Kudos to Fairfax High School girl’s basketball coach Marcus Konde for taking the initiative to create the rising freshman summer basketball league. He was thinking outside the box to get around the restrictions on coaching out of season. He gets to see the up-and-coming talent and get his foot in the “recruiting” door that has been left so wide open by private schools seeking to attract these girls with scholarship money. (and who can afford private school without some scholarship money?) And he has opened that door for other area high school coaches.
It does feel like college recruiting gone rogue, waving dollars at these 14 year olds and their families.
James Wagner, in his Washington Post article “Star Wars: Fairfax tries to keep its talent at home” says some coaches see this not so much as recruiting as acquainting. Fred Priester, longtime coach of Oakton High school Women’s Basketball enjoys “getting to know the incoming freshman in a carefree environment.” I have to laugh. If there are hopeful girls in the same gymnasium with high school coaches and parents cheering and flashing pictures, it is not carefree. Those girls are nervous. This is a tryout.
But that’s what competitive sport is about, bettering your play as the stakes get higher and higher. That’s what motivates and brings out our best effort.
The other thing that rings true for any athlete, but I’ve found especially with girls, is they love to hear “we want you on our team.” It used to be on the private schools coming to the kids with this message. Now it’s the high schools and they throw in a chance to wear the high school jersey.