Summer is just beginning …

As NCAA coaches you find your self fixed inside the gym observing games 9am-9pm for the next few days and then with a sigh of relief you will head back home, to meetings, preseason work outs for the lucky few a summer tour, but in truth the month of August is a wind down for many – Well My fun is just getting started! I will be in DC at the USJN’s to observe games and get some valuable facetime with coaches (especially my current subscribers) but after that i am hitting the scouting trail in earnest! from July 29th- Aug 23rd.

I have already taken in a number of tournaments and gotten a glimpse at some new young talent but nothing beats the European Championships.  Both the u18 & u16’s have an A and B division tournament.  First stop for me is Bucharest to observe 20 National teams play for promotion from Div B at the u18 Championships, After 5 days of observing games I leave to Celje in Slovenia on the 4th August to observe the 16 Division A teams fight for the European Championship in the final 5 days of the tournament play.

FIBA locations 2015

Next up is always the exciting look at the u16’s tournament many of these players will be 2018’s and younger.  First I will be in Macedonia for a week, and will watch 5 days of action between 20 National teams of the B division.  After this a trip back to Porto where the Division A European Champions will be crowned in front of thousands of fans.

Two years ago I enjoyed talking with coaches at the games, when you see me let me know which players you are looking at and I will give you an indication of the talent back in Europe you may want to consider recruiting.  Thinking back to one game in DC where an ncaa coach pointed out their current top target at the PG position, I shook my head and said I promise you, you need to recruit a kid from England called Jay-Ann; she has just finished as the MAC conference freshman of the year. http://mac-sports.com/news/2015/3/10/WBB_0310152140.aspx  There is no question that the talent in Europe is quality and in some instances program changing, you just need to know where to look and how to start the recruiting process.

I am in DC for just the first two days and fly back to London on the night of the 23rd.  Please don’t hesitate to say hi, or arrange a meeting court side to make sure we don’t miss each other.  Maybe you are already recruiting a player from Europe and just want a second opinion.  DM me on twitter or email bluestareurope@yahoo.com

See you in DC!

Dan

The List of players I will be highlighting this week whilst I visit America …

  

I am Checking out the top American players at the prestigious USJN Tournament in Washington DC this week, but why is a European scout watching whose hot in America ? 

Quite simply I am checking out your competition for scholarship offers. There are several high profile tournaments happening this week in the second of the NCAA observation periods. In Washington DC the USJN tournament will feature over 300 teams and hundreds of college coaches will be evaluating the players to determine their recruiting targets for the 2017 class and onwards. 

  
I like to watch the games and talk with the NCAA coaches to alert them to which players in Europe are equally good if not better than the players they are watching ! The games are fast and furious and very physical and to be honest the coaches often tell me how they much prefer to watch the European Championships.  However due to NCAA regulations no college coaches are allowed to visit this summers u18 or u16 Tournaments. 

They rely on my evaluation of talent and use the Blue Star Europe report to contact players and watch film of you that I send to the coaches.  As normal I will be at both the A and B U18 & U16 European Championships scouting players this August.

So will I be dropping your name to coaches this week…. Is your name on my list? Not unless you have completed this form. Just 60 seconds could earn you a $250,000 Scholarship offer 

http://www.bluestareurope.com/playersregistration.html

Don’t miss out. Remember the Blue Star Europe report is free to players. I know some companies charge you money to help you find a scholarship that’s fine and its your choice, if you have paid already doesn’t mean you can’t contact me as well! 

Mike Flynn who runs this tournament travels extensively across the globe to watch the game. He will be heading over to Russia for the u19’s and he will be joining me in Porto this summer 

  

 

FIBA u19 World Championship

Let the games begin!!

russia

The action has started and all games can be viewed live

https://www.youtube.com/FIBA

Subscribers check  http://wp.me/P1FCuL-9g for Rosters and details on players open to be recruited.

Of course several players are familiar to NCAA coaches however you can get a good look at the incoming Freshman listed below and the early 2016 commits from Australia.

2015’s

Belgium #10 Eline Maesschalck Drexel

Netherlands #5 Laura Cornelius Miami #14 Emese Hof Miami

Serbia #11 Jovanna Nogic Providence #13 Juca Vojinovic Duquesne

Spain #4 Lai Raventos Charlotte #5 Maite Cazorla Oregon #8 Angela Salvadores Duke #13 Maria Conde Florida State

2016’s

Australia #7 Alex Sharp Wake Forrest #Madeline Dennis Dayton

 

 

 

 

 

England u18’s at home against Netherlands 

Both England & Netherlands have faced recent losses to top quality opposition, Hungary u18’s & Australia u19’s respectively so last nights match at Oaklands College gave both teams further insight to their standing as they head into the u18 European Championships. 

  
Netherlands started the game without the inside presence of Janis Ndiba and Mirte Scheper who are both helping the Orange Angels with their u20 campaign. Injuries to Steggink and Denise left them venerable inside and the final stats proved England out scored the Orange angels in the paint and had a healthy total rebound margin. 

It was the visitors who got out to a great start with some full court pressure forcing a few England turnovers and Coach Lee Ryan had an early time out as his side were down 7-0. An effective time out and it was soon a nip and tuck affair for the duration of the game. 

  
Laura Westerik was always on hand to create scores for herself and she ended the game with 18 pts as normal hitting 100% of her FT’s.   Joint top scorer for the Netherlands was Myrte Den Heeten but the team will need a greater contribution form the bench if they are to challenge England this morning.  Asa Kanatbeen exited the game early with an ankle strain let’s see if she will play a part today. 

England u18’s showed a balanced scoring effort both both outside and in. 10 players registered a score with the impressive 2017 Savannah Wilkson  top scoring on her way to a double double from 29 mins of action. Georgia Gayle remained a constant threat from outside hitting 4 of England’s long range efforts. 

Coach Lee Ryan was able to utilise various players at the guard spot.  Gabby Nikitinaite continues to pick out passes that wow the crowd as the team continue their preparations I think the assist ratio will continue to rise. Impressive on the boards was Mel George who snagged 9 in just 17 minutes of action great to see a player have a passion in her role. England kept great floor spacing on offence and minimal shot clock forced efforts shows that the offence is in good shape. Minimal scores in transition yesterday could be a target for today’s contest that tips at 13.00 at Oaklands college.  See you in the gym ! 

  

End school 2018, 2019 find out why American coaches want to know about you NOW, NOT in two years!

One of the most difficult things I have to do is to explain to players from Europe why NCAA coaches want to start the recruitment process so early, Well maybe these are some of things you have not considered before.

The NCAA changed the rule recently and this means that NCAA coaches can now offer official visits to players before their senior year.  You get 5 visits where the school will pay for your trip (and a parent) to visit the campus and meet all the staff and players.  So now many American players who end school in 2017 have already taken an official visit and given their ‘verbal’ commitment to the university.  So some programs have already completed recruiting for the 2017 class.

Imagine you are a college coach, making good money to coach Basketball, all you need to do is keep winning to get a bigger bonus and not get sacked!, but every team needs talented players… If you were a college coach what would you be doing right now? Exactly you would be hunting down the next best player to make sure your team keeps winning!

NCAA coaches wathcing

NCAA coaches can only contact you regularly from September 1st (of your Junior year/ Last two years of school) BUT they can watch film of you play and listen to scouts like me evaluate your game.  Some NCAA programs may only have two scholarships left in the 2018 class and they may already be close to getting a final decision from a USA based player so now they just need that one player to complete the 2019 class – That could be you; but if you are not on a scouting report how will they know about you!? Duh!!

NCAA coaches can not watch games in August so they will not be at this years u16  European Championship games. BUT they will all be at the major AAU tournaments in America like the USJN’s where hundreds of team play hoping to catch the eye of the recruiters.

USJN court

I have attended these tournaments where a player catches the interest and before you know it there are dozens of coaches all watching the same game, and planning on how they are going to start recruiting that player.  I will be honest, I sometimes watch many of these games in disbelief thinking to myself and how many players I know back in Europe are soo much better – but if you have not agreed for me to add your details to the Blue Star Europe report ( by filling this in http://bluestareurope.com/playersregistration.html ) then I am not going to tell anybody about you!

Many of the players who are on the Blue Star Europe report from last year in the 2017 class will be able to tell you of the coaches who have written to them and some have had the coaches travel to Europe to meet with them and watch them play already.  As soon as they have taken the SAT or ACT and proved their are going to be academically eligible they can start taking those official visits.

If you end school in 2018,2019, or even 2020 you are the player I am most interested in – My report is free to players.  So the cost to you is about 60 seconds of your time completing the player registration page ( and that does not mean I am the only person you who can help you, the more the better) If you have any questions then please ask or get your parents or coach to write to me

Hope to see you in the gym soon!

Dan Bowmaker AKA Mr Blue Star Europe

What not to do when making a highlight tape… 7 tips to help you look better!

 The one that gets your recruited …

I guess I have seen my share of highlight or ‘mix tapes’ over the years, some good and some …. so here is my advice of what not to do

Music – Make a smart choice, it takes a little effort to add music to your own video so the coaches will know that you have decided to add a part of yourself by your choice of music, any track with foul language is a NO.  Anything that has lyrics check them ( what message are you sending about yourself).  Check for Copyright – some tracks added are copyrighted and will not play in America despite not showing any problem in Europe.  Music is not essential so if in doubt leave it out.

Still Photos – a few maybe as a back drop to your player profile information but not loads – this is a video to show your basketball skills not how pretty you are! if some of the pictures demonstrate your Athleticism (grabbing a rebound off the ring, blocking a shot)  or your physicality then that’s fine but less is best.

Information – Add a few basic details, your name, when you graduate, height, position (be clear on what playing position you hope to be recruited to, 6’2 then many coaches will assume you play in the post but if you are a skilled wing then let them know) contact information at the end of your clip then you know the coaches have watched your whole tape.  It’s a good idea to include this information in the details beneath your video especially if it’s easier for them to copy and paste your email address. Don’t add lots of screen shots of stats they are usually too difficult to read and are not needed as part of the highlight.

Content – what to include and how long ? Just a few minutes is fine. A range of offensive skills ( in transition, shooting and drives to the basket, post up moves or PG play if appropriate ) and some defensive action where you can show on ball defense and off ball and rebounding.  Don’t have lots of clips of scoring offensive put backs unless you have more to offer ! and don’t have just clips of playing in a static zone defense. We don’t need to to see you shoot lots of free throws either. Your not going to secure a college scholarship because you knocked down back to back FT’s in a u16 league two years ago! By the way if your highlight clip is just a few minutes long and the video is taken from lots of different games ( yes the opposition where different colour kits and the gyms look different ) then it gives us an idea you only do one or two good things a game…

Info Graphics – nope not really… College coaches know what a rebound is, we really don’t need you to freeze the video have an arrow pointing to your head stating ‘rebound’ and then be thrilled to see you actually grab a rebound.

Format and platform – NCAA coaches are very busy they prefer to be able to access your video right away, not wait for a we transfer download etc.  Use youtube or vimeo etc.  One advantage of vimeo is the statistics view, this enables you to actually see how many times your video has been watched in the USA rather than your view count be made up of that guy who always ask you to play one and one and he still doesn’t get you don’t like him.

Video quality – I guess any video is better than none but if we cant see your playing number clearly and or you look like you are 1 meter tall because the video is shot from the highest point in the gym its not that great. Hey but don’t get to close, a video where spectators walk across the shot or your cant see if its actually you who took the corner 3 pointer don’t work either.

Next and most important – Have at least two copies of full games tapes ready – if a coach is interested then they are going to ask to see more film, don’t have them waiting for two months whilst you promise to get some ready.

Wish you the best of luck with your recruiting efforts if you need any further help don’t hesitate to ask.

Dan Bowmaker aka Mr Blue Star Europe

Take a look back at some of the mistakes other players have made .. http://wp.me/p1FCuL-kq

Guess whose back ?

364 days ago I heard one of the worst screams of my life, the gym fell silent and everything stopped, all helpless watching the young Danish star Enna clutch her knee.  A slip on a baseline drive, nothing more but a twisted knee and 12 months rehab faced the youngster from a torn ACL.

As every coach knows and every player fears “will I get back to my best?”.  Well in her first game back for the National team Enna Pehadzic proved to her self most importantly the answer was a resounding yes.  Cruised to 19 points from just 16 minutes action she hadn’t skipped a beat.   Looking fitter than before she continued to lead the team with great enthusiasm and character.

And the team … This generation were promoted from the u16 B division in the European Championships in Porto back in 2013. A well balanced team that always demonstrated a passion to play they have great chemistry and just like to get the job done. The Nordic Championships are where they are putting down their marker to the teams that will face them in Romaniana this summer

Sarah Mortensen is a cool customer that seems to find a way to score, whatever you try to take away she’s half a second ahead and her mid range jumper is solid.  Vik Mikkelsen  and Sofie Scirmer are the glue to the team and with Trine Drejer ready to kill from outside and speed down the lane they are tough to stop. Add to this the strength inside from Grace Gardner and the addition of 98 born Lena Svanhom you can see why Enna says hopes are high for a great summer.

I wish all the payers good luck in their final preparations and look forward to seeing you in Bucharest

College coaches interested in recruiting these players who graduate in 2016/17/18 get in touch!