The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has approximately 700,000 members countrywide and has been active for 220 years. To provide amateur sports events through a volunteer basis for all people to have the physical, psychological, and moral growth of athletes and to encourage positive sportsmanship and good citizenship is the organization’s vision. Parents, high school coaches, and even NBA stars like Kobe Bryant have all condemned it. Somebody will find a cause to criticize most organizations and just about anything in life, so let’s look at some of the complaints as well as the advantages that thousands of young athletes receive each year.
AAU basketball is sometimes chastised for its lack of loyalty. Players will drop out of high school because they believe AAU should take first. In addition, there are no restrictions on which team you may join in AAU. Some players are constantly switching teams in order to be on the best team.
Another point of contention is that victory is frequently undervalued. In larger competitions, kids would frequently play 4-5 games during the weekend. They tend to brush off losses since they know the next game is only a few hours away. When there is a lack of intensity, coaching becomes quite irritating.
The crooked few are the ones who have tarnished AAU’s reputation. Sports Illustrated investigated a group that cost $1,600 per team to sign up, with over 800 teams signing up, before going silent and having the money unaccounted for. Another AAU coach admits to accepting money in order to get one of his players to commit to a particular institution.
Enough with the AAU basketball criticism. It’s a great organization that provides thousands of youngsters the opportunity to develop their skills while also providing a variety of other benefits. I asked a few high school basketball coaches for their thoughts on AAU basketball, and they all mentioned a slew of advantages.
AAU basketball, according to Coach Duke Leonardo of Freedom High School in Orlando, “is a wonderful way to get them introduced to college.” Some of the tournaments and games in which these youngsters compete are major national events with the greatest AAU talent available. Anyone who wants to witness the best players in the world play will be able to do so.
AAU also allows students to broaden their game and experience. AAU basketball allows youngsters to play year-round and grow as players while working with a new coach and teammates. When opposed to high school basketball during the season, AAU allows students to learn from a variety of coaches and compete against a variety of opponents all year.
The life lessons that AAU teaches children to last a lifetime. “AAU provides the opportunity for youngsters to acquire some life lessons,” says Mandarin High School coach George McCleod. These children are forming lifelong connections and relationships with the help of their parents and coaches. They may demonstrate their drive to succeed, be a part of a team, be a leader, persevere in the face of adversity, and exhibit excellent sportsmanship.