Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keith Taylor with the assist!

With the first day of high school visits for college coaches tomorrow, the city will again have distinguished visitors.

To prepare for these visitors, some high schools coaches have been doing their part to HELP their kids get in school.

According to conversations with a few Division 1 coaches this past month, the name of Raven Reyes has continued to come up. The reason for the added interest in "Rae Rae" is a major push from Jay assistant, Kieth Taylor.

Coach Taylor has apparently been sending numerous emails and providing video of Reyes to Division 1 coaches lately. Reyes has a number of schools already on her trail due to her participation with her club team, South Texas Hoyas. However, Coach Taylor has dutifully been beating the bushes to increase her options.

This is a stark contrast to a story a Division 1 coach told me recently. Reportedly, a local high school coach whom has significant tenure, yet has not won at a successful level, was contacted by colleges often. This complacent coach failed to HELP her star athlete in anyway in terms of communicating and working with colleges. This coach uses the kid to chase wins, but does not help her in her pursuit of using basketball to gain an education. This kid, a 2012 player, recently committed to a Division 1 University. Now her high school coach wants to enjoy the ride and throw celebrations in November for the Letter of Intent signing.

I was encouraged last year when I visited Madison High School's new gym. The sparking new foyer to the gym contained a beautiful case. The case did not contain recent district titles from the girls basketball program because Madison has not won district recently. What the case did contain were pictures and the accomplishments of CeCe Harper and Monica Engleman. Both of the Division 1 players for Kansas are being celebrated for their contribution to the Madison program and THEY are the true trophies for that program. The Madison program allowed both kids to flourish while both kids established Madison as a Top 10 team in the city. This was mutually beneficial relationship.

It is great to hear of coaches like Keith Taylor and his boss, Mike Floyd, who care for their kids beyond high school. I hear that some high school coaches have problems with overvaluing their players when marketing them to colleges by claiming a Divison 3 walk-on is a High Major Division 1 starter. However, overvaluing players is surely better than under appreciating them and their contributions by not HELPING them pursue a college education.