Johns Hopkins University '05 - Men's Basketball
I grew up playing basketball, soccer and baseball year round, but prior to entering high school, as is becoming more and more common these days, I decided to focus most of my efforts on one sport, basketball. While I continued to play baseball and soccer throughout high school, basketball became my central focus and year round activity. When I reached high school I began receiving heavy interest from D-1 and D-3 collegiate basketball coaches and also some moderate interest from local D-1 and D-3 baseball programs.
The beginning of the recruiting process was very new and exciting for me. In my sophomore year of high school I can remember looking forward to going home each day to see what schools I received letters from. As the year went on, the countless letters turned into nightly phone calls from various coaches. Finally, coaches began showing up at my practices and games. All of these happenings were very encouraging and provided me with a lot of confidence.
Since I decided early on to play basketball I focused most of my interest in schools that were recruiting me to play basketball. While I was still considering playing baseball I decided it would only be for a school that was also recruiting me to play basketball. At the beginning of the process my main desire was to play for a D-1 collegiate basketball program. However, even as a teenager I was relatively realistic with myself and knew that my basketball abilities were not going to lead me to the NBA. Thus, I decided it would be in my best interest not to rule out D-3 schools and instead, use basketball to help me get into the best academic school possible.
Much of the recruiting interest I received came from lower level D-1 conferences like the Patriot League (Bucknell, Colgate and Lafayette) and the Ivy League (Cornell, Columbia, Brown, UPenn and Harvard) and from an endless amount of D-3 schools (including Johns Hopkins, Williams and Amherst). At this point in the game, my decision hinged on my D-1 versus D-3 preference, the different commitments involved in both, the location of the schools (proximity to my hometown and urban/rural setting), and the academic prestige of the schools.
Although NCAA regulations allow up to five official visits to D-1 schools and unlimited amount of visits to D-3 schools, by my senior year I was already completely exhausted with the recruiting process and eager to make my decision. As a result I decided to take D-1 visits to Cornell, Colgate, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, I also took a visit to Johns Hopkins University.
After completing my visits I felt comfortable with all the schools, the coaches and my potential teammates. Ultimately, I wanted to remain close to home but not so close that I felt I had never left. As it turned out, the two-hour drive to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore seemed to be a perfect fit. My decision was made easier by the fact that I felt very comfortable in Baltimore, my teammates were great, and the commitment level was right in line with what I was looking for. I am very thankful for the life experience I received from the recruiting process and my time as a student athlete at Johns Hopkins University.
Map out exactly what you are looking for in a school and an athletic program as soon as possible.
Always be upfront with coaches. It is not rude to be honest and coaches will appreciate you telling them the truth.
Your decision is more then just choosing an athletic program and you should bring academics, location and your general happiness with the school into your decision.
For more information check out the Active Recruiting 101 special section.