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From Unknown to NCAA to NBA: Lessons from Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis has enjoyed quite the ride over the last few years- going from being literally unknown in high school, to an NCAA Champion, to the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. The key breakthrough for Davis came when he tried out for former NFL player Tai Streets’ AAU basketball team, Meanstreets. At the time, Davis’ junior season in high school had come to an end, he was 6’7” and just beginning to explore basketball in a much larger body than he was used to.

Play on a Travel Team

If Davis hadn’t gone to try out for Streets’ AAU team, then he probably would not have been discovered- or at least not been recruited by the top schools in the country. Once Davis made the team he had the opportunity to showcase his skills to college coaches all summer. He was able to turn heads just by playing, but remember- he eventually became the #1 pick in the NBA Draft; you will have to make sure coaches know who you are before attending camps and travel team showcases, because they usually only scout athletes they know at camps/showcases- except in special situations such like Davis. If you are serious about your recruiting, you should learn more about playing on a travel team.

Davis’ Story is What Most Athletes Hope For, But it Probably won’t Happen

Davis stood 6’3” tall as recently as his junior year of high school. A couple of growth spurts later and Davis became one of the top recruits in the nation at 6’10”.

High school athletes always hope for that “aha” moment in college recruiting, where the ice will break and they can just fall into multiple scholarship offers. Unfortunately, this is not a realistic expectation. If you want the best chance to find a scholarship, you will have to grind it out and constantly look for opportunities. There will never be an “aha” moment, and you should never window-shop when looking for scholarship opportunities because the best fit for you isn’t always a top Division I school.

Find Ways to Reinvent Yourself

Davis was forced to develop rebounding and shot blocking abilities that he previously did not have as a guard.  Granted, you aren’t going to have a 7 inch growth spurt before your senior year (but good luck); what you can do though, is find aspects of your game that you can expand and improve. If you are a right handed athlete, get better at using your left hand. If you are a great defender, then work on some offensive skills. Davis wasn’t satisfied with just being bigger and getting more attention, he used this opportunity to expand his game and skills to help him get recruited to one of the top schools in the country and win an NCAA Championship.

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