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by Bill Finn Every child who picks up a basketball dreams of playing at Duke, North Carolina, Michigan, UCLA, or any of the prestigious NCAA Division I programs that garner national exposure for their programs from every media outlet imaginable. Unfortunately, the odds of a high school player earning a Division I scholarship are extremely small. It is important for any high school basketball player to know the facts. There are over 500,000 high school basketball players graduating each year. There are only about 306 NCAA Division I universities offering approximately 1150 scholarships in any given recruiting year. Therefore, only about one player in 500 can earn a scholarship to a major college each year. The three most important things a high school player can do for themselves is to improve themselves academically to be a college qualifier with their high school grades, improve the athletic ability they bring to the court, and obtain a realistic opinion of the skills they possess. Oftentimes, parents and high school coaches have an over-inflated view of the player's potential for Division I competition, for obvious reasons. Remember: There may be only 306 Division I schools, but there are also 254 Division II schools and over 300 NAIA colleges that offer full scholarships, a great education, and quality basketball. Recruiting college basketball players is what makes and breaks many coaches and programs. It is one of the most difficult tasks that a coaching staff must do. It is not an exact science! Of course, different coaches look for different qualities in their players. If a coach has a more deliberate style of play, he might not be so hung up on recruiting great athletic players at all positions. If a coach has a pressure full court game plan, he will be more inclined to look for quickness over size, and so on. What coaches do try to look for is a certain number of players by position. It wouldn't do a school any good to recruit and sign the best 5 point guards, because only one can play at a time. A school will look to bring in a team of well-rounded players that allows for backups at all 5 positions. With colleges being four-year institutions, if they sign four post players one year, they will not need to offer a scholarship to an inside player for a few years. Most colleges try to stagger the positions, as not to have too many players of the same position graduate in the same year. These are the truths that you must realize when you are ready to be recruited. You have no control over those factors, so don't be depressed if your number one college choice is not recruiting you; they may have signed 2 players from your position last year.