Tyler Boston has had several attacks against him. First, he’s a high school senior at 5’10”, not a physique that college recruiters would easily notice. Another is that college basketball coaches can afford to be picky about high school players, as transfer portals are flooded with older players with additional qualifications in pandemic years.
Plus, he’ll showcase his breadth of skills to college coaches as he’ll be competing for minutes with a talented travel team when Boston travels to high-profile recruiting showcases in Atlanta and Las Vegas next month. Whether it will be possible is unclear. .
Fortunately for Boston, he had another stage in the final two weekends. Along with the high school team Bliss from Potomac, Maryland, they played against some of the best private schools in the basketball hotbed known as the DMV. District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia).
The DMV live event is one of nearly 50 NCAA-sanctioned events nationwide that allowed college coaches to directly evaluate high school team players. Events include the New York City Public Schools Athletic League Showcase in Brooklyn, from June Jam in Appleton, Wisconsin, to Arizona’s huge Round 7 tournament, which features 12 courts in his domed NFL stadium. ranged to.
Over the past two weeks, Boston has demonstrated his ability to run a team, making 3-point shots (half of his 26 attempts made) and defending with purpose. A week or so ago there were no scholarship offers, but now his phone started ringing.
Holy Cross offered me a scholarship. Then East Tennessee, Fordham, Fairfield.
A week later, the University of Pennsylvania announced he was eligible for admission. So did Robert Morris, Merrimack, Delaware, and Mount St. Mary’s.
“If you get a call, it’s great news,” Boston said. He hopes to play college and has been driving 50 minutes to school from his home in the Baltimore suburbs since his ninth grade. “I’ve always been interested, but never had an offer. It means that hard work pays off. I spent a lot of time in the gym, and I’m grateful that the results have lived up to my expectations. “
Events like DMV Live are open to high school teams during direct recruiting periods, and are among the few lasting NCAA reforms promised following the FBI corruption investigation that rocked college basketball nearly six years ago. It’s one of the by-products.
The commission, chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has taken several steps, including the creation of a new process for NCAA investigations, tougher penalties for rule-breaking coaches, and a postseason suspension of up to five years. Asked for a change to pull. If the NBA continues to ban players from high school jumping directly into the professional leagues, college freshmen will be disqualified. Only a handful of ideas have actually been implemented, and even fewer have taken hold.
Last week, I received a notification reminding me of the situation. The NCAA suspended McNeath State coach Will Wade, who was fired from Louisiana State last year, for 10 games and barred him from recruiting off campus for two years. The investigation continued for four years.
Wade’s punishment did not include a “strong offer” he made to one rookie, nor an intention to pay Louisiana State players more than the NBA’s rookie minimum salary, Yahoo first said. He claims to have been caught in wiretapping calls he reported. It was later broadcast on HBO. The commission reviewing the case said it needed more evidence.
After all, justice in the corruption scandal fell almost exclusively on the feet of black assistant coaches, unlike the white head coaches involved. They are quickly fired, sometimes jailed, and shunned from college basketball.
What FBI wiretapping and hidden cameras did was expose the underground economy of college basketball, fueled by money from shoe companies and agencies and choreographed with the help of handlers who escorted players to school. rice field. These brokers are often on travel teams sponsored by shoe companies and have largely replaced high school coaches as gatekeepers for recruits over the past 25 years.
In an attempt to reform, the NCAA sought to regain leverage from Nike, Adidas and Under Armor by restructuring its hiring calendar in 2019. The 12-day recruitment period in July, when shoe companies hold national competitions, has been shortened to six days. The remaining six days were assigned to high school teams in June, and NCAA-run camps were added to the quota in late July. (After a three-year pandemic-related hiatus, reconfigured NCAA camps will reopen this summer, along with girls’ camps.)
Complaints about the change from college coaches, who have complained about staff embezzlement and organizational disorganization at some tournaments, are becoming accepted — at least at events like DMV Live, where players’ email addresses and It is being accepted at events that charge college coaches $250 for packets containing email addresses. telephone number.
The upside is that you can see the players in a more structured environment than typical grassroots matches, and the player’s personal skills are likely to be more emphasized.
The tournament was held at two gyms at DeMartha Catholic High School, which has produced a number of NBA players, including Adrian Dantley, Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hawkins, who was drafted 14th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans last week. .
On Saturday, University of Connecticut Hawkins coach Dan Hurley traveled to DeMartha to scout for the next generation of talent that the Hawkins team, the reigning national champions, could compete for a new title.
“The more evaluation tools we have, the more different evaluations we can get of that player by looking at them with different teams, different playing styles, different types of coaches,” Hurley said.
Harley had many friends. The main gym features Kansas State University’s Jerome Tan, Virginia Tech’s Mike Young, and Providence University’s Kim English, along with a note of his visits between trips to Wisconsin on Friday and North Carolina on Sunday. Micah Shrewsbury from Ludham College also joined. Also in attendance were dozens of coaches from Villanova, Virginia, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina assistants, mid-majors and nearly every Ivy League university.
The NCAA’s prowess is evident in the amount of time the event requires to prevent contact between coaches and players. Tons of yellow police tape keep college coaches away from players and their families. The coach has a separate bathroom and gym entrance.
That separation caused some coaches to ring in their ears and wave to players and parents from across the gym to let them know they were watching.
While it is questionable to what extent the influence of grassroots coaches has diminished, multiple high school coaches said the high school showcase has further deepened engagement between high school and college coaches.
“College coaches are talking more to high school coaches and getting to know their kids better,” said Damin Altizer, coach at St. Ann’s Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia. there is,” he said. Deadeye Shooting reminded me of the Golden State Warriors’ basketball heyday.
“How about coming to practice after a long day in class?” he continued. “Obviously, the AAU deserve a lot of exposure because they’re getting this much exposure. There’s no such thing as too much, because that’s how they’ll be successful when they go to college.”
The weekend’s biggest draw for the DeMartha coaches was a four-game schedule against Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly, Va., which features the state’s top four players, 247 Sports reported. 6’11” center Patrick Gomba II.
Paul VI won four games last weekend, three of them by sweeping, but won 58-53 after being tested by Bliss on Saturday. In that game, Bliss point guard Boston had more than enough of what he had. He scored 16 points, had six assists (all game highs) and turned over the ball just once. As one of the smallest players on the court, his determined play has helped his team move along with the pros he admires most: Jalen Brunson, Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry. is.
If Boston opens the eyes of some college coaches, they’ll probably investigate further. They may find out that his father is a middle school math teacher, his mother works for the federal government, his grade point average is his 3.7, and he plans to study finance or accounting. not.
With this background, under the right circumstances, he might be able to stand out in a crowd.