There are countless events in the Philadelphia area to keep high school basketball players advancing their skills in the fall. Far to many to name!!! It appears almost everyone is involved in the arms race, that is producing high quality basketball players and teams. Parents, handlers, trainers, A.A.U. organizations and high schools all clamoring for the top spots. There are only so many top spots in a metro area of 6 million, but when you get crowned “King of Philly” (surrounding suburbs included), it tends to carry national juice. It’s not merely a badge of honor to represent the 7th largest metropolitan area in the US. Don’t get it twisted, its a target for everyone else in the city to try and destroy, defame and eventually claim for themselves.
In the age of participation trophies, it is refreshing to see a youth sports culture entrenched in the battle and competition of being the BEST. Even after the A.A.U. season has ended and with scholastic basketball weeks away, there is no let down in competition!! High level, championship caliber basketball is played year round from grade school to high school. With that fierce competition comes negatives. There are drawbacks, its not all national acclaim, P.I.A.A. Gold, endorsements and scholarships, but the good far outweighs the bad. Each of the aforementioned parties play an important role in the pedigree of Philly basketball and hold a stake in its current state of success.
From, parents putting their kids in the best possible academic and athletic position. To, handlers providing insight and opportunities to parents, who may not be informed of the nuances of high level basketball. Ultimately, providing a forum for a player to display their talent. From, trainers building the foundation and skills in players that are necessary when the lights come on, to outshine the competition. To, A.A.U. organizations running college like practices 3 days a week with no events in sight and a season that ended weeks ago. This is Philly in the FALL, all the while high school programs engage in weight lifting programs, run the track and play in countless events up and down the east coast.
Culturally basketball is just different, it truly is a valued commodity! The product speaks for itself. there is nothing magical about it. It’s hard work and a relentless grind that never stops for these kids. SALUTE!
Photo Credits –
Top: Thom Carroll, Philly Voice – Bottom Left: Delgreco Wilson, Black Cager – Bottom Right: http://www.espn.go.com