Over the years prep schools have become an attractive option for many players who hope to earn a college scholarship. Whether it’s to improve their academic standing or to play with and against some of the most talented prep players in the country, these schools have grown in popularity.
But with this comes the risk of landing at a prep school that won’t prepare the player for the next level. This can lead to academic ineligibility at the college level or even derail a player’s growth to the point where a Division I scholarship isn’t possible. Therefore, athletes and their families need to leave no stone unturned when evaluating the possibility of attending a prep school.
In Sunday’s San Diego Union-Tribune, writers Dennis Lin and Stephanie Loh took an in-depth look at La Jolla Prep, and the findings aren’t pretty. According to the story the school, with Gary Trousdale serving as head coach, owes various parties some $56,000 and the problems left many families in a bind that could have derailed the hopes of their children. In the end, the players learned a life lesson they won’t forget anytime soon.
Fresno native Shaq Moore will play at Moorpark College this fall. For him, the experience proved to be a life lesson.
“Basically, he was selling people dreams of scholarship opportunities,” Moore said. “It didn’t really test me beyond my physical limits and my will and (did not) bring me to another step of competition.
“But it strengthened me mentally now that I know I can’t trust a lot of people. It’s a shady world.”
Are all prep schools dealing with issues like these? Absolutely not, but this is certainly a story that needs to be read and discussed within basketball circles.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.