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AAU Basketball

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CURRENT OUTLOOK
Most of our youth playing AAU basketball have the dream or drive of playing at the next level. The next level could be college or professional; the idea is that playing in more tournaments will increase your exposure to scouts. European and players born outside of the U.S. have been a steady addition to professional basketball in the US. San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich prefers the European player because they are, "fundamentally harder working than most American kids (Wickersham, 2013)." The image below shows the Spurs championship roster from 2014 and the balance of European to American players. The Spurs have won 5 NBA championships since 1999, which is tied with the Los Angeles Lakers over the same period for most in basketball. Figure 1.1
This is an example of an elite NBA team looking for talent overseas because its executives believe those players are harder working and better skilled than their American counterparts. This is what needs to be changed at the AAU level; our players need to start being viewed as more skilled and just as unselfish as the European players.

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SOLUTION
Most teams
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AAU basketball provides a very competitive environment for young basketball players; with an increase focus on skill level development it can be viewed as the extremely important tool that it should be. According to Kevin Clark a writer for the Wall Street Journal, “for some time, coaches have grumbled that the AAU’s emphasis on building stars and playing games over practicing produces a lot of talented prospects who have great physical skills but limited knowledge of the fundamentals (Clark, 2009).” Outspoken professional basketball analyst Charles Barkley gave his opinion, “the worst thing that ever happened to basketball (Sorensen, 2015).” He pointed out in a televised broadcast how there are too many AAU games and not nearly enough practice hours being put
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