Not too long ago, if you thought young athletes being recruited at the age of 12 was way over the top and that the whole sports industry needed their collective heads examined, you may have been in your right mind.
It wasn’t until I was covering a big preseason high school basketball tournament in 2006 at the M.O. Campbell Center within the Aldine Independent School District Complex that I finally started developing a clue as to the whole recruiting picture. In sitting courtside, I was stationed next to an older gentleman who owned a website that kept stats and background information on young athletes from the age of ten through high school. During halftime of a competitive TWHS/Madison game that saw The Woodlands lose to an excellent Madison high school squad, 68-58, I glanced over at this man’s site and noticed he had information on a kid that was born in 1995. I looked at him incredulously and asked him if he was serious. He proceeded to educate me as to how it all worked. Here I was covering a big preseason tournament thinking I was cool and “in the know” because I got in with a press credential and ate free food in the press room. Little did I know the guy sitting next to me had forgotten more than I knew about youth sports. click here for complete story