholarship will probably find you. If you play for a nationally renowned high school or AAU program, a scholarship will probably find you. But what if you don't? What if you are one of the millions of kids across the world of average size, decent skill level, and a ton of heart? Do you have a chance? YES.

Trust me; I know what I am talking about. I played on a basketball scholarship and I have had private conversations with almost every major Division I head coach in America.

Here are five tips on how you can improve your chances of attaining a basketball scholarship:

Be an outstanding student. Being a great student expands the ranges of schools you can attend and shows a coach you are committed to excellence and are organized and disciplined enough to handle college academics and playing ball. Unless you are a bona fide All-American, coaches are tired of taking “risks” on kids who are poor students. This is the first question every coach asks.

Be a great teammate. Every coach I have ever talked too looks to recruit players that are coachable and who get along with their teammates. No one wants a jerk. Be the teammate everyone loves to play with because you are unselfish, are committed to team goals, and raise the level of those around you. Don’t take for granted how important enthusiasm is. Being a great teammate can raise your stock tremendously! I have seen players lose a coach’s interest because of bad body language or acting like a jerk when they don't agree with a foul call or when they come out of the game. Before college coaches ask me to evaluate a player's athletic ability, they always ask, "Is he a good guy?" "Do you like working with him?"

If you can't, don't. Stick to what you do best and play to your strengths. Stop doing what you think coaches want to see. If you aren't a great 3-point shooter, STOP SHOOTING 3's! Coaches want players who know, understand, and accept their role. Nothing can lose a scholarship faster than trying to show off for a coach during a practice or a game. All you are doing is exposing your weaknesses!

Do the little things. Contrary to what most high school players think, it is NOT all about scoring. To play college basketball, you need to do the little things that make a big difference like: have good footwork, know how to set screens, box out, share the ball, communicate, play solid defense, dive for loose balls, work hard, and be a leader on and off the court. These things alone will separate you from 95 percent of the players who are your size and skill level. The little things can earn you a big scholarship!

Maximize your ability. You can’t control your height, and certainly some folks are born "more athletic" than others. But you can make sure you are as strong as you can be and in as good of basketball shape as is humanly possible. You should be on a year-round strength and conditioning program and work on your ball handling and shooting daily. College players do this stuff year round. Do you?

2011 Nike House of Hoops winner: Andrew Komornik (with NIke host "TJ Swann"


E.A Prep Stars “Hall of Fame”

·      Akil Mitchell

·      Alonzo Long (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      Brandon Douglas (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      Caleb Bacon

·      Craig “C-Raye” Raye, Jr.

·      Danquill “DQ” Sherrill

·      David Batson

·      Eric Howell

·      Jamil “Big Baby” Williams (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      John Parham (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      Angelo “KJ” Ross, Jr. (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      Marcus Ervin

·      Mitchell Hargett, III  (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      Quantrell Williams

·      Reggie White

·      Taylor Wageoner

·      Travis Liner

·      Marcus McGovern

·      Dre Murphy (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      Stephen Moses (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      Matt Torezz  (Original "T-Shirt Boy") est. 2006-2007

·      Coach Benjamin Johnson

·      Coach Mitchell Hargett, Jr.

·      Coach Butch Douglas  


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Player and Parent Commitment Letter


  Player and ParentCommitment Letter 

In accepting this offer, the undersigned player will be committed to the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) program.  The signed acknowledgement of this commitment letter binds a player to the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) Organization for the current season. Players can not participate with another team unless the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) Organization releases the player from this commitment. Also, the player must comply with applicable AAU, YBOA, USBA and USSSA rules with respect to changing organizations in the particular state of participation. By signing this commitment letter, I understand the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) team will not be secondary to other non-school sports. The undersigned player may play other selected non-school sports with the understanding that his/her participation with the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) team will be first priority. I also understand and acknowledge that all team practices and games are mandatory and all players must be attentive and on time unless otherwise agreed upon by the coach responsible for the undersigned player.   If player fees and/or additional tournaments expenses for the undersigned player are not paid upon the expected deadline, the undersigned player will be placed on a probationary period and will not be allowed to continue with the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) program until such fees and/or expenses are paid in full (This includes practice).  

  •  As the undersigned parent and/or legal guardian I understand that I am responsible for obtaining an AAU card, if the team elects to participate in AAU sanctioned events. The AAU Card is mandatory for all sanctioned AAU State and National Events for the current season.
  •  I understand that all uniforms are the property of the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes). As the parent and/or legal guardian I understand it is my responsibility to return the undersigned players uniform in received condition, with normal wear and tear. Uniforms are to be returned to the head coach at the last game of the season or the date determined by the head coach. I also understand that as the parent and/or legal guardian I agree to pay $100.00 if the uniform is not returned in the condition as noted above.  
  •  I also acknowledge that NO refunds will be given if the undersigned player chooses to leave the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) after the first Registration Fee payment has been made. There will be opportunities to participate in team fundraisers to raise money to offset additional team and/or player expenses. E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) Team Rules Players and Parents: 
  •  Birth Certificates and School Report Cards are required in order to participate with the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) Organization.
  •  Players, parents and/or legal guardians must display sportsmanship at all times during practices, tournament games and while traveling during E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) team events. Violations will include dismissal from the E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) Organization.
  •  E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) Organization and its coaches do not guarantee specific participant playing time minutes. Playing time will be earned during practice, continued improvement of basketball fundamental techniques, player’s attitude/commitments, and at the discretion of the coaching staff per individual player.
  •  It’s the parent’s responsibility to address all player concerns with the Head coach
  •  Players, Parents, and/or legal guardians are required to participate in all fund-raising events and tournament sponsorships that benefit the player’s individual team. It is the head coach’s responsibility to assist with coordinating team fund-raisers and tournament sponsorships.
  •  It is at the parents and/or legal guardian’s discretion to discontinue a player’s involvement with an E.A. PREP STARS (Educated Athletes) team in the event academic school performance deteriorates. The parent and/or legal guardian may consult with the head coach of the subject team for advice, however all final decisions are left upon the parent and/or legal guardian.      

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What makes an E.A. Prep player?

What makes a E.A. Prep Star basketball player?



An E.A. Prep Star basketball player can come in any size, shape, or color. There is no common denominator except a love for the game of basketball and an intense desire to get the most out of their abilities. He does not care if he is the one to set the screen or the one who hits the game winning shot because fulfilling his role is important. He understands his commitment to his teammates and that basketball is a team game. He is first concerned with the good of the team, and knows that individual recognition will come through team excellence.


An E.A. Prep Star player has the enthusiasm of an evangelist, the discipline of a monk, the heart of a warrior, and never loses the honesty and character of a small boy.


An E.A. Prep Star player is made, not born. He is constantly striving to reach his potential, knowing that he will bypass other players who cannot withstand this quest for excellence.


An E.A. Prep Star player is what a small boy dreams of being one day, and what an old man can look back on with great pride that he once was.


"We are not a team, we are a FAMILY! 

Parent's Guide: Sportsmanship


Parent's Guide:  Sportsmanship

Teaching the Basics of Sportsmanship

One of the most common myths in sports is that teaching and enforcing sportsmanship is the sole responsibility of the coach. Not true. In fact, when it comes to behavior, the coach's job is to observe players during games, and to enforce the basic guidelines of sportsmanship. The real job of teaching good sportsmanship starts with Mom and Dad. It's up to you as the parents to lay the foundation, not the coach. Be prepared to sit down at appropriate times and have a "teachable moment" with your child. Winning and losing are fundamental elements of any sport, and basketball is no exception. Explain that in basketball there is a right way and a wrong way to behave prior to, during, and after the game, regardless of the outcome. These principles apply on and off the court, and during practices, as well. Usually, the older the child, the more difficulty the player has in dealing with losing. Make it clear to your child that if he or she wants to be a member of the team, they must abide by the rules of good sportsmanship. Make it clear that every game has a winner and a loser (and sometimes, events transpire that may see unfair) but that defeat --no matter how emotional --is not an excuse for acting out. Explain that blaming an official for a bad call (or the coach or a teammate for a bad decision or play) is unacceptable. Even in victory, good sportsmanship is important -- bragging or making fun of an opponent after a win cannot be tolerated. The real test of character is always more apparent in times of difficulty. Help your child through your own responsible leadership. They will benefit over the long-term the lessons they learn, both in basketball and in life.

The Golden Rule

Young players should treat teammates, coaches, opponents and officials the same way that they would like to be treated -- fairly and with respect.

How to Teach Good Sportsmanship if the Coach Does Not

This is an interesting, and difficult, dilemma (and hopefully, one that you will not have to encounter). You may notice that your child's coach acts in an unsportsmanlike way. Maybe he or she argues too much with the officials or yells at the opposing coach and players. Your best tactic in dealing with this is to reinforce to your child that good sportsmanship is important (without criticizing the coach, if you can --be careful of undermining the coach's authority, even if he or she is a screamer). Review the rules of good sportsmanship with your child and remind them that you are watching how they behave. If the coach's behavior continues to bother you (and sets a bad example for your son or daughter) then it may be time to switch teams, if possible. Let the league director know your concerns and see what remedies can be found. If you take the approach that, "maybe the coach is not right for my child," as opposed to "the coach needs to be removed," you will enhance your chance of a positive outcome.

What About Trash Talking?

Has trash-talking become an acceptable form of behavior? First, let's define "trash-talking." Sometimes the opposing players will be good friends off the court. The friendship encourages aiming some good-natured ribbing and jocularity at one another. That's fine. However, any kind of verbal exchange intended to taunt, humiliate, or embarrass a player from another team is NOT to be tolerated. There is a very clear difference between a playful exchange and verbal intimidation. If you witness either your son or daughter participating in the latter, inform the coach immediately (and then reinforce your disappointment with your child at the appropriate time). Let the coach know you don't want your child or any other child on the team to participate in that kind of negative activity.  


Why Summer Basketball Is Crucial to Recruiting

Why Summer Basketball Is Crucial to Recruiting

For teenagers in most sports--basketball included--the glory of playing organized competition often comes in representing your high school.

But when it comes to increasing your chances at a scholarship, the summer basketball leagues are where you need to shine.

Why is that? Why does high school bring glory and school pride, but summer league "pays the bills," so to speak?

The answer is in the availability of college coaches--and when the NCAA allows them to scout potential prospects.

NCAA Division I college coaches adhere to a strict recruiting calendar that follows NCAA bylaws. It gets into intense detail about when a coach can watch a player, talk to a player, acknowledge a player, and when a coach must avoid a player altogether.

Let's review the key terms for the recruiting calendar, as explained by the NCAA:

Quiet Period: The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college's campus. The coach cannot watch you play or visit your high school during this period.

Contact Period: The college coach can talk to you or your family on or off campus, and can watch you play.

Dead Period: The college coach cannot have any in-person contact with you. However, the coach can write you or call you on the phone.

Evaluation Period: The college coach can watch you play or visit your high school, but can't talk to you off the college's campus.

The last one is crucial, because it best points to summer basketball's importance in recruiting. College coaches only get so many opportunities to see a player perform. For the 2009-2010 school year, for example, men's college coaches can evaluate players at these times:  

  • in pursuit of a college basketball scholarship, being at "the place to be" isn't an option--it's a must.

Beat the Clock: Improve Your Grades and Your Game

2010 19u AAU D1 North Carolina State Champions

Beat the Clock: Improve Your Grades and Your Game

Practicing and playing basketball can be fun, but it can also make it very tough to get good grades. Family, friends, chores, and other stuff can pull you in different directions. Whether you are a student-athlete in middle school or high school, you need good time-management skills to succeed.

Basic Fundamentals

Do two hours of homework/study for every hour of class and get good grades. It’s that simple.

Advanced Fundamentals

1. Make a list of everything you need to do.

2. Divide your list into 3 main areas:

--School: Going to class, doing homework and studying

--Personal: Eat/sleep/hygiene, friends, family obligations

--Basketball: Team practice, individual practice and games

3. Prioritize your lists by importance and timing. For example:

--Must Do – Go to school (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) Basketball practice. (3:00 – 5:00PM) Homework (6:30-9:30 p.m.)

--Should Do – Work on a paper due in 3 weeks. (3:00- 5:00 p.m. Saturday) Community service project. (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Every 3rd Saturday)

--Want to Do – Play video games with friends. (Saturdays from 5:00 -7:00 p.m.) Go to the mall/movies. (7:00-10 p.m.)

4. Schedule: Use your lists to make a schedule for each day, week and month or more. Get a weekly planner and fill in each day, and even each hour with what you will do. Use the calendar and timer on your mobile phone to keep yourself on schedule.


Students who get the best grades aren’t necessarily any smarter, they simply stick to priorities and schedule to stay organized. Remember, the first part of "student-athlete" is student, the first part of "high school player" is high school and the first part of "college scholarship" is college.


Beat procrastination. "Take the next action." Got a book report due? Just pick up the book! The "take the next action" play will always work.

Play Post and Perimeter

Multi-task. Record your notes and listen to them while you ride the bus to school. Read while doing laundry.

Play Defense

Phone - Set aside a specific time and tell your friends that's when you'll be available to talk or text.

TV – Record your favorite shows and set a time to watch, but only once or twice per week.

Internet – When online, stick to schoolwork till finished, before you reward yourself with email or social networking.

Video Games – Limit yourself to a couple rounds of your favorite games during the week, more only on weekends.


Coach-Parent Partnership

Prep Star Alumni: Alonzo Long

Coach-Parent Partnership

Research is clear that when parents and teachers work together a child tends to do better in school. There
is no reason to think that it is any different in youth sports. The following are some guidelines for how
parents can contribute to a Coach/Parent Partnership that can help the athlete have the best
possible experience.

1. Recognize the Commitment the Coach Has Made: For whatever reason, you have chosen not to help
coach the team. The coach has made a commitment that involves many, many hours of preparation
beyond the hours spent at practices and games. Recognize his commitment and the fact that he is not
doing it because of the pay! Try to remember this whenever something goes awry during the season.

2. Make Early, Positive Contact with the Coach: As soon as you know who your child"s coach is going to
be, contact her to introduce yourself and let her know you want to help your child have the best
experience she can have this season. To the extent that you can do so, ask if there is any way you can
help. By getting to know the coach early and establishing a positive relationship, it will be much easier
to talk with her later if a problem arises.

3. Fill the Coach's Emotional Tank: When the coach is doing something you like, let him know about it.
Coaching is a difficult job and most coaches only hear from parents when they want to complain about
something. This will help fill the coach"s emotional tank and contribute to his doing a better job. It also
makes it easier to raise problems later when you have shown support for the good things he is doing.
And just about every coach does a lot of things well. Take the time to look for them.

4. Don't Put the Player in the Middle: Imagine a situation around the dinner table, in which a child"s
parents complain in front of her about how poorly her math teacher is teaching fractions. How would
this impact this student"s motivation to work hard to learn fractions? How would it affect her love of
mathematics? While this may seem farfetched, when we move away from school to youth sports, it is
all too common for parents to share their disapproval of a coach with their children. This puts a young
athlete in a bind. Divided loyalties do not make it easy for a child to do her best. Conversely, when
parents support a coach, it is that much easier for the child to put her wholehearted effort into learning
to play well. If you think your child"s coach is not handling a situation well, do not tell that to the player.
Rather, seek a meeting with the coach in which you can talk with her about it.

5. Don't Give Instructions During a Game or Practice: You are not one of the coaches, so do not give your
child instructions about how to play. It can be very confusing for a child to hear someone other than the
coach yelling out instructions during a game. As in #4 above, if you have an idea for a tactic, go to the
coach and offer it to him. Then let him decide whether he is going to use it or not. If he decides not to use
it, let it be. Getting to decide those things is one of the privileges he has earned by making the
commitment to coach.

6. Fill Your Child's Emotional Tank: Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to be there for your
child. Competitive sports are stressful to players and the last thing they need is a critic at home. Be a
cheerleader for your child. Focus on the positive things she is doing and leave the correcting of mistakes
to the coach. Let her know you support her without reservation regardless of how well she plays.

7. Fill the Emotional Tanks of the Entire Team: Cheer for all of the players on the team. Tell each of them
when you see them doing something well.

8. Encourage Other Parents to Honor the Game: Don"t show disrespect for the other team or the officials.
But more than that, encourage other parents to also Honor the Game. If a parent of a player on your
team begins to berate the official, gently say to them, "Hey, that"s not Honoring the Game. That"s not the
way we do things here."
Note: These guidelines are adapted from Positive Coaching: Building Character and Self-Esteem Through Sports


Tips and Advice for Parents of High-Profile Recruits

Prep Star Alumni: Alonzo "Zo" Long, Belmont Abby University

Tips and Advice for Parents of High-Profile Recruits

Is your high school son or daughter showing major potential on the basketball court? Are college coaches starting to take an interest in your child's skills with letters, visits or even scholarship offers?

The recruiting process--especially for high-profile prospects--can be a confusing and stressful time for families who have never been through it before. Who can you turn to who has experienced a hectic recruitment, when only the elite talents are exposed to it?

iHoops.com reached out to the parents of several highly recruited basketball players from years past. These parents lived through the phone calls, emails, hundreds of letters and multiple in-home visits and can now shed insight into what they did right--and what they might do different.

Each question was answered by three different parents in order to provide raw, diverse and honest insight into what they went through as the parents of a highly touted basketball prospect. Their quotes are below:

How Did You Handle Being a Parent of a High-Profile Athlete?

• "My husband and I have done a good job keeping our son grounded by not letting him have a cell phone or using the Internet for reasons other than doing homework. We also constantly talk to him about continuing to work hard and keep learning. We relate that to the Kevin Garnett, Kobe and LeBron work ethic to keep improving their games. He really looks up to those players. We also stress that basketball isn't everything and that his education is always going to be the most important."

• "I pray all the time; people often have to be reminded that this is our child and we love him even if he never picks up a ball again. My son often carries the burdens of the success or failure of the entire team on his shoulders, I try to encourage him and shoulder as many of his burdens as possible. I constantly remind him that because he is a student/athlete that he is held to a higher standard and things that would not matter if done by others will make headlines if it happens to him. I urge him to choose his friends and associates wisely and to limit his social engagements, for instance, house parties are definitely forbidden; he is limited to school activities, movies and certain friends/relatives homes. It may seem a little drastic, but there are those that dislike student/athletes for no reason other than jealousy and will put them in difficult and sometimes harmful situations simply out of jealousy."

• "It is tough when you have everyone looking at you and some trying to tear your son down and find faults or change what you say or don't say around them. I try to be strong and firm and protect my son from things that I do not have control over. I am still learning to not take things too personal and I think that is the toughest part."

How Did You Nurture and Guide Your Child as an Athlete?

• "I remind him to always pray and seek God in all things; I remind him that everyone is not his friend and that there are some people that will intentionally do things to harm him. I inform him that we love him and that the rules and guidelines we impose are for his good and because we love him. He may not like them and may not understand them at this point, but when he is older he will know that the measures we took were for his good and with his well-being in mind."

• "We have always supported our son in the things that he wants to do. He works very hard at improving his game. My husband works out with him at least three to four times a week (strength training). He also gets out on the court regularly and gets shots up daily. He understands the importance of being a strong offensive and defensive player in order to dominate on the court. A lot of guys are just offensive or defensive players, but not both. We also relate that to everyday life. The following quote is what we preach to him everyday: 'You must do what you have to do to do what you want to do.'"

• "We always encouraged him and are there for him. He can count on a firm home foundation with love and support."

How Did You Help Your Child Be the Best Student They Could Be?

• "We make certain he studies and his high school coach, which just happens to be his dad, checks his grades every week to monitor his process and make certain that he maintains his grades and core classes."

•"He wants to be a good student, but we have always emphasized the importance of getting good grades and giving it his all in school. We tell him that without good grades, basketball means nothing. He can't get into the schools he wants to go to without good grades, and he needs that great education for when basketball is over. Basketball is not promised. We tell him he could blow out his knee tomorrow."

• "We preach that education is the starting point of your success. Not everyone will make it in basketball and you have to have your grades right starting as a freshman. Don't wait because it could be the difference from a Division-I scholarship and a junior-college scholarship."

How Did You Help Your Child Understand the Added Pressure (Doing It on the Court and in the Classroom)?

• "I explain that because he is a student/athlete there is a different set of standards and that although it may seem unfair, it is what it is and that he will always have to work harder because he will have less class time and study time than other students because of practice and travel, but he has to maintain his grades. We have always told him 'to whom much is given, much is expected.' He has been given much and he has to give more."

• "We have to remind him daily about staying focused. We remind him that he has to be prepared for the pressure, and the only way he can do that is to keep working hard at the things he knows he needs to improve on. If he can't do it in the classroom, then basketball needs to be put on hold. For instance, he knows if he is having a hard time with a class, then it's his job to see that teacher in his free time to get extra help before he falls behind. On the court, he knows if he gets beat on that first step defensively, then he needs to work on lateral movements even harder in his workouts."

• "We were blessed our son had an older sister that was also a high-profile athlete and she told him that it was hard work. To stay focused and organized. He knows that he has to work as hard in the classroom as he does on the basketball court."


How Did You Help Your Child Deal With the Peer Pressure (Trying to Be the Life of the Party)?

• "We remind him that his real friends will be his friends regardless and that being the life of the party does not always determine who is the wisest and that wisdom is far more important than popularity. Like beauty, popularity will soon fade, but wisdom will live on forever."

•"He is very well rounded as a 16-year old and doesn't get affected by peer pressure now. As a child, he was always trying to be the life of the party. We spent his younger years talking to him if he was being too talkative in class or not concentrating. We've taught him the importance of recognizing the difference between right and wrong and that there is a time and a place for everything. School is for learning. Fun comes after school with your friends. There is a standard and expectation from us as parents that we demand from him, whether at school or play."

• "The good news for us is our son is a home body and likes to hang out a home. He isn't into going out all the time so he doesn't have that to deal with too much. He knows he is being watched by others and that he needs to set a good example and do the right thing."


How Did You Help Your Child Understand "Life Skills" (Choices, Decisions, and Consequences)?

• "Unfortunately the media is full of stories of athletes that have 'fallen from grace.' Each time there is a story about an athlete in trouble I make certain that he reads it and we discuss the possible scenarios that could have led to this outcome as well as the measures that could have been taken to prevent the incident, as well as discuss hypothetical situations that are more realistic yet similar in my son's world. We also discuss the after effects these incidents have on the family and friends of the athlete, and how it makes them feel."

• "Teaching him to make decisions on his own came at an early age. We would always give him choices. We have always taught him that there are consequences to your decisions and actions. You must always think about consequences before doing something. At his age for instance, he does a great job of not going to certain parties because he knows there will be alcohol or drugs there. He knows because he is a high-profile player, he just cannot take that chance or there is a high chance that his future would be affected negatively."

• "Well, we try to give good examples if you get a good night rest you will do better on the test in the morning or play better in the game. If you eat healthy food and drink plenty of water your body will get stronger and you will hopefully not get sick. If you want to be the best then you have to work harder than everyone else."

What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Summer Sports Programs (Pop Warner football, AAU Basketball, Baseball, and Others)?

• "The advantages: It occupies a large amount of time and lessens the opportunity of trouble of an idle mind. It exposes them to college programs from all over the country. It provides them the opportunity to compete against the best athletes in the country. Disadvantages: It occupies a large amount of their time in some instances causing burn-out. Some develop a 'superstar' complex and they--as well as their parents--deem they are better than they actually are."

• "He plays AAU basketball. One disadvantage is the inability to work a job during the summer. He would like to work, but he travels every weekend for the duration of the summer for tournaments and camps. During the week when he is home, he's working on his game. There is free time here and there to just be a kid, but for the most part, he's busy year round. Another disadvantage is not being able to play any spring sports because AAU starts as early as March, and some programs start practicing as soon as high school season is over. He is very fast. He'd probably be a great track runner."

• "The advantage for summer basketball is to play competition from other states. Meet new people and make new friends with kids that are in the same situation your son is in. You just have to be careful that you don't do too much and burn your child out. They need a break to have some fun too."


How Did You Identify Programs/People That Were Looking Out for the Best Interest of Your Child?

• "My son played with the same AAU program that my husband played for as an athlete and that my husband also coaches for, so the program identification process was a non-issue for us."

• "It was as simple as doing some research on the different programs that are out there and talking to different families involved in the program about their experiences. Also, it helped us to talk to each head coach to see where their heads were... the moment a coach would talk too much in "I" terms, we would shy away. Our family had a terrible experience with a prior AAU coach and knew what to look for in a new program because of that bad experience. We looked for coaches that talked about their programs and what the program accomplished for their players, and not what the coach was doing for the players... a lot of coaches treat their players like property and not like individuals who are trying to get to school on scholarships. We looked for a coach that was going to communicate with us well. We also looked for a coach that was going to work with us in the recruitment process, and not shut us out. We wanted to be involved in every aspect of his recruitment. A lot of parents do not realize that they can be and should be involved in the recruitment of their child. There are too many bad coaches out there for them to put their child's future in their hands."

• "Our son's AAU coach was his coach since he was 6 years old. We keep a very tight inner circle with only the people we trust."


Were You Involved in a Support Group to Aid You as You Were Going Through the Recruiting Process With Your Child?

• "Because my husband played AAU ball, experienced the recruiting process as a player, AAU Coach & High School Coach, he was the guiding light in the process, not just for our son but the other guys in the team, so in essence I guess he was the support group in conjunction with our program director, who was also my husband's AAU coach."

• "He is involved in the First Team Program, and we read all of the information that they send us. Aside from that, my husband and I have learned everything through actual experience."

• "No we are very fortunate that we have a great relationship with the high school head coach and AAU coach. We make it an effort to keep them both updated so that we are all on the same page."

Prep Star Alumni: Mitchell Hargett, Brandon Douglas, KJ Ross

NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Recruiting Calendar

Prep Star Alumni: Taylor Wagener

NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Recruiting Calendar

August 1, 2009 through July 31, 2010

(See NCAA Division I Bylaw 30.10.1 for men's basketball calendar formula)

The dates in this calendar reflect the application of Bylaw 30.10 at the time of publication of this manual but are subject to change per Constitution or if certain dates change (e.g., National Letter of Intent signing dates) are altered.

Note: All live evaluations during the academic year shall be limited to regularly scheduled high school, preparatory school and two-year college contests/tournaments, practices and regular scholastic activities involving student-athletes enrolled only at that institution:

(a) August 1 through September 8, 2009: Quiet Period
(b) September 9 through October 5, 2009: Contact Period
(c) October 6, 2009, through March 31, 2010, [except for (1), (2) and (3) below]: Evaluation Period
(1) November 9-12, 2009: Dead Period
(2) December 24-26, 2009: Dead Period
(3) March 16-22, 2010: Contact Period
(d) April 1 through July 5, 2010, [except for (1), (2), and (3) below]: Quiet Period
(1) April 1-8, 2010, (noon): Dead Period
(2) April 8 (noon) -21, 2010, [except for (i) below]: Contact Period
(i) April 12-15, 2010: Dead Period
(3) May 20-28, 2010, [except for (i) below]: Dead Period
(i) To be determined (NBA pre-draft camp only): Evaluation Period
(e) July 6-15, 2010: Evaluation Period
(f) July 16-21, 2010, [except for (1) below]: Dead Period
(1) It is permissible for an institution to have contact with a prospect who is enrolled in the institution's summer term (i.e., summer session or summer bridge program) and has signed a National Letter of Intent or other written commitment to attend the institution. (Adopted: 4/25/02)  
(h) July 22-31, 2010: Evaluation Period

The National Collegiate Athletic Association
June 18, 2009 AS:dks


The recruiting calendar allows high school basketball players to sign National Letters of Intent twice during the year. Other dates to watch out for in 2011-'12:

Sept. 9-Oct. 5: Contact period
Oct. 6-March 31: Evaluation period
Nov. 9-16: Early signing period
April 7-20: Contact period
April 11-May 16: Regular signing period
July 6-15: Evaluation period
July 22-31: Evaluation period

"We are not a team, we are a Family!"

Prep Star Alumni: Craig "C-Raye" Raye, Jr.
Monday, December 19
Recruiting GAME vs. Recruiting BENCH

You are In the Recruiting Game if:
• Dozens of college coaches are sending questionnaires directly to your home address or to your email address
• Dozens of college coaches are calling your high school or club coach looking for more information
• Dozens of college coaches are following up with you once they know of your academic and athletic abilities, and they may want you on their team

You are On the Recruiting Bench if:
• You are getting few questionnaires from college coaches
• Questionnaires are being sent to the school rather than your home or email address
• College coaches are not contacting your high school or club coach
• You are getting invitations to summer camps, mini camps, or invitation only camps – these are not recruiting materials
• You are getting invitations to combines, clinics or showcases – these are also not recruiting materials
• A college coach requests information from you and there is no follow up information or feed back
• You have attended or are planning to attend high level showcases or tournaments and you expect college coaches to notice you from among the hundreds or possibly thousands of athletes at the event
• You think you will be miraculously discovered and a coach will show up at your doorstep
• You think it’s the responsibility of a coach or a guidance counselor to get you an athletic scholarship

Now you know the differences between being In the Game and being On the Bench; where are you?

Get in the game today and take control of your recruiting destiny. E.A. PREP STARS
will do everything to help you get in the game however; it is up to you on how hard & how focus you are in obtaining your dream. “Those who work the hardest reap the biggest rewards”.

Remember, you are either in the Game or on the Bench!

Glossary of Basketball Recruiting Terms

Prep Star Alumni: Akil Mitchll & Mitchell Hargett
College recruiting is a process that deserves its own dictionary. So here it is. If you're trying to become a college basketball player, chances are you will hear words like "dead period" or "letter of intent" or "unofficial visit" throughout the journey. It's common lingo for those who have been around the recruiting world. But the truth is young basketball players usually aren't recruited more than once. It's a new process for almost everybody, so don't feel like you're behind the 8-ball just because you don't understand everything. The NCAA recently defined several terms that are widely used in recruiting. Here's a look at the recruiting process from start to finish, and some unfamiliar terms you might come across along the way: Initial InterestProspective Student-Athlete: When a student enters ninth grade. It also applies when, before a student's ninth-grade year, a college gives the student, the student's relatives or their friends any financial aid or other benefits that the college does not generally provide to prospective students. Contact: When a coach has any face-to-face contact with a prospective student-athlete or the prospect's parents off the college's campus and says more than hello. A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact with the prospective student-athlete or his or her parents at the prospective student-athlete's high school or any location where the prospect is engaging in competition or practice. Evaluation: An activity by a coach to evaluate a prospective student-athlete's academic or athletics ability. This would include visiting the prospective student-athlete's high school or watching the prospect practice or compete. Recruiting Calendar TermsQuiet Period: The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college's campus. The coach cannot watch you play or visit your high school during this period. Contact Period: The college coach can talk to you or your family on or off campus, and can watch you play. Dead Period: The college coach cannot have any in-person contact with you. However, the coach can write you or call you on the phone. Evaluation Period: The college coach can watch you play or visit your high school, but can't talk to you off the college's campus. Visiting a SchoolOfficial Visit: A prospective student-athlete's visit to a college campus paid for by the college. The college can pay for transportation to and from the college, room and meals (three per day) while visiting and reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. NCAA recruiting bylaws limit the number of official visits a recruit may take to five. Unofficial Visit: Any visit by a prospective student-athlete and their parents to a college campus paid for by the prospective student-athlete or the prospect's parents. The only expense the prospective student-athlete can receive from the college is three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest. The prospect may make as many visits as he or she likes and may take the visits at any time. The only time the prospective student-athlete cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period. Picking a SchoolVerbal Commitment: A college-bound student-athlete's commitment to a school before he or she is able to sign a National Letter of Intent. A college-bound student-athlete can announce a verbal commitment at any time. Verbal commitments are popular, but they are not binding to either the student-athlete or the school. National Letter of Intent: The document a prospective student-athlete signs when he or she agrees to attend the designated college or university for one academic year. According to the terms of the program, participating institutions agree to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete, provided he or she is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. An important provision of the National Letter of Intent program is a recruiting prohibition applied after a prospective student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent. This prohibition requires participating institutions to cease recruitment of a prospective student-athlete once a National Letter of Intent is signed with another school.


Monday, December 19
House Of Hoops by Foot Locker awards ceromony

Jeremy Wallace, class of 2013

Friday, November 18th, 2011 marked the Grand Opening of House of Hoops by Foot Locker at Southpark Mall.

"Charlotte has made its mark at every level of the game, from the playground legends who demand respect for the south, to the center city pros who have earned the respect of the world." - - - HOH Southpark Mall – Charlotte, NC

E.A. PREP STARS AAU orginization hosted a FREE Nike Skills Academy prior to the grand opening!!

House Of Hoops by Foot Locker
South Park Mall
4400 Sharon Rd
Charlotte, NC 28211

Andrew Komornik, Nation Ford High School