I read the Boy’s Maine College Basketball Showcase Event post on MBR on Thursday, September 22, listing 83 players from Maine by graduating class, that signed up to attend the New England’s Finest Basketball’s Showcase Event which NERR (New England Recruiting Report) would be attending and covering.
This showcase event was organized, sponsored and run by Maine Hoops director, Lenny Holmes, who runs the Maine Hoops Program out of XLSportsworld in Saco.
However, I was very surprised and a little disappointed at the same time to see that only 6 players signed up from either Central, Eastern, Northern and Down East Maine out of the 83 state of Maine boys high school players that signed up (by the September 22nd deadline) to attend this timely and very much needed event.
In one of their posts the sponsoring organization, Maine Hoops, stated that they were hoping that many Northern and Eastern Maine would take the opportunity to attend.
Many College coaches, prep school, community colleges, etc. from Maine and out-of-state were in attendance to evaluate the players potential as college players through special skill drills, contests and regular games..
In fact, of the 6 players, 2 were from Knox County, 2 were from Kennebec County, 1 was from Washington County and one was from Penobscot County were signed up to attend as evidenced with the signup lists by class posted on MBR Thursday, September 22nd.
This excellent, very well run and needed event was held on Sunday, September 25 in Saco at the XLSportsworld (formerly known as Howard’s Sports facility) facility.
The location of the event in York County was probably a problem for some players in Central, Eastern, Down East or Northern Maine.
Or could it be there are not as many potential college prospects here in Eastern Maine as well as Northern, Central or Down East Maine?
This could be because these areas have much lower overall population then does the greater Portland Area and Portland area south to draw from. Many believe that 80% of Maine’s population is in the Portland area south.
This outstanding evaluative combine event was the only showcase event in Maine this year that NERR was covering.
Usually NERR showcase/evaluative coverage are held out-side of Maine.
Bangor is the only school in the North out of the 16 AA basketball schools (8 in the South and 8 in the North) as it has over 1200 students.
So what could of been the reasons so few players from Northern, Eastern, Central and Down East Maine did not signup for this well respected and run event?
Was it one or a combination of the following reasons: the location, the cost $115 (However, it was posted that Discounts were available to players from HS or Club Teams), not as many college prospects, not advertised as well in these areas (was certainly advertised well on MBR starting on August 26th which was a month before the event was scheduled), population numbers much lower to pick from, lack of interest, lack of recommendations/enthusiasm from AAU or HS coaches, etc?
Whatever the reason or reasons some possible potential college players (especially seniors in the class of 2017) missed out on a great opportunity to showcase their skills and see how they stacked up against other potential college players in their class in the state that they might be competing with for college spots..
If a current freshmen, sophomore, junior or senior boys basketball player has an interest and desire to play basketball in college, then it is very important to attend these types of showcases when college coaches are allowed to attend so as to evaluate players, as it is very hard for college coaches to get watch high school games during the regular season because of the NCAA recruiting rules and because of coaching their own college teams.
Of the 83 players who signed up 15 were freshmen, 17 were sophomores, 26 junior and 25 seniors.
Below is the excellent schedule for that Sunday that was posted on MBR on September 22nd.
10:15am-10:15am Intro to the Day
12:45pm-1:00pm Lecture “Tips to being recruited and playing in college”*
4:00pm-4:30pm Games to championship play
4:30pm-5:00pm Final Contests Finals 3 on 3, 3 point shooting, speed dribbling
*Very important, much needed and beneficial information for players and parents, especially the recruiting process and scholarship offers
I commend, recommend and praise this great, very needed, well run, organized, opportunity for Maine high school players who want to attempt to play basketball at the college level to have the opportunity to display their college potential without having to travel out-of-state to do so.
It would be great for next year if such a program could be brought to the greater Bangor Area. Both Bangor High and the UMaine recreation center has 3 basketball courts each under 1 roof just as XLSportsworld does.
When the McDonalds all-star games for AB’s and CD’s are played at Husson University in March is a good time to compare the class of 2017 talent from both the North and South.
However, by that time in March much of the scholarship money for D-1 and D-2 may have been given out. D-3 does not give out athletic scholarships. D-3 scholarships are based on financial aid, need, grants, academics, etc.
Again. a big thank you and congratulations to Maine Hoop’s New England’s Finest and NERR for combining for this very needed, valuable, and timely event for Maine high school players to show their potential to become college players. A great opportunity was offered to Maine high school players.
The only negative involved with this great positive event was the fact that only 6 players from either Down East, Central and Eastern Maine signed up by September 22nd, to take advantage of this opportunity to display their college potential to all the college coaches in attendance.
Footnote: All information about this event was taken from MBR posts about this event from August 26th, 2016 to October 2nd, 2016 by the Maine Hoops Director Lenny Holmes and in a phone conversation with Mr. Holmes after the event.