Getting your student athlete to college

Parents and students need a plan to help enhance their chances of being noticed

By Jason Lewis OW Contributor | 5/8/2014, midnight
Sports have been an institution in the African American community for decades. It has been a vehicle to higher learning ...

It is also important to know who to stay in contact with. Most college programs have a coach who recruits certain areas. Staying on that coach’s radar will greatly enhance an athlete’s chances of being noticed. Finding out who that recruiter is is as simple as making a phone call to the college’s athletic department.

Taylor does warn people, before an athlete goes to a camp and puts him or herself on a recruiter’s radar, that they must be prepared. You only have one chance to make a first impression. So an athlete needs to excel at their sport. That’s where training comes into play, and again, an athlete cannot totally count on their high school coach in that department either.

Darren Collison played college basketball at UCLA, and he currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. /OW photo courtesy of Jason Lewis

Darren Collison played college basketball at UCLA, and he currently plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. /OW photo courtesy of Jason Lewis

“The high school (football) coach, they have like 60 guys that they have to control,” said Ron Jenkins, founder of QB/WR Top Gun Academy. “When they’re putting in the offense or the defense, they’re just trying to line them up and tell them what to do. They just don’t have the time to sit down with the players, one-on-one, and show the kid exactly what to do.”

Henry Bell and Ron Allen, co-founders of B2G Sports, echo those sentiments.

“The high school coaches are not able to give these kids the time that we’re able to spend with them to focus on skill training,” Bell said. “It’s really more of a supplement to what the high school coaches are doing. They’re doing X’s and O’s, and the athletes come to us to get tutored on football training.”

“We teach them how to be better individual players so that they can go execute the schemes for their high school team,” Allen said. “A lot of coaches do not have the time to teach every individual player and teach them their position. They’re more so teaching the whole scheme. They teach the defense as a whole; they teach the offense as a whole. They teach the concepts of the play that they’re calling. We teach the kids to be better individuals so they can execute their role within that playbook. That way the kids go back as better players in their system.”

B2G Sports has a long list of players that trained with them and earned college scholarships, and a number of them have made it to the professional level. The extra training provided by Allen and Hill, who both played high school sports in Los Angeles, made a major difference.

The same can be said for California Supreme, which is one of the best basketball programs in Los Angeles, and has sent a number of boys and girls to college on athletic scholarships. Founder Gary Franklin, who attended Dorsey High School, believes that a higher level of training is of great importance. To be one of the best, a player needs to be surrounded by the best. A player has to compete against the best talent around.

“I think that playing in the park leagues and at the local YMCAs, it’s just the level of talent is not there,” Franklin said. “Because there is not a lot of practice time, there is not a lot of skill development going on.