Many athletes growing up have the dream of playing at a Division 1 school in the states, to a packed out crowd, flashing lights and all that media publicity. Can you blame them? Who wouldn't want that type of attention.
Where these athletes go wrong in their decision making, is that they believe this is the only viable option for them reaching their end goal, which is most of the time professional basketball or the NBA. With the growth of basketball all around the world these days, and the growth of social media, it truly does not matter where you play. If you are good you will be found. The main thing these athletes should be looking for is where can they truly grow and develop as players. Your growth as a player is much more important because you can carry that with you anywhere you go to play. Our job as coaches is to educate these players on the opportunities they have. You can still reach the top if you play at a Canadian university, Canadian college, Cegep, Juco, it really doesn't matter where you go.
Each player you see at the professional level has their own story & journey as to how they got that position. You will not find one story that is the same. There are many players who have not played Division 1 basketball and have still made it to the pros or NBA. Dedicate your time on being the best player & student you can be and everything else will fall into place.
Remember your education should be #1 when looking at a school, because if anything ever happens to you, and you are no longer able to play, your diploma and education will be all that you have to show!
Steps on making your decision:
Where will you grow the most as a player?
Does this school have the program you truly want to be in?
Does the style of play suit your game play?
Don't look at a school's record, it can all change in one season
What types of networking abilities can this school present you with?
Do you have access to training facilities to improve your game when you want?
Are you able to get a tutor or help with your class work if you start to fall behind?
If you truly look at all these options before making your decision, you will guarantee yourself an opportunity you will not regret and set yourself up for success! Whether that is playing at the next level or getting a great job!