PR Playmakers "PRP", the leading grassroots basketball program in Puerto Rico has announced its intent to operate the first Elite Youth Evaluation Combine and Scholarship Seminar. The date of the event has not been announced but IPRB has confirmed that it will take place sometime in June.
PRP Founder, Todd Washington said in an interview with IPRB early today,"There are so players interested in attending school in the states but most of them do not understand how to go about getting it done. PRP will act as a bridge and expose players to prep schools, junior colleges and 4 year colleges and universities. We have a track record of helping some of the elite players obtain opportunities at all of these levels.
The recent trend similar to what has gone on mainland for years is for rising 12th graders to spend a year at an elite school preparing both on and off the court. Washington thinks that parents should consider getting allowing their kids to spend more than one year at a school.
"We tell parents all the time that they should not wait until their son is in 12th grade to consider prep school. Actually we think getting a student athlete into a situation in the 9th adn 10th grade allows the student a chance to spend 2-3 years at a school and benefit from the relationships that are built over that time. We are seeing too many kids bounce around from school to school and while that may work for some most of the kids we think spending two or three years at a school allows for growth both on and off the court.
Washington also stressed that parents need to do more off the court in preparing kids to qualify. He said that most parents are not familiar with the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements nor are they focused on preparing their sons to take the SAT.
"The purpose of the Combine and Scholarship Seminar is to identify platers who have the ability to play at the next level and educate parents on what they need to do to off the court and in the classroom to prepare their son so that if and when an opportunity presents itself, they are ready and able. We are working with a couple of kids who are mid major Division 1 prospects who have yet to take the SAT. It's a shame as so many kids are missing out on a free education because they spending to much time playing and not enough time preparing!"
Washington went on the say, 'We do not promise a family we are going to get their son a scholarship. That is the first thing we tell them when we have the initial "Introduction To The Program Meeting". We have been incredibly successful in helping players obtain opportunities but we cannot and will not make that promise. What we can do is open the door and ensure that coaches know about the player and his abilities both on the court and in the classroom.
The question is not if there are school out there looking rather can we offer them what they are looking for. I'm convinced that we can get anywhere from 50-75 kids per year into unique situations in the states. Its not a question of talent but creating a structure which can be used as a bridge."