Monday, October 1, 2012

The Decision

Signing a basketball letter-of-intent is rightfully seen as a marvelous opportunity to attend college virtually free of cost.

It's quite the substantial achievement simply considering tuition and the like nowadays virtually requires signing over your future first born child until your indebtedness figure comes up zero

But the process of putting one's name on the dotted line isn't necessarily one many would wish on others despite the 'glamour' of hosted visits and so-called 'celebrity' treatment.

Think about it.

You are 17-years-old.

You really have little idea of who and what you really are as an individual.

Your decision-making skills aren't honed.

In your personal orbit, you possibly have various adult figures 'leaning' on you to go in this or that direction.

Add to that brew a bombardment of texts from coaches and media, plenty of similarly-themed phone calls, the put-to-you daily (hourly?) question of 'who are you going to sign with?' followed by 'when are you going to sign?' coming from damn near everyone.

Somehow you are supposed to evaluate whether Michigan State, Washington, UCLA, Maryland or North Caroline would be best for you in the next x number of years. Or Butler, Xavier, Gonzaga, Virginia Commonwealth and Texas, all the way to Utah State, Texas A&M, Creighton, St. Mary's or Long Beach State.

Really, how does a young man determine what school/coach/program would be the best, especially when all contact is from those on their very best and non-typical behavior? Dating and marriage are two very separate universes and the same applies here.

In reality, the progression towards signing can be a burden of some degree to bear. It's like five (sometimes more, sometimes less) supermodels wooing you. The attention is flattering but along with that comes pressure.

What's to consider in making the final call?

Typically, what is offered up by the scholarship recipients includes the relationship with the coaching staff, the team's W-L record, conference level, roster makeup, educational opportunities, location, weather and more.

Then, when the final answer is made public, the typical answer to the reason why that particular one is because it f-e-l-t right.

A feeling. A gut or body reaction.

Because nobody really k-n-o-w-s. Soul mates are a thing of fantasy in any relationship.

Realistically, the majority of the three, five or seven of the possible choices could/would have worked out just fine. Or possibly none.

In interviewing signees, the joy is certainly apparent but it's paired with an equal dose of relief from having the process over. What's really wanted is getting back to a degree of normalcy.

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