If you play basketball or are a fan of basketball, then at least once in your life you should have listened to AAU basketball. So a question might arise in your head, what exactly is AAU basketball, or how does AAU basketball work?
If you want to find the answer, then keep reading this article about AAU basketball.
How Does AAU Basketball Work
So, let us start from the beginning. The AAU stands for the amateur athletic union. And they were formed way back in 1880. It is a sports organization. Also called travel basketball or club basketball. Because in the AAU, you have to travel to different areas to play basketball.
According to their website, they are the largest nonprofit organization voluntarily dedicated to the development and growth of youth sports. Their agenda is the sport for all.
AAU basketball history
1). The rise
In the 1980s, when Sonny Vaccaro and Phil Knight joined forces to promote the youth basketball movement, AAU basketball saw a surge in popularity. They guaranteed that certain AAU programs and significant basketball programs would wear their shoes by signing college coaches and coaches at AAU programs to shoe contracts.
2). The fall
But over time, it shifted from being mostly about basketball to being more about the large shoe companies vying for the top players in the nation. To entice top high school players, AAU basketball clubs concentrated on obtaining sponsorships from large shoe brands, including Nike and Adidas.
The AAU’s primary objective has been to foster the growth of youth sports and physical fitness initiatives ever since its founding. They were formed to produce Olympic-level athletes. But with time, they deviated, and now their main focus is to grow youth sports. Let us learn about the history of AAU basketball.
4). The Procedure
The AAU basketball teams are fairly easy to start, especially when compared to other young sports like soccer, where a license from the governing body is required. Visit the official AAU basketball website and follow the steps if you want to establish a genuine AAU team.
You only need 8–10 players, a coach, a team name, some jerseys, and a tournament to creating an AAU basketball team, which is a competitive travel basketball team. I’m done now. You’ve finished.
Eligibility To Play AAU Basketball
Boys and girls can play AAU basketball.
i) Eligibility for boys
Boys can begin playing when they are 7 years old and can participate up until the 12th grade or lower division for players who are 19 years old or younger.
ii) Eligibility for girls
Females, can begin participating in sports as early as the second grade and continue until the 12th grade or division for athletes aged 19 and younger.
Season of AAU Basketball
After the conclusion of the high school basketball season, from February through July, the primary AAU basketball season takes place. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of competitions held all year round.
Every age group is given the chance to register for and participate in the national championship competitions. These competitions are what make AAU different from other grassroots basketball organizations. Now that you know about AAU basketball eligibility and the season, let’s learn about the pros and cons of it.
Benefits of AAU basketball
- If you want to improve in any sport, you have or should have to play with stronger players and opponents. So, that you can learn from them and your skill can shine. The same is with AAU basketball.
- Players have the chance to play against stronger competition than they would if they stayed at home and participated in local leagues.
- Competing against top-tier talent motivates athletes to step up their game, exposes their flaws, and highlights what they need to improve on.
- AAU is the name of opportunities, you will get scholarships, fame, money, and many more if you got into it. And the best thing is you don’t have to be an exceptionally good player to do so. A lot of less famous players are playing in NBA and still getting their scholarships.
- Another thing with AAU is, it gives you a proper chance to display your skills and talents not just in front of the audience but also in a lot of coaches.
Cons of AAU basketball
- The fact that so many coaches overlook the need to impart the fundamentals of basketball is one of the things I find most concerning. Some teams don’t even do practices.
- Additionally, coaches have limited time to concentrate on team skills when they do get together because of the three to four games played each day during tournaments.
- Also, coaches will mostly observe zone defense and full-court presses during tournaments. Though both of these hinder young people’s growth, they unquestionably result in more basketball victories.
- Basketball in the AAU is rife with ineffective coaches. This is mostly because anyone may create an AAU team and name oneself as the head coach.
Important things to consider before joining any team
The most important thing to consider before joining any team is values. Look for what a team wants from the game. Are they interested in practicing or playing games more? Basketball or any other game is just like a car, which can drive you to the destination of your character and make you eligible for complex situations in your life. That’s why choosing the right team is important.
The next most important thing is the coaches. A coach is the one who makes any team stronger. A weak coach, who has not that much experience will cost the whole team. Also, check if the coach’s behavior is good or not.
c) Organization and proper communication
You have to watch if your club is properly organized and communicative. Because most of the time the basketball clubs are extremely disorganized and non-communicative. And this can affect the whole performance of the game.
This is the main and one of the huge factors to consider while joining any team. You should check to see what the competitive level of the group is. Are they taking part and winning the competitions? Also, if they are well practicing.
The AAU has been present since basketball’s origins, having been founded in 1888. At the youth or high school level, almost every NBA player took part in an AAU event, and the organization is still active today.
A young level one team’s yearly club membership dues begin at $30. A level three adult and youth combo membership have a maximum price of $320. Use the AAU membership lookup tool on the AAU website if you are unsure of the type of membership you have.
The quick answer is yes, but doing it without a playing backdrop can be very challenging. A high school basketball team typically has a roster of 12–15 players, only five of whom are active at any given time. For these teams, some schools may have 25 to 40 students try out.
You only need 8–10 players, a coach, a team name, some jerseys, and a tournament to creating an AAU basketball team, which is basically a competitive travel basketball team.
Athletes who play up will advance more quickly because they are put to the test by older, stronger youngsters in a challenging setting. They will have to rely on developing their skill and agility because size won’t be on their side.