The idea originally came about when a parent forwarded an email to West York boys' basketball coach Bill Ackerman a few weeks ago.
"A parent forwarded an email back to me from a team manager of an AAU team that was essentially telling parents of players that 'this season it is required you put the AAU team before your high school team and before any vacations or anything else, too. The reason for this is because if you want your son to play college ball, AAU is the only way you're gonna be able to get there,'" Ackerman said.
The email created all kinds of conflicts for parents and further frustrated Ackerman, the highly successful head boys' coach at West York the last 16 seasons. He's had more than 20 players go on to play college ball after suiting up for the Bulldogs. And he knows first hand there's more to finding a spot on a college basketball roster than just playing AAU — short for Amateur Athletic Union. AAU essentially serves as a club program to help get top prep basketball players seen by college coaches.
"It all got worked out," Ackerman said of responding to the email. "However, it's obvious to all of us that plenty of parents and players are getting a lot of misinformation."
As a result, Ackerman and a few other local York-Adams League boys' basketball coaches decided to put together a free meeting for all high school boys' basketball players and their parents next week where they can hear from college basketball coaches on what it really takes to get recruited.
"Instead of high school coaches and AAU coaches telling them, let's get college coaches to tell them," Ackerman said. "What role does high school basketball have. What role does academics have. What role does AAU have. What do college coaches look for?"
The meeting will be held Wednesday from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Red Lion High School auditorium. Speaking to players and parents will be men's basketball head coaches from Penn State York (Parrish Petry), NCAA Division III Elizabethtown (Bob Schlosser) and Dickinson (Alan Seretti), an assistant coach from Division II Shippensburg (Eric Rahauser) and a member of the staff from Division I Mount St. Mary's.
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.