USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the college recruiting process. Here, you’ll find practical tips and real-world advice on becoming a better recruit to maximize your opportunities and play at the college level. Joe is a former college athlete and coach at the NAIA level, where he earned an NAIA National Championship. Joe is just one of many former college and professional players, college coaches and parents who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. Their knowledge, experience and dedication, along with NCSA’s history of digital innovation and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community, have made NCSA the largest and most successful athletic recruiting network in the country.
Looking to play basketball at the next level? Boost your exposure and get evaluated by coaches at a college basketball camp. Camps also give you the chance to develop your game, showcase your skills against elite competition and tour the campus to determine whether it’s the right fit. To help you save time, NCSA has compiled a definitive list of every 2019 men’s and women’s Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college basketball camp in the country. This list of 2,400+ men’s and women’s camps includes the date, division level, name, age/grade level and cost of each camp.
What are the three main types of basketball camps?
Skills camps and clinics: The majority of college basketball camps are skills camps and clinics. Featuring around 75 percent training and 25 percent evaluation, some skills camps offer general drills and instruction, while others are more specialized and focus on shooting, defense, passing, ballhandling and conditioning. In addition, some provide specific training for point guards and big men. Skills camps and clinics typically range from 1-4 days and often include meals and room/board. Basketball coaches from 10 or more schools will typically be on hand at the larger skills camps and clinics to lead drills and instructional sessions. These camps may include some gameplay for evaluation, but their biggest benefit is expert coaching and skill development.
Prospect days and exposure camps: These camps typically feature 25 percent training and 75 percent evaluation over the course of several hours. In most cases, only the host school’s coaches and players will be attendance to lead drills and evaluate recruits. If you’re already interested in the school and on the coach’s radar, attending a prospect camp can be an important next step for your recruiting progress. You’ll have the chance to ask lots of questions and get a feel for campus life. And if you’re a junior or senior, you may even get a scholarship offer.
Team camps and showcases: These camps place the highest emphasis on gameplay and evaluation. Team camps and showcases typically feature 5-on-5 or 3-on-3 tournament play
between AAU or high school teams. At the highest level, team camps and showcases often draw college coaches from 20-30 programs or more. While these camps can include a few drills and instructional sessions, the focus is primarily on teamplay in a high-pressure tournament setting. Looking to cast a wide net and get evaluated by multiple coaches at once? A basketball showcase or team camp might be your best bet.
Which 2019 college basketball camp is right for you?
If you are serious about playing basketball for a particular school, you need to get evaluated by the coaching staff. Your best shot at getting evaluated in person is by attending a basketball camp. You can either sign up for that college’s camp or find another camp where their staff will be working. It’s common for Division II, Division III and NAIA coaches to volunteer at major Division I basketball camps.
How to make the most of your basketball camp experience
You’ve researched your options and made your choice. How do you make sure the camp pays off? Here are three keys to making the most of your basketball camp experience.
Be prompt. When it comes to college basketball camps, early is on time and on time is late. Double check registration and start times to make your plan for getting there early. You don’t want coaches to notice you shuffling in late. Plus, you could miss out on valuable instruction.
Be prepared. Bring basketball shoes, water and anything else you need to compete in front of college coaches. Be sure to check the camp website—some camps may require each athlete to bring their own basketball, while others provide everything.
Be positive. College coaches are looking for recruits who are coachable and demonstrate a positive mentality. They’ll evaluate your body language and attitude on and off the field. Staying positive at all times will show coaches your mental toughness.
Follow up after the basketball camp
After the buzzer sounds and everything wraps up, make sure to follow up with the coaches you connected with during the camp. Thank them for the opportunity and ask for feedback on skills to improve. Keep the conversation going by sending updates whenever you have something noteworthy to share— an updated highlight video, your latest academic transcript and any new verified stats are all great reasons to send an email.