"It's sad to say this, but most of the top girls programs in Dallas, San Antonio and especially Houston are now starting to promote their 2011, 2012, 2013 and even 2014 classes. I've seen some girls who have not made it out of middle school play on top teams out of San Antonio and Houston, and play OVER juniors and seniors this past summer.
Why take a junior or upcoming senior to a summer live event when you know you are going to promote your younger age classes??? Man, that's cold blooded! Even if one was to say "this 2010 kid can't play or is not better than this 2011 kid", I would say "then keep it real with the player and their parents and stop taking their money and send them to another program that you feel will get them more exposure"...The clock is really ticking on the 2010 sleepers to get offers, and for those high school coaches and AAU girls coaches to get on the phone to WORK for them. Who's willing to work??? We shall see."
The above quote is right on point in regards to the "cold blooded" ways in which a lot of clubs operate. A few thoughts follow:
Who will work for them?:
This is a great question. Who is working for the kids who are not major talents. Stars are stars and they are going to go to school regardless of club affiliation. The test of a AAU coaches true connections and hard work is seeing where they help the lesser talented kids in their organization go to school. The following is part of an email from a club director of a local club about Charlie Harper and his Lady Rohawk program:
"I am saying that it is just as hard, or even harder, to get nine seniors signed like Charlie(Harper) did (which you recognized), or to take kids that (name deleted) is not interested in (which a few of us have done), and be competitive with them, and give those kids an opportunity, and belief that maybe they can play college ball."
This email was sent in response to my proclamations that some people were just envious of a certain clubs success. The writer of the above comment signed off of his insightful email with this: "No envy here, just another perspective."
After a lot of thought, I realized that this club director had a great point. It is easy to have success if you always have the most talent. Now, does success beget talent or vice versa. The chicken or the egg? Either way, it is no surprise that the most successful teams have the best players.
For instance, Meighan Simmons was going to a major college before she ever played for TeamXpress. CeCe Harper was destined for a great school while still in middle school and before she suited up for her dad's Lady Rohawks. In fact, it was in middle school that CeCe received her first letter from UConn. These elite players are elite regardless of club affiliation and their talent will eventually shine. Of course FIT can and will play a huge factor in showcasing talent but stars will still be stars. But how successful will our local clubs be in getting the kids that are not on CeCe and Meighans level in to a school. We will soon see!