By. Jameille Williams
Staff Writer for ITrainedU
When going through the recruiting process the dream for all basketball players is to go to a D-I school, but not everyone has that opportunity. Not being able go D-I is not purely about ability. Sometimes there is an influx of players just like you that may have the attention of the college you would like to play for. Some players get more exposure because of the different camps and events that they attend. Not everyone has the same exposure opportunities, but you can still find a place to play college basketball. In Pt.1, I gave you the knowledge on how to obtain a scholarship while being trained by iTrainedU. The next step is making the right college choice. One of the biggest factors in your choice is understanding what level of college basketball is right for you.
Division I basketball is the pinnacle everyone tries to measure up to. All basketball players see this as the best way to get to the NBA. Everyone pushes themselves to reach this point so that they can be recruited by schools like Duke, UNC, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, UCLA and others. However, one of the most interesting thing about Division I basketball is that there are 5 different types of Division I basketball programs: major, mid-major, mid, low mid and low. Major basketball is the major conferences like the ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big East, Big 12 and the Pac-12. The mid-major level consists of schools like Wichita State, George Mason, Butler, Gonzaga and any other schools that aren’t a part of the major conferences and the same goes for mid, low mid and low level schools. Now these schools aren’t bad schools, they just typically do not get the same coverage as the other schools because of how small their conference is and when they do make the NCAA tournament they usually lose in the first round. These different levels can help you figure out which best suits your skill set. Playing mid-major basketball is the exact same as playing in the major conferences, the teams just don’t get as much TV time. Keep in mind, while Ivy League schools land somewhere on this spectrum of Division 1 schools, they do not give out scholarships.
Division II basketball isn’t the next level down from Division I. There are plenty of players on this level that could have played D-I hoops but for some reason or another aren’t. That means you can get the same level of competition as you would in D-1. However, there is a chance that maybe you wouldn’t get playing time on a team if you went D-I, but you can start at a D-II school. Your choice to play on this level can be a very good one. You will still face great competition and you could get exposure to pro scouts in the US or even overseas. You have to make a decision based on how well your abilities and skill that can best be utilized. D-II schools are located in the Northeast, MId-Atlantic, Southeast, South, Midwest, Southwest and some select areas in the West.
Division III basketball is just like Division II. I played DIvision III basketball and realized that a lot of players could have been playing D-I. Just like in D-II some of the players may have not gotten a chance to actually play despite being on the team so they choose somewhere to go so they could get more playing time. Other times your recruitment may not be the way you want but you get a lot of attention from D-III schools. Don’t knock these schools because they are D-III. You can still get great competition and exposure. Division III schools are located in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and South regions. Very few schools go further than the state of Texas.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics is not a part of the NCAA. The NAIA does give out scholarships in basketball, but that isn’t well known. The organization was founded by Dr. James Naismith “The Father of Basketball”. The schools that partake in the NAIA are usually in the South, Midwest and Pacific Northwest regions.
We look to educate our players in the game of basketball. Through this education, ITrainedU hopes to shed light on the players ability. This knowledge will allow for the player to see where they will fit as far as collegiate basketball. Making the decision to play on either level is very important. But when choosing the right level you must also choose the right school. ITrainedU can help you with this.