This is a very tough environment standout in, especially if you have a point guard on your team that wants to take every shot possible. These camps are in our basketball culture and need to be dealt with because its part of the landscape. It seems like every weekend that some company or scout is putting on these camps and they don’t have any trouble getting players to sign up. Just like anything else there are people who put these camps on that are in it for the right reasons and want to help kids and others who just want to take your money. Either way I’m not a big fan of these exposure events, but like I stated earlier they are a part of amateur basketball culture and needs to be paid attention to.
First off how do you know which event is on the up and up and which one is a scam. That’s a tough one, but not impossible to find out. First off do some research on the person running the event. First off make sure the organizer has been in business putting on this event for a while. It will be a great idea to call some local colleges basketball offices up and speak to an assistant coach. Ask which events their school attends on a regular basis. If you play AAU maybe ask your coach to what exposure camps have players that actually show up. You may want to stay away from exposure camps that are just starting up and are run by people that have no connection to a scouting service or shoe company. I say shoe company because usually, but not always they align themselves with events that have success.
OK so you selected your camp now how do you make the most it and maximize your exposure. Everyone wants to make an impression, and the easiest way to make an impression is to score points. The problem with this philosophy is games at these events are usually And-1 Mix Tapes on steroids scoring a lot of points will take some major ball domination. Coaches and scouts really don’t like to see players take bad shot after bad shot trying to impress. If you are a post player, don’t expect to get many touches so you’ll need to do other things besides score on the block. Show them that you can run the floor, set screens, and rebound the ball. Show them that you can exist on the floor without having the ball in your hand. I don’t want you do get the wrong idea and think I’m telling you not to score. By all means when you have an opportunity to score without question maximize your opportunities. In these camps its better to do less with more. Instead of taking 17 shots and making 5, try taking 6-7 good shots where you will make 5 or 6. Give the impression that you are an efficient player that can make basketball plays. Make the extra pass when you can or penetrate in the lane and cause defenders to get sucked in and make a play to someone else. If anything do a lot of things off of the ball like running the floor, setting down/ball screens, and do a lot of cutting. It’s easier said then done with the amount of touches in these games being limited, but less it definitely more.
It’s almost an impossible quest to try to have players play as a team in these camps. You have 10 players on a team from different towns that paid the fee just like the rest. They have the same opportunity to try to get noticed as you do so trying to instill team basketball habits may be a tough one. Players in these events feel entitled to take every shot possible and you will never be able to control that.. All you can control is what you do when you have the opportunity. The best way to be noticed is show that you don’t need the ball in your hand to make plays because more often than not the ball won’t be moved very much in your games.
Basketball showcases are what they are. A collection of 80-100 players from different towns trying to impress enough to be noticed. It’s a very tough atmosphere to be productive in, but it gives you a chance to compete with other players and get better. Just like anything else these showcases are just one part of your basketball culture and needs to be accepted. If you go in with the right mind frame and not just want to jack up every shot in sight it can be a positive experience. Just like anything else, if you prepare for it and take it for what it is you’ll find success.