This is the first question I ask a high schooler and their family that has come to me for advice. Do you want to be the man on a D3 team or sit the bench on a D1 roster? How important are academics? (It should be important) Are you ok playing on the other side of the country from your family? How bad do you want it? Most players I talk to initially say they want to play D1. That is admirable. But what will you do to achieve that goal? Will you walk on? If you walk on you will bust your behind as hard as everyone else on the team if not harder, and get the least amount of glory. You might get a scholarship after a few years but that is rare. Are you ok with sitting the pine except for a few end of game situations each year? If so then there might be a spot for you somewhere. Then the next question is will your parents pay for this. Walk on players do not get ‘deals’ at colleges. They save those for the scholarship players. You will most likely be paying full price, not getting playing time, and expected to keep your grades up above average to keep the team’s total GPA above the minimum. Not every walk on situation is like this, but it is more common than not. So maybe D2 sounds like a better option now. They give full rides, but it is very competitive as well. Many good D2 teams could beat low major D1 teams. D2’s are always looking for D1 transfers. If you transfer from D1 to D2, you do not need to sit out a year and can play right away. The academics aren’t always as great at D2 either. Maybe D3 would work. There are 403 D3 schools with a basketball program. The biggest challenge with D3 though is they do not offer scholarships. Pay to play. Is that worth it to you? It might be your only option. There are also JUCOs and NAIA schools. If you want to play basketball and at least have money then there is a school out there for you. But if your only option is a JUCO located in a small Western Wyoming town, would you go there? So let me ask again. What do you want?
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