An Inside Connection
PREP Athletics offers players and their families a trusted source for the prep school basketball world. There are only a few prep school consultants in the US that help place basketball players into prep schools. I am the only one who has actually completed a post-grad year before playing in a D1 program. With this firsthand knowledge I find out a family’s ultimate academic and athletic goals, and if they qualify, connect them with the right fitting prep schools.
I help educate families on what prep schools are, the benefits of this option, as well as all that goes into choosing the right one. With so many options in the US now it can be intimidating and families don’t know where to start. Once I learn the family’s goals, the player’s academic and athletic ability as well as financial resources, I put all that information together and select schools from my database where this player could potentially succeed.
I will reach out to these school’s coaches on the family’s behalf and get feedback on whether they want to move forward and recruit this player. Ideally, I have two to five schools recruiting each client. I assist families with what questions to ask these prep school coaches. Once the family is interested and has applied for these schools, I will advise them on the financial aid and selection process. Families ultimately choose where their child will attend school, but I can be a sounding board to help with the choice. The most important part in choosing a prep school is the player’s relationship with the coach.
I like to think of myself as a guidance counselor for the prep school athletic world. I placed my first player in 2008. This is a passion of mine.
PREP Athletics and director Cory Heitz truly invest into their young athletes. With building a relationship at the beginning, Cory understands how to help each athlete. I would highly recommend him and PREP Athletics to any young athlete who wants to pursue playing college basketball.
LEE MARTIN – OHIO UNIVERSITY ASSISTANT MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH
Widely regarded as the best prep basketball option in the country, recruiting for the NEPSAC offers challenges that are every bit as unique as our respective schools. In coaching sixteen years at this level, Cory Heitz has become a primary resource for my recruiting process. His commitment to understanding the academic, athletic and social dynamics of our respective institutions has made Cory a leader in the business of matching student, athlete and school. From his initial contact to regular follow up of his client’s progress, Cory Heitz and PREP Athletics offers the full service commitment so many families are looking for.
JAY TILTON – EXETER ACADEMY HEAD COACH
I really enjoy working with Cory Heitz and PREP Athletics. He sincerely and knowledgeably seeks the best “fit” to match his families with the “best” school and basketball program for the individual young man. We have a PREP Athletics client this year and I couldn’t be more pleased with the character, effort, and talents of this young man. I will surely be working with Cory and his company for many years to come.
WHIT LESURE – BRIDGTON ACADEMY HEAD COACH
Tailoring a profile for each player
When a family hires me to help them find the right fitting prep school, I have them send me the information a coach would want to know. Academic transcripts, athletic highlights, full game film, contact information, social media links, playing schedules, etc. Any additional information that shows a player is well-rounded is always a bonus.
I also ask players why they want to go to a prep school. When I eventually talk to a coach I share the player’s goal with the prep school coaches I reach out to on the player’s behalf. This goal as well as all the provided player info, will give a prep school coach a full picture on which they can decide whether or not to recruit the player. Many of these schools have more applicants than openings available. It is always key to try and separate yourself from the pack, and not just athletically.
Helping players to decide which school will be the best fit
This is where the magic happens. Since my first placement in 2008 I have learned about the prep school world in great detail. I have spent days of my life and a considerable amount of resources visiting over one hundred prep schools. Seeing the campus, meeting the coaches/admission department, as well as watching these teams play/practice, gives me an overall snapshot of each school. I also talk to other college and prep coaches to constantly get feedback on the ever-changing world of prep school athletics.
With this knowledge I keep an updated database that gives me an overview on each school I have visited. Once I am hired by a family, I will go through this database and select schools where the player will have a chance to succeed. After a player has talked to multiple coaches, we will discuss each school and program to narrow down the schools that they will eventually apply to. The best situation is having multiple schools wanting a player and the family having a hard time due to all their options being great ones.
What is my relationship and personal history with prep schools?
I attended the United States Air Force Academy Prep School in 1995-96 for a post-grad year. Before choosing Air Force I also visited Army and Navy’s prep schools. My first cousin Brad Miller went to Maine Central Institute for his senior year of high school. This led him to playing for four years at Purdue before a fourteen year NBA career. Prep schools have changed my family’s trajectory!
I placed my first player in at Maine Central Institute in 2008. Shortly thereafter I talked to my friends who coach college basketball to find out what other prep schools I should visit. I got a comprehensive list and visited the schools that were suggested by multiple coaches. Since then I have spent each year visiting prep schools in New England and other parts of the US. These visits are vital as I can see how a campus feels and looks. When I meet with a coach face to face it solidifies the relationship, versus just being a voice on the other end of the phone. I also try to meet with the head of school and head of admissions. If the timing works, I can see a team in an open gym or at one of the showcase events that I attend each year. Seeing the type of player these prep schools recruit and the style each team plays helps me select the right schools for my clients.
My relationship with these prep school coaches allows me to get in touch with them quicker than a random player or parent. I can get an honest assessment of a player’s abilities on the court, in the classroom, and whether the desired tuition will work financially. If all looks good I will connect the coaches and the family. Because I have been working with coaches all these years they know if I am bringing them a player to look at and that they have been filtered out among over a hundred other schools. We have a mutual respect for each other and don’t play games. Who has time for that? As of 2023 I have sent players to over fifty two different prep schools.
How I communicate with a player and his family
When a family engages with PREP Athletics, we schedule a call to go over the entire placement process. I find out the ultimate goal for the family and learn more about why they are considering prep school. I convey all of the advantages of going prep and share the timeline of events.
Once I have all the needed information that a prep school coach wants to see, I reach out to them with a players bio, transcript, highlights, etc. From this point I am in touch with the player and their family to see which coaches have reached out. After talking to 3-6 schools I will then get back with the family to discuss the options and next steps. I am available to text, email and talk with any families members during the time they are working with me.
On March 10th, a majority of prep schools send out their acceptance letters. I am in touch with families during this time to help answer questions about the financial aid, negotiations, and to be a sounding board for which school they eventually choose. I love seeing the evolution from the first phone call to the eventual signing with a college. Prep schools can change lives, as it did mine. This is a life changing decision and I will help families through the entire process.