Article Written By: Mike Slone
Mountain kids, state kids, national, even international kids and parents unrealism of categorizing them self as NCAA Division-1 players, even the simple letter & number “D1” has been so unrealistically misused in the vocabulary of many basketball minds in this area. My job is to promote talent but also to educate, basketball is a world wide business and the mountains are not exactly a hot spot for the nations Elite. We want to sale the talents of local athletes in the area but also to educate. In our KY/WV coverage area we only have a handful of kids who I think are legitimate D-1 athletes and personally without using names we have 2 maybe 3 kids in that category, if you add WV coverage area then maybe 5 or 6 players. I say that not to hurt the kids but to realize a college scholarship and paid tuition should never be overlooked because some of best basketball in the country is played at the NAIA or NCAA DII and DIII level.
With that I'm going to put into detail some of what a D-1 player is and is not. If your under 6’8 and play the post only then your probably not a D-I athlete, if you can't hold yourself like a professional on & off the court or post profanity or negative material on social media, you take yourself out of the equation. If you cant make the test scores or act a fool in school then your probably not that level of talent. If you average 50pts a game and can't or don't play "D" you will not get a D-1 offer, you must have a work ethic and be driven if D-1 is your goal. If your 7ft tall and lazy then take yourself out of the discussion, if your a bad teammate or can't motivate your team in a positive way, you can take yourself out of the equation. Even marketability, you have to have it and grades play a huge role in recruiting too obviously.
With those simple facts and others I’ve excluded we’ve had kids go D-1 or walk on who wasn’t ready for that level of play or the length and speed of the game, so the end up coming back to play at a smaller school that better suited there ability. That being said, we have also had guys like JR VanHoose at Paintsville who had a great career at Marshall or Jeremy Hall from Allen Central who started at Wisconsin as a freshman, at one time both were considered NBA prospects. Most Recently you had guys such as Braxton Beverly, Camron Justice, Evan Hall and Justin Johnson who had success at high and mid-major programs but that's a very small percentage. I will finish this by saying we will promote mountain athletes to play college basketball at some level as we have several college players but only a hand full of Division-1 talent. If your college is paid for regardless of the level, then grow, prosper and have success after basketball. Remember D1 if you add D+1 it spells D-one and if that's the only route your willing to travel, then more than like that is what you are, you are DONE with your basketball career the second your senior season is over.
“Use The Game, Don’t let it use you.”