Playing second team basketball in a prep school program can have both pros and cons. Here are some potential advantages and disadvantages:


  1. Development opportunities: Being on the second team can provide more playing time and opportunities to improve your skills. You may receive more individualized attention from coaches. Consequently, it allows you to focus on specific areas of your game that need improvement.
  2. Competitive experience: While the second team may not play at the same level as the first team, you will still face competition from other schools. This can help you develop your game and gain valuable experience in real-game situations.
  3. Team camaraderie: Playing second team basketball can foster a strong sense of camaraderie among teammates. You will work together to improve and support each other’s development, creating a supportive environment.
  4. Potential for promotion: Performing well on the second team can lead to opportunities for promotion to the first team. If you consistently show improvement and perform at a high level, coaches will notice. They may recognize your skills and move you up to the top-tier team.


  1. Lower status and recognition: Playing on the second team may mean less visibility and recognition compared to the first team. This could impact your exposure to college recruiters and scholarship opportunities. They tend to focus on players from the top-tier teams.
  2. Limited playing time: While being on the second team can offer more playing time compared to the bench on the first team, it may still be less than desired. Coaches may prioritize the development and success of the first team, resulting in less time on the court for the second team players.
  3. Reduced competition level: The second team may face weaker opponents. This can limit your ability to truly test your skills against top-level competition. This may hinder your growth and preparation for higher levels of play.
  4. Psychological impact: It can be challenging to be on the second team, especially if you have aspirations to be on the first team. Dealing with the disappointment of not making the top-tier squad can be mentally and emotionally challenging.

Second Team Basketball at Prep School

Second Team Basketball at Prep School: The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the pros and cons of playing second team basketball for a prep school program will vary. It all depends on your individual goals, aspirations, and the specific circumstances of the program. It’s important to consider your own priorities. Assess how the experience aligns with your long-term objectives in basketball.  I have had multiple players play on a prep school program’s second team, and all have been placed at the college level. At the end of the day, that’s the ultimate goal for most prep school players.  Check out some PREP Athletics podcast highlights below that discuss the second team option:

-What are the Pros and Cons of Playing on a Prep School Basketball Program’s Second Team? Feat: Coach Raphael Chillious

-Prep School Basketball’s Second Varsity Teams – Pros + Cons Feat. Putnam Science Coach Tom Espinoza

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