2019 MHSAA-BCAM Reaching Higher Showcases:
Podcast – Dan Young clears up confusion about this year’s Reaching Higher Showcases
Note from a parent who attended the 2018 Reaching Higher Showcase:
“Good morning! My son attended and participated in the BCAM Reaching Higher Event this past Tuesday at Milford High School. I just wanted to write to express how impressed I was with the event. I’ve been coaching high school basketball for the past 15 years in various capacities along with travel basketball. I’ve been to different camps throughout the country and BCAM’s event is top notch! There are 5 things I really appreciated: 1. You had high caliber competitive players. 2. Your coaches were actually involved with teaching, coaching, and managing the games. 3. Parent presentations were timed well, good speakers, and excellent content. 4. College coaches in attendance were actually evaluating and engaged. 5. The event was timely and organized. I spoke with a parent whose son did not make the event but had been invited. I shared with them that they might have possibly put their son behind the 8 ball by not taking advantage of this opportunity. My youngest son is going to be a junior this upcoming year and I am hoping that he does well enough to be nominated for 2019 because I wouldn’t want him to miss this experience. I just want to thank BCAM for a great opportunity and experience.”
THE ORIGINS OF REACHING HIGHER
Because of special school rules to limit coaches’ compensation, national travel and live television, it is less apparent in Michigan than in some other parts of the country; but there is widespread opinion that amateur basketball is out of control in America. That it’s in shambles, operating too much outside of school/college control, but in the hands of corporate interests and unregulated agents. That it’s jeopardizing skill levels and team play so much that we are failing in international play. That it’s jeopardizing the amateur status of players and the integrity of contest results. There is a sense that the sickness of boys and men’s basketball is infecting the purer women’s game as well as lower profile sports.
Because the elite athlete has not been the primary focus of school sports, interscholastic athletic administrators have avoided designing special programs for specially gifted student-athletes. More recently, however, there is the growing opinion that there is some danger that the corruption of the college recruiting process in basketball is spreading to other sports and settling to younger and younger athletes each year. Preserving the health and integrity of interscholastic athletics generally may require a more proactive approach to this special population of players.
The “Reaching Higher” program is the name given to Michigan’s effort. It includes not only the basketball event to provide assistance in a safe, inexpensive, educational environment to those who may have potential to play intercollegiate basketball at some level; but in time the program will involve other initiatives to help establish, maintain and strengthen the link between youth and schools. To have youth players aim to play for their school team and have high school players focused on their school team and their educator/coach more than non-school programs.
Because this is a joint effort of the Michigan High School Athletic Association and the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan, the “Reaching Higher” experience is also strengthening the strong bond between two organizations that have the best interests of schools and students at heart, and together they may be establishing a model for other high school sports in Michigan.