So You Want to Be A Pro?: Let's Crunch Some Numbers [part 1]
So… you want to be a pro? Great! Welcome to the club.
This series of posts will aim to EDUCATE you on the process of becoming a pro. You might not agree with what I have to say. And that's okay. But wherever you are on your individual journey of working towards becoming a pro, I hope I can give you a little bit of guidance. Remember, you are part of a group with millions of young and talented athletes around the world. All striving for the same goal. The real question is -- do you know what it takes to become a pro?
Let’s take a step back here. Let’s start from the beginning and crunch some numbers.
If you are aiming to be a professional basketball player, you are most likely hoping to start the journey off right by getting a college scholarship. So we will begin with some statistics about college basketball.
Please take a seat, class is in session!
According to the study done by the National Federation of State High School Associations, there were 939,836 participants in high school basketball last year (boys and girls combined). For the purpose of making the math easier, we will stick with the boys participants for now (540,769).
That’s a lot of boys basketball players!
For the record, I believe that number falls short of the true total, given the fact that many private and charter high schools are not members of the NFSHA. And trust me, there are many of those types of schools popping up the last few years, especially schools built around athletics and aimed towards putting together an elite basketball team. (Not hating on it, just stating facts).
By now you know I like to site my sources (unlike most media today), so let’s go to another study.
According to the NCAA Sports Sponsorship Report, there were 18,816 Men’s Basketball Participants (including DI, DII and DIII). For the purpose of making this lesson easier, we will stick with the DI participants for now (5,510).
Back to the math part. Let's recap our numbers:
Boys High School Basketball Participants: 540,769
D1 Men's Basketball Participants: 5,510
If you do some simple arithmetic, you will see that out of all the boys basketball participants in high schools in this country, you have a whopping 1.018% chance of getting a Division I college basketball scholarship.
Don’t forget about the high schools that are not included in the denominator. And we haven’t even touched upon the amount of international players that take some scholarship spots. Which means that number would realistically fall below 1%. Yikes! Picture yourself and 99 of your most talented teammates or basketball playing friends. If the math is telling the truth, then only ONE of you could potentially earn a Division I college scholarship!
I’m sensing that some feelings are going to be hurt in that little group of yours. Don’t shoot the messenger!
Now, you’re probably frustrated. And you might even be a bit discouraged at this point. If I'm being honest, I imagine you also think I’m an A-hole and that I’m trying to kill your dreams. But trust me, I’m trying to help you.
Am I telling you to pack it in and give up? Absolutely not.
You should reach for the stars. I do every single day.
But I am trying to make sure you understand a few key concepts:
1) I’m here to tell you what you NEED to hear. Not what you WANT to hear.
2) You don’t need to get a Division I scholarship to be successful in basketball.
3) It is hard. Very hard. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask how badly you want it.
So if you have received an offer or you already play college basketball (at any level), congrats! You are among some of the best in the world. If you are at the Division I level, congrats again! You are even more elite.
But please don’t take it for granted. The moment you start thinking that the world owes you something, you’re heading down a path of destruction. In the wise words of Kendrick Lamar, please, sit down and be humble.
That concludes today’s lesson my friends! Don’t go too far…
Part II is coming soon: Making it to the Pros!
If this brought you any value, feel free to share it with someone!
If you disagree with something I said, let me know! Either in the comments or send me a direct message!
Check out some out some of my other posts related to basketball by clicking the picture below!