AAU Australia launches College Bound national combine and showcase events

In what is a coup for college-aspirant Australian junior basketballers, AAU Australia has announced a national series of combine showcase events, designed to provide significant exposure to a large network of college coaches.

The abundance of basketball talent in Australia, coupled with a wide array of scholarship playing opportunities across all levels of the US college game in the US, means AAU Australia’s College Bound series will be open to all players from every level of the game chasing their dream.

“We live by the principle that while we can never guarantee anyone's recruitment, we can provide opportunities to be seen, be found, by college coaches looking for the next talented kid from down here,” says Pete Unwin, co-founder and director of AAU Australia. “That talent does not solely exist inside national, state or even rep level teams either. College Bound will be open to any athlete willing to back their ability, from 14 to 20 years old, who want to be seen by one of our college coaches or recruiters.”

The power of the AAU’s brand has been central to creating the network of college recruiters and coaches AAU Australia has assembled, explains Unwin.

“The AAU is synonymous with college exposure and recruitment in America, and college coaches know this. Hearing there's now AAU in Australia and New Zealand perked up a lot of coaching ears within a wide range of programs across all divisions. As a result, we now have more than 80 programs signed and looking intently at the talent participating in AAU Australia events, including College Bound.”

College Bound events will be run in the format of a skills combine/showcase that will provide participants with critical statistics, testing data and game film. All this, as noted by AAU Australia co-founder and head of sport, Brett Stringer, is at the request of their coaching network.

“We asked them what they wanted to help in their recruitment process, and the clear message was three-fold; testing data, stats and film,” explained Stringer. “All things not readily available here, that typically, are missing for kids at all levels. Our response was to create College Bound and include a full day’s combine where biometrics and skills testing data can be recorded.

“Day 2 will be showcase games where full stats will be taken and all games filmed, streamed and with highlights. All of this information will be packaged up for each player and delivered to coaches looking to fill immediate recruiting needs in the 2020 season for the older players and get younger participants on their radar.”

Every participant, whether having attracted interest or not, will receive a professional scouting evaluation of their performance following participation in College Bound.

“The evaluation may be the most important part of the event," Unwin said. "It’s not reasonable to expect, nor would we ever claim, that every kid who comes to College Bound will get recruited, but every kid will get an outline of where they sit in the minds of the college coaches, and where they need to focus their game development.

"Knowing this, from such an authoritative source, will hopefully be the motivation an aspiring player needs to continue to grow their game, to seek out the coaching support to improve certain skills, and to stay focused on the work needed to achieve their goal.

“After all is said and done, our most sincere desire is for more kids to play this amazing game for longer, and to believe in themselves, and the opportunities before them, enough so as to stay connected.”

College Bound dates have been released for Melbourne (16-17 January), the Gold Coast (20-21 January) and Townsville (22-23 January), with more dates to come in the weeks to follow.

Go to www.aauaustralia.com.au/college-bound for more details and to register your place in an event that's not to be missed.