With the top prospect (A’ja Wilson) of the 2014 women’s basketball recruiting class recently choosing to stay close to home to play college ball, we decided to examine the relocation distances of elite women’s basketball recruits Among the 2014 ESPN Top 100*, we found that:
- 70% chose out-of-state colleges
- However, about two-thirds of the Top 100 will attend college within 500 miles of home
- Although Top 25 recruits are the most likely to stay within 100 miles of home, 3 will be traveling more than 2,500 miles to college (only one other domestic Top 100 recruit traveling that far)
- The shortest distance between home and college for a domestic Top 100 recruit is 2 miles; the longest is 2,906 miles
Although NCAA research shows that connection with a team and a coach are very salient factors in student-athlete college choice and subsequent satisfaction with the college experience once on campus, we also see indications that the current generation of college students is more connected to their families than ever. Women's basketball players (and current student-athletes in general) report that they are likely to turn to their families first on issues as diverse as hazing, substance use, discrimination and loneliness. That's not to say that a particular distance from home is optimal, but it does suggest a good family data plan is a must.
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(Published May 2014)