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NCAA to help certify June scholastic boys' basketball events

Announcement expands players’ access to skills development, recruiting opportunities

Acting on recommendations from the Commission on College Basketball, the NCAA on Tuesday announced it will certify scholastic boys’ basketball events this June for high schools that are not members of state high school associations affiliated with the National Federation of State High School Associations. The announcement clears a path for more schools to play an increased role in developing young basketball players in the summer and providing them with additional opportunities to be seen and recruited by college coaches.

The Commission on College Basketball, following counsel provided by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, recommended the events last year as part of its outline to reform college basketball by enhancing the recruiting environment and further engaging the high school coaching community in the development and recruitment of young players. The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee approved the criteria, which will be used to certify the events.

“The new June scholastic events initiative is an important and ambitious effort to support the increased engagement of high school coaches with college coaches in the recruiting experience for young players and their families,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball. “Our members made clear that this needed to be an inclusive process so that eventually as many players and schools as possible have the opportunity to participate. This step opens that door wider and provides the foundation to grow June over time into a beneficial period to help the next generation of college basketball players develop their skills and be recognized by coaches in a positive, educational environment.”

The NCAA’s announcement complements criteria already established in partnership with the NFHS for setting standards and certifying events. The NFHS has member associations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and represents more than 19,000 high schools. The criteria provide guidelines for high school associations and members of the National High School Basketball Coaches Association interested in hosting events at educational institutions during the last two weekends in June.

“The June evaluation events offer the opportunity for the high school coach and program to play a critical role in a student-athlete’s transition from high school to college,” said Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the NFHS. “The support of the NCAA for the criteria has underscored the importance of maintaining an education-based focus on event formats and in the selection of host sites. We appreciate the positive collaboration that we have shared with the NCAA and look forward to the implementation of successful June events.”

The NCAA criteria announced Tuesday will be used to certify schools not affiliated with NFHS-member state organizations that are interested in hosting the events, ensuring that June events are accessible to as many participants as possible. Those measures, working in conjunction with the criteria set by the NFHS for its sponsored events, are intended to set a consistent standard from which the events will operate in June.

“We so appreciate the time and effort that has been put in by the National Federation of State High School Associations, the National High School Basketball Coaches Association and the NCAA for taking the time to address, in a short time period, the launch of June scholastic events,” said Jim Haney, executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. “It’s a big undertaking, but an important undertaking. We want every respective student-athlete in our sport to have the opportunity to participate in these events. We appreciate the work that’s being done to broaden that access and believe, as time allows people to adapt to these opportunities, that we’ll see greater and greater participation from high school prospects, as well as junior college prospects, in these events.”

Dave Archer, the senior director of basketball operations for the National High School Basketball Coaches Association, said the collaboration between the high school coaches, the NCAA and the NFHS will improve the recruiting environment for young players. The NHSBCA helped inform the NCAA working group that developed the June scholastic events model, played an advisory role during its implementation and will help administer the events.

“The National High School Basketball Coaches Association is pleased with the action the NCAA is taking to allow an alternative path for approval of June Division I men’s basketball scholastic recruiting events,” Archer said. “This will allow hundreds and hundreds of additional high school players with the potential to play college basketball to be evaluated by college coaches in an educational environment. This is another important step as we continue to move forward to improve the recruiting culture throughout the nation.”

The NCAA criteria address fundamental requirements for applicants to meet before they can be certified to host an event. Among the requirements, schools and coaches must be in good standing with the host high school association and the host coaches associations, events must ensure their staffs and coaches pass background checks, and players must be currently eligible to compete for their high school teams.

The criteria also require host applicants to be members of the National High School Basketball Coaches Association or, where there is no state high school basketball coaches association, members of the recognized state high school coaches association. Non-NFHS high school associations also may apply to host events, provided they meet certain requirements.

High schools participating in the June events also are required to have existed for a full academic year, be governed by a high school association that has been in existence for a full academic year, and have an appropriate status with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Go to ncaa.org for more information, including the NCAA criteria for hosting a June event.