I’m here today to make one point. I want to make you ask yourself one question. Let’s begin here, though.
My journey starts in Austin, Texas.
I was born in Austin and shortly after moved south to Houston. Houston is where I’ve spent the majority of my life. After attending Lockhart Elementary, I made my way through Mickey Leland Junior High, and I currently attend Yates Highschool.
I have been playing basketball for as long as I can remember. Basketball has always been a passion of mine, and heading into high school; I felt I wanted to play at the next level, collegiately. Of course, with this decision came a new road to head down, a road not many these days seem to understand, including me at the beginning. There appears to be a bit of a sports-media epidemic right now, the whole “hype, commitment culture ” with athletes spending 100s if not 1000s of dollars are commitment edits, trips, and celebrations.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it though, making your college choice as an athlete is complex, and it should be celebrated upon resolution. The issue now comes from the fact that athletes look forward more to committing than playing the game.
I know for me as an athlete who had to scrap for every one of my seven college offers that there were times of immense pressure and stress to go be “one of those guys” who was able to go secure a big-time offer. However, after settling in this past year after committing to Grays Harbor College, I have reflected and found one key lesson from my experience and personal-public treatment.
If you go on social media or even Youtube and take a look around at high school sports highlights, it will not take you long to find commitment posts or official visit highlights. Having now been recruited, I remember the question that mattered the most during the whole process was what substance this program could offer me to maximize not only my athletic career and my family’s investment in my college education?
And I saw this not out of spite but out of trying to give other athletes as realistic expectations and goals as possible… so why do schools and some athletes spend so much time, money, and media coverage to hold commitment “events” and “visits.”
Now, look at how coaches and faculty at these institutions will say that they throw such grand events for recruits because they want to show how committed they are to them and you.
All I am asking here is, if you are in a situation where you are currently being recruited or hoping to be, for you to sit down and ask yourself, “Besides the hype, the past accolades, the Jordan Brand Uniforms, the facilities, the marketing graphics team, and the stadium that sits 100 thousand… what true substance lies here?
If all those “things” went away and it was just me and this team and coaches, players, staff, and most importantly the culture that makes it up, is it all worth it? I can’t answer that for anyone, but I hope to shed some light on the abilities and opportunities offered at other smaller institutions and sub-division one programs that sports media doesn’t excite.
I know this lesson is specifically driven to bring more awareness to making college decisions based on hype, but I believe the same principle can be applied to any facet of life. When the lights of the big stage fade away… what do you have left? The key is making sure; as athletes and individuals, we keep substance over materials as much as possible!
Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/4remjay/?hl=en
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