Just like other athletic scholarships, receiving basketball scholarships for high school students is expected to be promising at the same time very competitive. It’s extremely competitive at the NCAA D1 level where only 1.2% of women basketball student-athletes are chosen, and even worse for men, where less than 1% will go on to participate in this division.
Regardless of how competitive it is, the bright side is that NCAA D1 basketball is a headcount sport, which means each student-athlete will receive full-ride scholarships. Well, NCAA D2 and other division levels provide equivalency scholarships which are partial funding that are not necessarily full-ride but are distributed to student-athletes.
The wisdom in going for equivalency scholarships or any other financial assistance whether academic or athletic scholarships is to work hard on your skills and studies because coaches award higher scholarship funds to students that are prolific.
As a high school student, you should note that coaches start very early to recruit players, especially NCAA D1 coaches, some of them even start in middle school to monitor potential recruits. So if you’ve not started working so hard, now should be the best time to start.
Before we list these let’s list some other things you need to do to land yourself on one of these scholarships
Table of Contents
5 Productive Ways to Get a Basketball Scholarship
Develop your Athletic Skill
Before a coach even considers your academic prowess, they must have seen how outstanding you are in basketball, so you need to make sure you’re doing the necessary training to become one of the best players in your high school team. It’s worth noting that several coaches, especially D1 coaches recruit top players through AAU club teams, so participating in AAU basketball should be on your top “to-do” list.
Have a Good Grade
Please don’t assume because you’ll be participating in a Sports program that your academics are not important. Coaches are really interested in your academics as well as they are interested in your athletic abilities, so ensure to build a good test score and GPA.
Attend College Camps and Involved in Summer Tournaments
Colleges usually host elite camps, it is advisable that families carefully choose camps where their kid will be fit to perform properly both academically and athletically. Also, participating in summer tournaments will expose them to being coached and increase their chances of winning these basketball scholarships.
Even though coaches are going out seeking the right recruit, they are most likely not going to knock on your doorstep, might not come to your doorstep, so it is important that you create videos of your performance, and contact these college coaches. Start with an email where you introduce yourself, then continue to follow up, and if possible visit campuses and schedule private appointments.
Note that, when a coach gives a verbal scholarship offer, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to receive a scholarship or participate in the sport, nothing is already settled until the student-athlete signs the national letter of intent. There are some other need-to-know athletic scholarship facts, that you should endeavor to go through.
All of these being said, let’s now list these scholarships.
Basketball Scholarships for High School Students
1. NCAA Division I Basketball Scholarships
NCAA D1 basketball scholarships are the best but also the most competitive scholarships to pursue. It’s so competitive that as a man, you only have less than a 1% chance of winning this scholarship, that is, out of 100 high school student-athletes probably one person will be awarded the scholarship.
It doesn’t mean it’s impossible though, but recipients will receive full-ride scholarships which will not only take care of their tuition but also other academic and sports-related expenses.
Top 5 Schools that Provide D1 Basketball
- Stanford University
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of Florida
- University of California – Los Angeles – UCLA
- University of Michigan
It’s worth noting that in a school, only 13 students receive these full-ride scholarships, and that brings us to the next basketball scholarships for high school students.
2. NCAA Division II Basketball Scholarships
NCAA D2 basketball scholarships may not provide full-ride scholarships like the predecessor, neither are they as competitive as D1 scholarships. NCAA D2 basketball provides equivalency scholarships which means schools receive several athletic financial assistance that are distributed to as many basketball student-athletes as they want.
Even though students receive partial funding in this scholarship, you should note that your role in the game will determine the amount of funds you’ll receive, so if you’re a top player, then expect to receive top scholarship funds.
Top 5 Schools that Provide D2 Basketball
- California State Polytechnic University – Pomona
- Truman State University
- Colorado School of Mines
- Christian Brothers UniversityRollins College
3. NCAA Division III Basketball Scholarships
Unfortunately, NCAA D3 Basketball doesn’t exactly provide scholarships to their athletes due to the fact that Division III schools focus on providing students with a balance of academic and sports life. In D3, it’s like someone participating in a single extracurricular activity, with less minimal competition.
The bright side is that D3 schools provide different kinds of financial assistance – that doesn’t need to be repaid – to their student-athletes, in fact, 75% of Division III athletes receive some type of financial aid—which can be need-based or merit-based.
Top 5 Schools that Provide D3 Basketball
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT
- Amherst College
- Swarthmore College
- Emory University
- Williams College
4. NAIA Basketball Scholarships D1 & 2
Just like some other basketball scholarships for high school students we’ve listed, NAIA offers only 2 divisions and both of them provide equivalency scholarships, which means they provide partial scholarships shared among team players. Well, the difference is that NAIA D1 basketball schools are awarded more scholarship funds than the D2 schools, which means even though both receive partial funding, the amount students will receive in Division 1 will be greater than Division 2.
Top 5 Schools that Provide D3 Basketball
- Indiana Wesleyan University
- Concordia University – Nebraska
- University of California – Merced
- St. Ambrose University
- Bethel University – Indiana
5. JUCO D1 & 2 Basketball Scholarships
Just like JUCO Track & Field scholarships, Junior College basketball scholarships students receive partial funding, which is distributed according to athletic performance. JUCO provides 3 divisions, however, only 2 awards scholarships, which is almost the same as NCAA divisions.
One of the best parts is that D1 offers full-ride scholarships, whereas D2 offers scholarships that will go a long way to cover student-athletes tuition, books, and some other academic expenses excluding housing.
Top 5 Schools that Provide JUCO Basketball
- Southern Idaho
- John A. Logan
- Moberly Area
- Indian Hills
6. Carling Muir Award for Determination, Courage, and Resilience
This $2,000 worth of scholarship is exclusively for a student-athlete playing basketball at a post-secondary institution in British Columbia. This student doesn’t only need to be prolific in basketball, he/she also needs to showcase strong ethics, dedication to the team and/ or community, and perseverance through overcoming adversity.
Being a Canadian citizen is not a necessity but might be an added advantage, but it’s necessary for the student to reside at BC.
7. Foot Locker Scholars Athletes
I love the opening statement of this scholarship, they said, “Foot Locker wants to celebrate YOU–not just because you scored the game-winning point–but because sports have helped you grow into a strong leader at school and in your community.” It just speaks a lot about their vision and mission.
Their $20,000 worth of sports and basketball scholarships for high school students are awarded to 20 student-athletes who demonstrate excellent academic ability and strong leadership skills in sports. One of the interesting things about this scholarship is that you don’t need to be the top scorer to apply, even though you’re the most spirited team player you can still apply.
There are not so many athletic scholarships for high school students, but if you’re among noteworthy students that ace both in academics and basketball, then you have a very high chance of receiving one of these scholarships, if possible, a full-ride scholarship.
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