Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Answer

As I stated yesterday, today I will present my defense of AAU basketball. Now at the beginning I want to state that there are teams that do AAU correctly in Vermont, but I've also seen things that don't make me feel too excited about my proposed solution. First, I think the key to a good AAU program that would produce solid players from Vermont is indeed to be competitive. Ouch, we live in an era where we want everyone to win, and no one to lose. However, I think Vermont basketball would improve if the best AAU players were concentrated on a lower number of teams. The reason I believe this is simply because players improve when there are good players around them. If some AAU team was able to concentrate the most talented players from one area onto one team rather than be dispersed among the many teams they have right now, all of these players would be better off. I know this idea would be unpopular as some players would be lost without a team. However, there are a few reasons why this might not be such a terrible thing. First, if the cut player really loves basketball and wants to play, he or she will work really hard over the summer and fall in hopes to improve and make the team next year. Therefore, his or her ability will rise and therefore raise the quality of competition in Vermont

The other result is that this athlete might realize that there is another sport that he or she is better at. To use an example from my life: anybody who knows me knows that I'm not an artist. I do not try to hide that fact, but I do not waste needless time trying to develop that talent. While artists need to be developed and taught throughout their lives, some people have a knack for art at the beginning. I, needless to say, do not. If I had been told my whole life that I was a great artist, I might not have invested time in other things that I really am good at and have a natural ability for because I would have been trying to develop the talent I don't have. I am more content because I know I'm good at what I do, and I might be able to help somebody with the new talents I discovered. Nobody loses when I find something I'm really good at, so helping people realize the talents they do possess is valuable for everyone.

I bet you're wondering who these few Vermont teams will play because there will only be a few. My answer is that these teams need to travel. I'm not saying cross-country road trips or month-long barnstorming tours, but I am trying to emphasize the need to be aware of a higher level of competition. Having traveled the tournaments around New England with my sister's AAU team, I have seen how good and how much different the competition can be just three hours away in Lowell, Massachusetts. Her team was competitive in Vermont; they could beat most teams. However, after making the three-hour drive, the competition was notably different. Neither game they played on that Saturday turned out well, but it was definitely worth the trip. These girls were exposed to a whole different level of competition that made them better players. Many people argue that this cost of traveling would be way too high for many people given the current economy and other similar concerns. However, as I cited in my last post, people in Vermont love basketball. I believe that if a logical presentation was made to potential sponsors explaining how all of Vermont basketball would benefit through AAU basketball, sponsors would come to help lower costs simply because they love the game and want to see it at its highest level possible given the available number of athletes.

I bet there are at least a few of you out there who don't believe a word I said. Please comment below and argue with me; I appreciate it. My goal here is to present the many benefits of AAU basketball and demonstrate how the system will benefit Vermont basketball as a whole. I know that you have this goal at heart too, but your strategy might be different than mine. Therefore, tell me about it; I'm not ashamed to say someone's idea is better than mine if it is!

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