Summer Basketball AAU vs. High School Summer Hoops

With summer high school basketball starting real soon I thought I would give high school coaches something to think about concerning AAU and high school basketball conflicts.

The last 2 weeks in June and the 4 weeks in July add up to the 6 week period that high school basketball coaches can coach their players other than for the regular basketball season.

AAU and travel basketball that runs in the fall (end of Sept thru to mid November) and the spring (March, April, May and the first 2 weeks in June) do not interfere or conflict with high school basketball because of the MPA’s sports season policy that does not allow high school coaches to coach their players from the beginning of March til mid November during the school year.

However, it is the 6 week Summer time when school is not in session of Mid June and July that AAU and high school basketball is run at the same time.

The MPA sports season policy came into effect in 1972 and AAU entered the Maine basketball picture in the early 90’s around 1992.

When I was coaching at John Bapst and if I had a player that was good enough to make one of the top high school AAU teams I did the following: I encouraged the player to tryout for the AAU team and if they made the team for his age group then I wanted them to attend all AAU games and practices even if they conflicted with our summer league games and practices. The only time I wanted them with our summer program was if they did not have an AAU game or practice and they wanted to take part with us instead of taking a night off from AAU. basketball.

The better players would improve more against the better competition in practices and AAU competition then they would in our summer program.

Plus, it gave our other players an even better chance to improve as they had to carry the load with the better players not playing because of AAU.

Thus, as a coach I got the best of both basketball worlds of AAU and high school summer basketball.

This really worked for me as my better players got better with AAU and the non AAU players got more playing time with our summer program to lso improve.

I encourage high school Coaches to use this system if they have players good enough to play at the high level of Maine AAU basketball for their age group.

Also, coaches should remember that there are no heal points gained for a win on the summer time. Give all of your players the opportunity to play equal amount of game time if they all are showing up for the practices and games.

I usually had two teams (8 on each team and we played on the same nights) in the Bangor Summer League, plus we practiced every Sunday night and Wednesday nites in addition to each team playing 2 games in the summer league per week. Playing time for both teams was based on attendance. With 8 players each player got at least 2 to 3 quarters. 4 got 2 quarters and 4 got 3 quarters or 8 got 2 1/2 quarters per game based on attendance at previous practices and games.

I realize that some coaches prefer their players be with them in the summer.but I believe with no importance of winning in the summer as there are no heal points for wins, sometimes teams do real well in the summer and the expectations seem to be high for the ext year.

However, some coaches play to win in the summer and some play to develop players.

Many factors occur in summer games results. Some teams play the game like a regular season game against teams that play everyone. You don’t know many times if key opponents players are absent.

I preferred using the summer’s 6 weeks to develop my players during games and practices figuring the team aspect would take care f itself when we started up in November.

However, we did run our offenses and defenses n the summer that we were going to use for the coming year.

But “different basketball strokes for different basketball folks”.

“What floats your basketball boat may not necessarily float my basketball boat”.

I just found that letting my better players put AAU ahead of my summer program really helped develop more players then not letting or encouraging them to play AAU. I just thought the pluses far out weighed the minuses or the positives far out weighed the negatives. In fact I didn’t see and minuses or negatives, but instead saw a lot of pluses and positives in player development.

But, then again I have many times been thought of as unorthodox basketball thinker as a college player, coach, official and writer.