INDIANAPOLIS�The NCAA First Team program will welcome close to 200 prospective basketball student-athletes to its fourth summer conference this weekend where the focus will center on providing them with resources to navigate the collegiate recruiting process and helping them focus on the benefits of pursuing an education. The program takes place August 12-14, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The First Team program focuses on male basketball prospects who are entering the ninth grade, and provides them with resources to help them navigate through the collegiate recruiting process, understand the role athletics plays in the educational process, and encourages the students to become more focused on education and become critical thinkers equipped to make informed choices.
This year marks the first year that the program will have a complete class of students from incoming freshmen to seniors in high school. The four-day program will include sessions geared toward each academic level. Sessions include media training; mock recruiting situations; enhancing good study habits; preparation for college; time management; proper etiquette in social situations; setting and achieving goals; good nutrition habits; transition from high school; and understanding your high school athletic association.
Communication is the essence of the First Team program. The NCAA First Team staff maintains regular contact with the students through telephone calls, written correspondence and newsletters. The goal of the ongoing communication is to provide support in areas where the students may need positive reinforcement to keep focus on completing high school and being academically eligible to play college basketball. Communication centers on recruiting, education, life skills and physical fitness.
Doug Collins, former NBA coach and player, NBA television network analyst and collegiate standout, will be the keynote speaker of the First Team program. Collins, has coached with the NBA�s Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, and played professionally with the Philadelphia 76ers for eight years. He was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team at the Munich Games and played collegiately at Illinois State University.
First Team also features a panel session where former collegiate coaches and current student-athletes will speak to the students about their experiences and provide guidance on how they can make the most of their academic and athletic futures. Past speakers include John Thompson, former Georgetown University head basketball coach; Clark Kellogg, television network broadcaster and former college and professional basketball player; Reggie Minton, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) deputy executive director; John Lucas, former NBA player and coach; and Dirk Minniefield, former college standout and NBA player.
Students in the First Team program represent Arkansas, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. The First Team program will have grown to include the states of Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont by the end of 2005. Plans include reaching all states by 2007. Summer conferences have been held in Charlotte, North Carolina (2004); Tampa, Florida (2003); and Indianapolis (2001).