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OT: Interesting Video on AAU Hoops


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@hhcmatt feel free to move this if you think it belongs somewhere else.

 

This is a black AAU coach who is basically making the point that Black AAU is to White AAU as men's hoops is to women's. That's my recapitulation, not his words. But he says it in a way that makes it sound like White AAU is better for developing players and Black AAU is a bit sketch with shoe money and shady AAU coaches having more influence than the HS coach. Interesting vid. Agree or disagree, it's still an interesting perspective I hadn't really seen before.

 

 

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Interesting, but I had a hard time staying focused on the coach and what he was saying because I was distracted by the highlights.

 

The AAU makes me glad I'm not a college hoops coach though.  That's gotta be a nightmare navigating that cesspool.

 

Finally, I noticed there was a whole lot of Mac McClung highlights in there.

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33 minutes ago, 49r said:

Interesting, but I had a hard time staying focused on the coach and what he was saying because I was distracted by the highlights.

 

The AAU makes me glad I'm not a college hoops coach though.  That's gotta be a nightmare navigating that cesspool.

 

Finally, I noticed there was a whole lot of Mac McClung highlights in there.

 

It's a shame that high school coaches are starting to be taken out of the recruiting process in favor of AAU coaches.

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So, among his claims (and this is just my recapitulation of what he said in his video, so I'm not vouching for these statements):

 

White AAU, he says, is more about developing players' skills, knowledge and understanding of the game. They practice more than they play games. Real coaches work on real skill development. (FWIW, he says, as a black man, that he's coaching in White AAU and talked about some of the development he works on with his players.)

 

Black AAU, instead, according to this guy, is about individuals maximizing their visibility to college recruiters and they play far more games than they practice. Some of the coaches aren't even really coaches; they're glorified team managers who (apparently) get a lot of money for the access to players that they control.

 

He makes the case that, on the whole (there are exceptions both directions, obviously, and he acknowledges this) that black people in general are better basketball players than white people. I'm not going to argue that point. I think it's self-evident.

 

If those things are all true, though, is it *possible* that black kids are more prone to become players at a higher level while white kids are more positioned/developed to end up as coaches? Because if you look at the composition of the playing ranks in the NBA and Power 5 schools vs. the composition of coaching, that's the way it shakes out. Is it *possible* that kids coming through Black AAU are at a disadvantage at transitioning to coaching when their playing days are over because they were developed as he describes above? Where the emphasis is on individual visibility rather than skill development and playing as a team?

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I think part of it is when you are just better athletically than your competition, you can play off your instincts and just do it versus having to be more cerebral and fundamental in your approach.  You just do it and you are successful.  
 

I think a bigger part of it is some people are just good teachers and others aren’t.  Playing and coaching are completely different skill sets.  How many great players are/were great coaches?  Larry Bird was great at both.  Isaiah Thomas was a great player and a train wreck as a coach/administrator.  Steve Kerr was a good role player and great coach.  

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2 hours ago, Norm Peterson said:

So, among his claims (and this is just my recapitulation of what he said in his video, so I'm not vouching for these statements):

 

White AAU, he says, is more about developing players' skills, knowledge and understanding of the game. They practice more than they play games. Real coaches work on real skill development. (FWIW, he says, as a black man, that he's coaching in White AAU and talked about some of the development he works on with his players.)

 

Black AAU, instead, according to this guy, is about individuals maximizing their visibility to college recruiters and they play far more games than they practice. Some of the coaches aren't even really coaches; they're glorified team managers who (apparently) get a lot of money for the access to players that they control.

 

He makes the case that, on the whole (there are exceptions both directions, obviously, and he acknowledges this) that black people in general are better basketball players than white people. I'm not going to argue that point. I think it's self-evident.

 

If those things are all true, though, is it *possible* that black kids are more prone to become players at a higher level while white kids are more positioned/developed to end up as coaches? Because if you look at the composition of the playing ranks in the NBA and Power 5 schools vs. the composition of coaching, that's the way it shakes out. Is it *possible* that kids coming through Black AAU are at a disadvantage at transitioning to coaching when their playing days are over because they were developed as he describes above? Where the emphasis is on individual visibility rather than skill development and playing as a team?

 

There are definitely AAU programs that for the most part just play games and there are others that operate more like high school programs that practice fundamentals and carry them over into games.  I'm not sure about the black and white thing, but he very well could be right. In the long run the teams that just roll the ball out and play are doing the kids a disservice.  Sooner or later the lack of fundamentals will catch up to the kids that just get by on their athleticism. 

 

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Ok a few clarifiers - I have yet to watch the video and I haven't read all the replies here so bare with me. 

But from what I gather is a misunderstanding of the system that is in place and a misunderstanding about what exactly AAU is. I think getting @Jacob Padilla in here on this thread would be massively helpful.

 

I'll do my best to clarify some things that might help understand this issue and where I imagine some misunderstandings are. The example I will use here is OSA (Omaha Sports Academy). 

All of the teams that OSA puts out are technically AAU teams in name. However, only a few really are. If you are not on their age-related national team, you are just a kid who is paying to be a part of a "YMCA" style league. Your money is effectively paying to make sure "Super Star X" from Omaha isn't paying his way during the summer for his national tournaments. 

So, yes, there is actually a ton of actual development going on at the levels below these national teams and they do practice and play. So, if you go to these tournaments, especially more local ones with just regional teams - you're going to see all these white kids on different OSA teams, whose parents can afford to pay to have them play in the off season and whatnot (some never even suit up for their hs teams, ever). 

In other words, I imagine he's comparing apples to oranges. All top, national level teams for any programs are working to get shoe deals, highlight individual kids, and much more focused on gaining attention or whatever. But at these same tournaments, there's always going to be a ton of teams that are under the umbrella of the national team - but they're not. They're pay to play, developmental leagues. So, quite frankly, if you do not have money, you're not going to be playing with an "AAU" team at these tournaments. So that is why you usually only see the African American kids playing on the national teams in types of programs he describes - because unfortunately we do not have enough African-American families that can afford just to pay to have their normal (not nationally talented) student-athlete play in an "AAU" circuit over the summer or off-season. 

Does that make ANY sense? 

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I despise AAU BB at all levels.  The so called select teams are an abomination and the unsavory element of the shoe companies contributes to my disdain of this organized activity.  It is killing HS BB because players have more loyalty to their AAU teams. Disclaimer:  I am old and come from the generation of “Be True to Your School” by The Beach Boys! 

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1 hour ago, basketballjones said:

Ok a few clarifiers - I have yet to watch the video and I haven't read all the replies here so bare with me. 

But from what I gather is a misunderstanding of the system that is in place and a misunderstanding about what exactly AAU is. I think getting @Jacob Padilla in here on this thread would be massively helpful.

 

I'll do my best to clarify some things that might help understand this issue and where I imagine some misunderstandings are. The example I will use here is OSA (Omaha Sports Academy). 

All of the teams that OSA puts out are technically AAU teams in name. However, only a few really are. If you are not on their age-related national team, you are just a kid who is paying to be a part of a "YMCA" style league. Your money is effectively paying to make sure "Super Star X" from Omaha isn't paying his way during the summer for his national tournaments. 

So, yes, there is actually a ton of actual development going on at the levels below these national teams and they do practice and play. So, if you go to these tournaments, especially more local ones with just regional teams - you're going to see all these white kids on different OSA teams, whose parents can afford to pay to have them play in the off season and whatnot (some never even suit up for their hs teams, ever). 

In other words, I imagine he's comparing apples to oranges. All top, national level teams for any programs are working to get shoe deals, highlight individual kids, and much more focused on gaining attention or whatever. But at these same tournaments, there's always going to be a ton of teams that are under the umbrella of the national team - but they're not. They're pay to play, developmental leagues. So, quite frankly, if you do not have money, you're not going to be playing with an "AAU" team at these tournaments. So that is why you usually only see the African American kids playing on the national teams in types of programs he describes - because unfortunately we do not have enough African-American families that can afford just to pay to have their normal (not nationally talented) student-athlete play in an "AAU" circuit over the summer or off-season. 

Does that make ANY sense? 

 

It makes some sense to me, and I was kind of wondering the same thing.  Also, where do the elite hoops prep schools fit into this picture?

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Posted (edited)

So the parents of white kids who don't even suit up for their own HS team are underwriting the cost of the "Super Star X" kids from Omaha to travel the summer national circuit? And this is unfair to average-skilled black kids whose parents can't afford to be exploited like that? I think I'm following this.

 

 

Back in the old days, there was like ONE traveling summer team from Nebraska, and they were sponsored by some local business, and it was always a big deal who made it. I remember reading about how Gerry Gdowski figured out he wasn't cut out for basketball in college because he got selected to be on that team and got his lunch eaten by players from other places who were really, really good at basketball. It was kind of his wake-up call.

 

And then the teams evolved into, like, Bison-Runza Green and Gold or whatever. So, then there were two.

 

And then, about 20 years ago, some dad got his knickers in a twist because his son didn't get selected and so he went out and started his own team. (I knew the guy, so I know this is how it went down, so don't @ me.) And since then, like with everything else youth sports-related, the numbers just exploded because every kid's parents felt their child would fall behind his peers if he wasn't able to play summer ball. On a select team. Starting at age 5.

 

So, what wasn't even a thing just 20 years ago is now a requirement even for kids not good enough to play on their high school team and there's a perceived opportunity deprivation for kids whose parents can't afford the cost of having their kid do something on a summer team that, in all probability, he's not good enough to get recruited to do in college, certainly at the D1 level.

 

I feel sad for those kids. I feel ... relief ... for their parents.

Edited by Norm Peterson
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He makes a lot of good points, but I disagree with his central premise of there being two AAUs. Just like most other things, grassroots basketball has a wide spectrum and a lot of the various levels interact with each other.

 

First of all, summer basketball isn't just for the shoe circuit leagues and the 4- and 5-star prospects. High-, mid- and low-major coaches as well as coaches at the D-II, D-III and NAIA levels all go to (or this summer, watch the streams from) the same tournaments. There are a lot of good programs and coaches that compete directly against the ones that give AAU its bad reputation. Summer basketball is primarily for exposure and there are plenty of people at the top that try to profit off kids and steer recruitment. But even among the shoe circuits there are some really good programs that focus on both development and exposure.

 

Take OSA for instance. They have their Adidas teams that compete on that circuit - D-I, D-II and NAIA level recruits. The next level is the national teams, and how many they have depend on the amount of talent in that particular class. The first national team is mostly recruitable guys for NAIA programs. Personally, I'm coaching at the second national team level. Last summer, I had four players that went on to college to play at the NAIA or JUCO level, two that played their senior year and three that called it quits after the summer (just to give you an idea of the mix). Below that is the regional teams that are mostly for kids that won't play for their high school teams and just want to have fun and get better. 

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