AAU Australia's College Bound helps Melbourne prospect secure college scholarship
AAU Australia’s College Bound showcase series has made an immediate impact for aspiring college basketball prospects. 6'6 combo guard Michael Jok, who recently played Big V Youth Lague for the Waverley Falcons, has signed a full-ride scholarship at NJCAA Division 1 program, Dawson Community College.
For Jok, it’s the fulfilment of a lifelong dream to play college basketball and do what is necessary to take his game to the highest point he can.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted," shared Jok. "I put the work in, waited my turn, and thanks to AAU Australia it has come true.”
Jok was initially skeptical about attending AAU Australia’s College Bound showcase, but did so out of trust in mentor James Kerr, founder of RedRoo Sports.
“I thought we were just going to run around," added Jok. "I mean, a lot of people say things like ‘we’re gonna [sic] have a showcase, and people are watching’, so I just thought it was going to be another one of those."
“There are certainly a lot of promises out there about college recruitment," explained AAU Australia's Brett Stringer. "We don’t make such promises, nor do we put financial obstacles in front of AAU athletes. All we are focused on is providing opportunities that the athletes then take up and make of them whatever they can. We will never make a claim that we can’t back up.
"Our coaching network currently stands at 85 programs across America and at various levels of the game, which means in coming months, there will be a wide variety of opportunities available.”
Dawson Community College, a Division 1 junior college in Glendive, Montana was quick to offer Michael a rare winter semester scholarship spot after receiving his game film, stats and bio-metric data from AAU Australia’s December College Bound showcase.
“We are really excited for Michael to join our program," head coach and athletic director, Joe Peterson said. "His athleticism and skills should help him excel in college basketball in the US. If he works hard daily then his potential is very high to find success here.”
For AAU Australia Director, Pete Unwin, Michael’s acceptance of Dawson’s offer is incredibly meaningful.
“We know it takes a village to raise a child, and in this instance nothing could be more accurate," said Unwin. "From starting his development in domestic competitions, refining his skills via his junior rep, senior rep, and his RedRoo career; his involvement in his community and maturity into adulthood, and then finally the opportunity to be seen by college coaches through our programs, basketball has helped guide this fine young man to this point where he is on the brink of something very special.
“Michael's a true testament to everything we are trying to achieve as an organisation," Kerr added. "Our motto is quite simple; excellence, over time, with discipline, we truly believe, will equal success. Michael’s been a stalwart to that. He’s just been an amazing example of ticking all the right boxes, in all the right places, at all the right times. He’s an example of what every young man should strive to be.”
Unwin would outline that while College Bound provided the opportunity to be noticed, Jok had done most of the hard work himself.
"While our little part in this process has been critical in that through College Bound we could put Michael in front of our large network of college coaches, the real work here has been done by Michael himself," added Unwin. "He's also been well supported by the likes of James Kerr at RedRoo Sports, Elias Palioyiannis and Mike Bullock from Waverley Falcons, and the many other coaches, teachers, family and friends that have supported, encouraged, and motivated Michael. He is a fine example to anyone of what can be achieved through work, self-belief and dedication.”
AAU Australia’s next College Bound combine showcase events are scheduled for Jan 16-17 in Melbourne, 20-21 on the Gold Coast, and 22-23 in Townsville, with more planned for later in 2020. Visit the AAU Australia website for more details and registration.