In college basketball, there are different categories of walk-on players, each with varying levels of recruitment and opportunities. Here’s an explanation of the differences between a preferred walk-on, recruited walk-on, and walk-on:
- Preferred Walk-On: A preferred walk-on is a player who is invited to join a college basketball team without being offered an athletic scholarship. The coaching staff expresses a strong interest in having the player join the team, and they may receive some level of support, such as preferential treatment in terms of practice time or other benefits. Preferred walk-ons typically have a higher chance of eventually earning a scholarship if they perform well and contribute to the team.
- Recruited Walk-On: A recruited walk-on is a player who has been actively recruited by the coaching staff, despite not receiving an athletic scholarship offer. The coaching staff shows genuine interest in the player’s abilities and potential contributions to the team. They may have had conversations with the player, attended their games, or evaluated their skills during the recruiting process. Although they don’t initially offer a scholarship, the recruited walk-on is valued as a potential contributor and may receive similar benefits to preferred walk-ons.
- Walk-On: A walk-on is a player who joins a college basketball team without any prior recruitment or scholarship offer. Walk-ons typically try out for the team or express their interest in joining, and if selected, they participate without any financial aid from the athletic department. They are not recruited or offered any preferential treatment initially but have the opportunity to prove themselves during practices and games. Walk-ons often face more challenging paths to earning playing time and scholarships compared to preferred or recruited walk-ons.
It’s important to note that these terms may vary slightly across different programs and colleges. The level of support and opportunities provided to walk-on players can also vary depending on the specific program, coaching staff, and resources available. Check out these additional videos below that discuss this topic: