1) Will there be an open gym period?
As of now no one is sure. Schools are coming up with contingency plans for when their schools open up either on schedule, in October, after Thanksgiving or next January. Not knowing makes it hard for a coach or adminstrator to give a precise answer on this. Open gym is one of the most important times for basketball players to be seen by coaches. Established prep schools normally have college coaches in their gyms to evaluate the talent on the court. This is going to be especially important this year as it looks like there isn’t going to be a summer live period. If this open gym time goes away then exposure through the season and the college connections of these prep school coaches will be even more important.
2) If school starts later will players be required to pay full tuition?
Some schools have already refunded student’s tuitions for those who had to leave campus in March. If a student isn’t living in the dorms, eating the food or utilizing the facilities then it is hard to justify a school charging a family tuition for the entire year. For the 2020-21I school year, if the campus opens later in the Fall, there should be a prorated scale for what amount of tuition should be due. This is an important question to ask and properly budget for.
3) When will college coaches see players?
For the sake of this question let’s assume that the open gym period has been cancelled due to campuses still being closed. The next step for the players is exposure during games and at showcase events. College coaches are going to be wanting to see players live versus on video. Even if these college coaches are dealing with their own team during the season, getting out to see players will be vital. Some prep schools will be livestreaming their practices and games as well.
It is also important to re-emphasize that prep school coaches are some of the most connected coaches in the US. College programs are constantly in touch with them about their own players as well as players they have faced during the season. One of the main functions of a prep school coach is to get their player’s placed. Currently a lot of coaches are facing that challenge as they try to get the remaining players on their roster placed. They have the connections and skillset needed to help get college coaching eyes on their players.
4) Should I still go to a prep school?
This is a question that each family needs to answer for themselves. If you are a high school senior and you want another year to mature, increase exposure, and gain all the other benefits of a post grad year then yes. The athletic ability, academics and finances all need to make sense before moving forward. If a player doesn’t attend a prep school for a post grad year their other options are JUCO, NAIA, D3 and the other levels of college. Currenlty, unless you have some combination of these attributes it is going to be hard to place a player at a prep school.
5) What happens if there is an outbreak at your school?
All of the coaches and administration officials I have talked to in the last month have told me that they have come up with a plan to deal with this exact situation. Most of these brick and mortar prep schools have a nurse on staff, a sick bay, and access to a local hospital. It is important to make sure whether the student’s personal or the school’s insurance covers any medical attention that is needed.
We live in a new world and everyone is learning to be flexible. Before committing to a prep school be sure you feel comfortable with what you are getting out of it, and deciding if it is worth the risk.